Understanding the key components of your asphalt shingle roof can be helpful when you need to make informed decisions before you run a search for a “roofing contractor near me“. In today’s post, your local roofers at Blackstone Exteriors take a look at an asphalt shingle roof’s key components.
Before we take a look at asphalt shingle roofs, let us first discuss the components that they have in common with other sloped roofing systems like sheet metal, tile and slate roofs. The following components make it possible for roofers to switch from one roofing material to another.
Framing. The framing is the roof’s skeleton. It’s where the decking is fastened to, and it defines the roof’s shape. Framing can be built with trusses or count rafters among its components.
Decking. The roof deck, or simply decking, is the flat plane where most other parts of the roof are fastened to. Decking can be made from plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) or composite. If kept in good condition, decking can be used for two roof installations, unless new construction builders will need to make changes like increase the roof’s slope.
Underlayment. The underlayment is the layer of material that functions as a secondary barrier against moisture infiltration. Most of today’s manufacturers offer synthetic options that allow moisture to evaporate, though traditional underlayment made from tar paper is still available.
There are some components that are uniquely found on asphalt shingle roofs.
Asphalt shingles. The asphalt shingles form the outermost layer of the roof, and is fastened to the underlayment using roof nails. Today’s asphalt shingles are made from two layers of material: an asphalt-soaked backing sheet typically made of fiberglass, and an outer layer of granules that give the roof its distinctive look and texture. Single-layered asphalt shingles are also known as three-tab or traditional shingles, while two-layered asphalt shingles are known as laminate or “architectural” shingles.
Flashing. Flashing is the component that protects seams and other breaks on the roofing plane. While most other roofing systems have some form of flashing, the ones on asphalt shingle roofs are unique — traditionally, they’re made of copper or other non-corrosive metal. Roofing manufacturers also sell flashing that matches the rest of the roof.
Passive ventilation. Ventilation systems are also common across all roofing systems. However, asphalt shingle roofs typically use a passive system with exhaust vents at the ridges and intake vents at the soffits. Roofers used to cover the ridge vents with cut-up asphalt shingles, but roofing manufacturers provide especially-made ridge caps that match the rest of the roof.