What’s A Roof System?

Most people think a roof is a roof. Actually the roofing material visible on a house—the shingles—is the tip of the iceberg, the visiblepart of a mostly invisible system. That system is made up components— layers and accessory elements—working together to protect the house from weather. These include the roof decking (or “sheathing”)—plywood or oriented strand board nailed to the frame—an underlayment on top of the decking to ensure water doesn’t reach the wood, an additional layer in certain strategic (vulnerable) places called “ice-and-water shield” which is a rubberized asphalt mixture with a sticky backing that adheres to the decking, and on top of these, the shingles.

A professional roofing company also uses a starter strip (adhesive shingle) at eaves and rake edges, to provide a straight line that ensures shingles line up in proper order on the roof, and to prevent shingle blow off.

Points where the roof meets the wall, at every opening in the membrane of the roof (stacks, pipes, chimneys) and where roof planes dip and meet at a valley, will be flashed, that is, metal worked into the membrane to ensure that seams are sealed tight and nothing penetrates where a roof is seamed. All these, together with good ventilation, pull together to maximize the life of the roof. But what you typically see from the ground are the shingles. If the shingles are shot, they no doubt need to be replaced. But so does everything else, and roofing crews in a hurry often skip one or two components.

Who’ll know?

You’ll know if you have an ice-damming situation that leaks because there’s no ice-and-water shield at the roof edge. You’ll know when you see water spots on your ceiling that are traceable to water entry down and along the chimney, because the chimney wasn’t properly flashed.

At R&B Home Remodeling, our project managers ensure that we install a roof exactly the way the manufacturer of the shingles specifies in their installation manual. And we double-check quality with a checklist on every job. We also provide a lifetime warranty on workmanship for as long as you live in that home.

About Mike Damora

Mike Damora is vice president of sales and marketing at K&B Home Remodelers, in Randolph, N.J. You can follow him on Twitter @madamoracatch him on Drift.