Last week we talked about fascia, soffits and flashing, three essential elements of your roofing system. We decided that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk about the other parts that make up your roof. Understanding that your roof is more than just shingles, fascia, soffits and flashing can help you know the state of your roof and if you need a roof replacement or repair. Admittedly some of these elements can’t be seen, or at least can’t be easily seen.

Things You Can’t See

The two parts of your roof that you can’t, or should we say, shouldn’t be able to see, are the roofing nails and the underlayment. The underlayment was once known as tar or felt paper. Today, most roofing companies use a synthetic underlayment that better protects the roof in the event your shingles fail and better protect the shingles from the wood. If you’re getting a roof replacement, ask your roofing company what type of underlayment they plan on using. If it’s not a synthetic material, ask for an upgrade.

The type of nails they use is also important. First, any good roofer will only use roofing nails for a repair or roof replacement. Most use aluminum, stainless steel or galvanized roofing nails. Galvanized nails are coated to withstand rust and the most common used in the Winston-Salem area.

Visible Elements

You can see these parts of your roofing system either from inside your attic or outside your home.

  • Vents – Although there are many types of ventilation, the easiest to spot are box vents. They look like small boxes on your roof, usually near the peak. Another common type in newer construction is a ridge vent which can be harder to spot but run along your roof’s ridge.
  • Ridge – Sometimes referred to as the roof’s peak, there can be more than one ridge. Anywhere one angle of your roof meets another and forms a line, is a ridge.
  • Valley – If your roof has two slopes coming together the area between them is called the valley. During your roof replacement, the roofer will install flashing to prevent a roof leak. You may not see the flashing as shingles go over in most instances.
  • Insulation – Yes, your insulation is part of your roofing system. Without it or without the right amount, you may end up with moisture in your attic that can negatively impact your roofing system. It can also prevent ice dams from forming in a freeze-thaw cycle.
  • Eaves – The slight overhang of the edge of your roof is your eave. The shingles should totally cover this. It’s ok if the shingles on this row slope downward slightly. Just make sure they’re not cracked or broken, which can happen over time.
  • Roof Deck – Your roof deck is the wood that your shingles affix to and it can be seen from inside your attic. It’s a good idea to look at it from time to time. Obviously, you should not see holes or light coming through. Also look for dark or brown stains, which can indicate a roof leak.
  • Trusses – The roof’s support system is made up of trusses. The roof deck sits on the trusses. Unless you have a pest issue or a very large roof leak that goes untreated for a long time, you shouldn’t have an issue with your trusses.

Get Regular Roofing Inspections

Knowing your roof and watching out for signs of an issue can prevent a small issue from becoming a big problem, however your visual inspection is no substitute for regular roofing inspections. If you don’t have a roofing company you know and trust and haven’t had one in more than a year, call Cooley Roofing. We’re a locally owned and operated roofing company based in Clemmons, NC and offer roof replacement and repair. Plus, we accept all insurance claims. Call (336) 766-6488 or fill out our contact form today.

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