Important Components of a Roofing System

August 26, 2022

6 Important Components of Your Roofing System
Prevent a Major Roofing Repair

What to Know About Your Roofing System
In Order to Protect Your Investment

A fully functioning roofing system is an essential aspect of any home, business, or commercial property. And as a property owner, it is a great idea to have a basic understanding of how your roofing system works.

Having knowledge of the functions and components of your roof will help you spot the early warning signs of damage. As professional roofing companies in Houston will warn you, even minor damage can quickly turn into a major roofing repair. Tiny leaks can lead to thousands of dollars in water damage.

So, keep an eye on these vital roofing systems components and the warning signs something is wrong.

How Many Components of a Roofing System Are There?

The roofing system is incredibly complex. There are as many as 18 different components and sections on any given rooftop. And while each of these components plays an important role in your roof system, some are more important than others.

In order to simplify the process, let’s focus on the most important components every roofing system in Houston has.

The 6 Most Important Components of a Roofing System
And How to Tell They Are in Distress

1. Truss vs. Rafters

The trusses or rafters are vital components of your roof’s support structure. These are triangular structures made from wood or metal that connects the roof to the building. It is this design that allows the truss to reach wide distances without extra support.

Roofing systems that do not use trusses will have rafters. Rafters are simply longboards made of wood. These boards are placed at an angle that runs from the ridge board to the structure. Today, trusses are the preferred structural support method used by most roofing companies in Houston.

Trusses are designed to be very stable and built to last. But sometimes they will become damaged. Moisture is most often to blame for premature cracking or weakening of a roofing system’s trusses.

If you do notice cracking or water damage to your roofing system support structure, it’s time to get help. Hop online and search for roofers near me to find a professional to assess your situation.

2. Sheathing

After the trusses, the next layer is known as sheathing. The sheathing is plywood that covers the roofing systems support structure. This layer supports the roof covering and helps bind the trusses together.

Roof sagging, leaks, missing tiles, or water damage are signs that the sheathing could be failing.

3. Underlayment

Roofing underlayment is placed between the shearing and the shingles. The underlayment is a vital component of your roofing system as it prevents moisture from damaging your roof. Underlayment is made from a waterproof material. It prevents rain, ice, hail, and other elements from reaching the lower, more vulnerable layers of your roof.

While the underlayment is an important part of the roofing system, it does not last as long as other components. Underlayments typically last anywhere from 12 to 20 years. Although, some types of underlayment can last up to 30 years. This depends on the type of underlayment and the climate it is used in.

You will need a roofing contractor to replace the underlayment at least once every 20 to 30 years. Without the underlayments protection, your roof is vulnerable to water damage and mold growth.

4. Shingles

This is the component of the roofing system people pay the most attention to since the shingles are the most visible aspect of the roof.

Shingles come in a variety of materials and styles, with each type of shingle having its own advantages. The most popular shingle material used today is Asphalt. They are durable, long-lasting, and relatively cost-efficient. Properly cared for and maintained asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.

Metal shingles are growing in popularity in residential homes, even though many commercial properties have long enjoyed the benefits of a metal rooftop. While metal costs a little more to have installed, its longevity more than makes up for it. You can expect a metal roof to last 30 to 50 years if installed by a professional roofing company. As an added bonus, metal rooftops require less maintenance than their asphalt counterparts.

Slate roofing tiles are an amazing option. A roof of slate is not only beautiful but also extremely durable. As slate tiles can last up to 100 years, it is likely the last rooftop you’d ever have to install on your property.

Clay shingles, sometimes known as slabs, also boast a lifespan of 100 years. Another major benefit of clay shingles is their natural ability to withstand more extreme weather. They are resistant to wildfires, strong winds, storms, hail, and extreme heat. Plus, clay shingles are extremely aesthetically appealing.

Oftentimes, damage to shingles can be visible to the naked eye. Homeowners should keep a lookout for missing or sagging shingles. During a major storm with strong winds and hail, your roof can become damaged. Roofing companies in Houston understand the unique challenges the city’s weather can cause for rooftops. If you are concerned your shingles are damaged or your roof needs maintenance, then it’s time to turn to a professional roofer.

5. The Drainage System

Proper drainage is a vital roofing system component, and a lot more thought goes into planning a roof’s drainage setup than you might realize. Everything from a roof’s shape, layout, and materials is designed to quickly remove water from your roof and away from your home. Further, if water accumulated on your roof for too long, it would damage the roof and cause a leak. And, if the water simply slid off the roof and landed on or near your home, it would damage the siding or foundation.

Issues with your roof’s drainage system will eventually become obvious, and if you’re not vigilant, your roof can sustain some major damage before you notice. Keep a look out for leaks or large amounts of water accumulating around the base of your home.

6. Flashing

Your roof flashing is also meant to keep water from entering your home or office. This is a thin, flat metal material placed under shingles. Flashing redirects water away from vulnerable locations on the roof. Chimneys, vents, smoke stacks, and the areas around rooftop ACs are some common locations for flashing to be installed.

But keep in mind, though, that leaking is the major sign that your roof’s flashing is failing.

Ensure Your Roofing System is Doing Its Job
And Keep That Water Out

You may have noticed that most of the important components of a roofing system are focused around keeping water out. There is a good reason for that. Water damage can distort a home or commercial property value and lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. So, roofing systems have been designed to protect property and keep water and other elements out.

Is your roofing system showing signs of distress? Are you seeing signs of leaks or water damage? Then turn to our professional roofing team at Houston Roofing & Construction. Contact us today to avoid a costly repair tomorrow!

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