The roof is the most important component of your house. It protects you from the elements of nature, and that is why it must be in good condition to keep away the effects of snow, rain, air, etc. Knowing the parts that shape your roof will help you identify the problems you are having and make a better decision when hiring a roofing contractor in Houston to make repairs.
The main function of the roof is to throw the water down its slope. The greater the slope of a roof, the faster water runs off it, and the less time it has in which to find a hole to leak through. The shape of the roofs can be flat or the most common A-framed gabled roof built in a variety of pitches to best shed water and snow.
The top of a roof is called the ridge, the bottom is the eave, and the sloping edges are called rakes. Where two roof planes meet at an inside corner is a valley, while at an outside corner the intersection is a hip. Under all these ceilings will be the frame, consisting of rafters.
Underlayment – It is the black paper that is laid over the plywood sheathing to seal it from damaging elements such as rain and snow.
Flashing – Sheet metal installed on top of the joints of a roof to prevent water damage.
Shingles or Tile – These can be made of a variety of materials and styles, but they are the outermost part of the roof and they form the barrier against external elements.
Trim – Protect the seams anywhere there is a roof, such as a hip or a ridge.
Hip – This is the highest point where two adjoining roof sections meet.
Valley – When two sections of the roof slope downward and meet, they create a valley.
Pitch – This refers to the slope of the roof.
Eaves – Is the part of the roof that hangs over the rest of the house.
Gables – These are the triangular portions at the ends of the house, extending from the eaves to the peak of the roof.
Dormer – These are the sections of the house that protrude from the roof. They are usually added as a way to illuminate an attic or the upper level of your home.
Drainage – The design feature of a roof that allows it to shed water.
The most problematic areas of a roof tend to be in valleys, eaves, and where the roof meets wood, chimneys, or plumbing vents.
Flashing is needed in these areas to solve this problem. The flashing is usually metal, from zinc, copper, or lead, even aluminum which is much more common.
A very common problem is discoloration or moss growth. The discoloration is usually due to algae or mildew growth, and as with moss, the problem is solved with zinc flashing. As the zinc seeps in, it will kill the organisms that are covering the roof.
Heat and ultraviolet rays cause roofs to deteriorate.
Rain: When water gets under the shingles it can reach the deck and cause the roof to rot. Moisture causes mold and rots in other parts of the house.
Wind: If they are strong they can lift the edges of the tiles and push the water under them.
Melted snow can refreeze on the eaves of a roof and form an ice dam. This blocks the gutter drain and water collects under the shingles.
Condensation: Condensation can result from the buildup of relatively warm, moisture-laden air.
Branches that touch the roof will scratch and tear the shingles or even puncture them. Leaves on the roof retain moisture and cause rot, and leaves in gutters block drainage.
Shingle deterioration: When the tiles are old and worn they lose their waterproofing efficiency. Weakened tiles are easily removed, torn, or lifted by gusts of wind.
When shingles are missing or torn off, the roof structure and interior of a home are vulnerable to water damage. Missing or broken shingles should be replaced as soon as possible.
Flashing Deterioration: Without good, tight flashings the water can enter a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Flashing should be checked as part of a semi-annual roof inspection in conjunction with gutter cleaning.
Knowing the basics of roofing gives you a foundation for troubleshooting your current system, and understanding what options are available when you need a repair. If you are interested in knowing more about roof repairs, read our blog to learn What you should know before repairing or replacing your roof.
If you need roof repair, residential roofing, commercial roofing, roof leak repair, roof maintenance, or an inspection, contact us if you’re looking for a roofing contractor in Houston.
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