Roofing refers to the covering or construction of a structure, composed of all parts and materials required to support it on top of buildings or uprights, giving protection from rain, sun, snow, extreme temperature, and winds. Basically, a roof is a portion of a building envelope. The different types of roofing are asphalt shingles, slate, wood shakes, tile, metal, and concrete tiles. The installation of roofing materials depends on their type and quality. Common roofing materials are asphalt, slate, metal, concrete, wood, tile, metal, and gypsum.
Asphalt shingles are the most common form of roofing material. These are known for their fire-retardant properties that make them good choices for hot and humid areas. However, the thatch must be removed to allow for proper ventilation. The thatch must also be removed so that there will be no danger of the fire spreading due to moisture that may build up in the roof after the thatch has been removed.
Tiles, such as slate or tile, are a popular choice for roofing because they provide more flexibility for the roofing contractor when choosing materials. Tile roofs may have a small pitch or flat pitch, which is determined by the manufacturer of the tiles. The flat pitch provides greater weather protection because it provides a low slope and no sloping angles. Flat pitch roofs do not have thatch to worry about, but they do have smaller pitch roofs, which may have a smaller pitch or rounded shape.
Roofing layers are generally laid from the lowest pitch roofing layer to the highest pitch roofing layer. There are two types of roofing layers; self-leveling layers and prefabricated layers. Self-leveling layers are typically made from recycled materials because the roofer does not have to use nails or stapling to attach the shingles to the asphalt shingles and the ridge tiles.
The prefabricated layer is made from expanded polystyrene foam or SPF that is placed on top of an existing roof and then secured with tar or gravel. It is mixed with a liquid asphalt-saturated asphalt that is premixed with water, glue, and grout to make it consistent and adhere better to the roof. This SPF layer is a weather protection measure and can also help reduce sound infiltration into the attic. Other roofing layers can be added to the roof in the form of felt paper, rubberized asphalt, aluminum shingles, or another material.
All roofing material needs to be securely in place before it is installed. If there are any gaps in the roofing material, such as large holes that allow rainwater in, the roof has to be taken down before applying the protective coating. If the damage is not that severe, the roof can be temporarily removed and replaced. Even a slight crack or small hole can create an opening for moisture to enter the supporting structure, which weakens the whole roof.
Pitched roofs are pitched to fit the existing roof and are commonly used in northern regions. However, pitched roofs can be used anywhere in the world and usually do not need to be supported by concrete. Also, they are very versatile and can be pitched to different angles, such as flat, slanted or level. In the northern United States, flat roofs are becoming more popular due to the need for thermal comfort in the winter months.
Flat roofs are the most common form, especially on commercial buildings and houses. This type of roof is made up of a flat top membrane held in place by a thick layer of tar or gravel. Some flat roofs are designed to reflect heat and sun, but many are flat no matter what style they are. However, the tar or gravel may cause water damage should it leak. Flat roofs do not provide the UV protection that other forms do, so they are not recommended for hot areas. Go to Roofing for more information.