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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About What Each Roofing Layer Consists Of

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While it might seem like a roof consists of a single layer of shingles, there is much more to a roofing system than just the outer protective layer. It can be difficult for homeowners to understand the role that each layer of the roof plays, especially without having prior roofing knowledge. However, Grand Rapids roofing experts understand that the overall integrity of the roof largely depends on the condition of each individual layer.

While the foundation of a home consists of a large slab of concrete, the support structure of the roof is called the roof deck, and it typically consists of plywood, reinforced concrete, metal or OSB. The beams that hold up the roof deck can be constructed from wood or metal materials, but the main role of the entire support system is to withstand the weight of all of the roofing layers. It is also necessary for a roof to accommodate additional weight factors, such as rain, snow and ice.

Underlayment is fastened directly onto the roof deck, and it creates a watertight seal for the deck so that it remains protected from water damage. It also creates a smoother surface for all of the additional layers.

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There are several types of underlayment materials available to purchase, and certain roofing materials might require a specific type of underlayment. For example, slate roofing systems must have a completely different underlayment than asphalt roofing shingles. Some underlayment materials also work better in certain climates.

Older homes might not feature an insulation layer, but most modern homes do. Insulation accounts for the home's energy efficiency capabilities, and it is typically installed on the underside of the roof in between the support structures. An insulation system is also a necessary feature of the attic, and this helps to keep the home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. Modern insulation methods utilize a spray foam application, which makes it much easier for contractors to install. Sprayed insulation can better accommodate difficult to reach areas as well.

The outermost layer of the roof is the shingles. There are many different types and styles of shingles a homeowner can choose from. Roofing contractors will install a starter row directly to the decking, and the shingles can be either hand cut on the job site or purchased in an adhesive format. The contractors will install them in an overlapping manner in order to improve their wind resistance capabilities. The finishing components include the flashing, vent pipes, gutters and downspouts, chimneys, sky lights and ridge caps.

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