Roofing, in the simplest sense, is the covering of a structure, with all installations and materials needed to support it on top of buildings or on uprights, giving protection from sunlight, rain, wind, extreme temperatures, and unwanted changes in weather. A roof, like any other part of a structure, is an element that requires maintenance and attention to detail. While roofs can last for decades, they are subject to damage and decay to varying degrees depending on the type of roof and surrounding conditions. Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your roof and, at the same time, protect the structure of your home and its value.
Roofing is divided into several different categories, depending on how it’s applied, and what part of the roof it covers. Concrete tiles, slate, asphalt, wood shingles, metal roofs, and plastic roofs are some of the more common types of roofing materials. While these may be used in traditional homes, they’re not suited for all climates. They might be the perfect choice for high-tempered, tropical hard-woody environments, but they would be an utter waste of money for most other locations.
In terms of climate, some kinds of shingles are more suitable than others. For instance, metal shingles are perfect for hot humid climates, as the metal will absorb moisture and dry quickly when exposed to the sun and air. However, they’ll start to become brittle and fall apart if they aren’t properly maintained. Vinyl and aluminum shingles are good choices for northern climates because they don’t experience as much change in temperature. Wood shingles are a great choice for any climate, as they’re somewhat resilient to temperature changes and won’t crack under pressure.
Roofing materials also play a major role in roofing quality. Shingles, for example, are made from different types of rock salts that provide different structural qualities. Base flashing, on the other hand, is generally made from aluminum or steel. Base flashing is what brings down the roof and helps prevent water from reaching the underlying structure. It’s often referred to as the “truss,” since it’s the box-like connection at the base of any roofing system.
The term ‘roofing materials’ can have two meanings. Some people refer to roofing materials as roofing shingles, while others refer to flashing. The latter, of course, is much more commonly used. No matter which type of roofing materials you prefer, make sure to choose the right one for your climate and home’s needs.
Roofing materials have to weather several different kinds of weather, so you have to be able to change them as needed. For example, asphalt shingles might need to be replaced every few years, depending on where they’re located. Likewise, you might have to reinforce roof deck materials with steel rods every few years as well. Keep in mind that the more stable your roof deck is, the more likely it is to last longer. You also don’t want your roof to leak, so it’s important to select a roofing material that won’t allow water to get behind the shingles.