A typical asphalt shingle roof may look simple on the outside, but take a closer look, and it’s actually an intricate system that protects your home from the elements. Here are the main components of this system.
1. Framing – The roof framing functions as the skeleton or support structure. It dictates the roof shape, particularly the roof slope. Quality roof framing is made from treated wood to ensure protection against moisture damage.
2. Decking – The roof deck consists of boards nailed to the roof framing and is onto where other roofing components, such as underlayment and shingles, are nailed. It’s typically made of oriented strand board (OSB), but other materials like plywood can also be used. During roof replacement or storm damage repair, the roof is stripped down to the decking.
3. Underlayment – Also known as felts or roof deck protection, the underlayment serves as a moisture barrier that protects the decking and everything else underneath it. Some roofing manufacturers offer “breathable” underlayment, which allows moisture on the decking to evaporate.
4. Starter Strips – The roof edge is vulnerable to damage caused by updrafts, which can leave it open to rainwater infiltration. This is why most of today’s asphalt shingle roofs feature starter strips. It’s a long roll of material that functions as the first row of shingles, which is reinforced by adhesive. Asphalt shingle manufacturers offer starter strips that match the rest of the roof.
5. Asphalt Shingles = Asphalt shingles cover the rest of the roof.
6. Flashing – Breaks in the roofing plane, including penetrations and transitions, are protected by metal strips known as flashing.
7. Attic Ventilation = The attic ventilation system consists of exhaust vents at the ridges and intake vents at the soffits. Proper attic ventilation helps prevent damage caused by hot and moist air, and helps keep your indoor spaces cool. It also helps prevent common winter problems, such as ice damming. The ridge vents are typically covered by cut-up shingles, though many manufacturers offer specially designed ridge caps that match the rest of the roof.