roofing Terms You Should know
Rooftop fungus that can leave dark stains on roofing.
Roofing nails and staples driven into decks at angles not parallel to the deck.
Metal flashing used at chimney fronts.
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. Organization of roofing manufacturers.
A bituminous waterproofing agent used in various types of roofing materials.
Asphalt Concrete Primer
Asphalt based primer used to prepare concrete and metal for asphalt sealant
Asphalt Plastic Cement
Asphalt based sealant material, meeting ASTM D4586 Type I or II. Used to seal and adhere roofing materials. Also called mastic, blackjack, roof tar, bull.
The American Society for Testing and Materials. Organization that sets standards for a wide variety of materials, including roofing.
Granular material added to shingle’s back to assist in keeping separate during delivery and storage.
Bubbles or pimples in roofing materials. Usually moisture related. In shingles blisters are caused by either moisture under the material or moisture trapped inside the material.
When shingles are subjected to high winds, and are forced off a roof deck.
When a wrinkle or ripple affects shingles or their underlayments.
Closed Cut Valley
A shingle valley installation method where one roof plane’s shingles completely cover the other’s. The top layer is cut to match the valley lines.
The metal or siding material that is installed over roof-top base flashing systems.
A peaked water diverter installed behind chimneys and other large roof projections. Effectively diverts water around projections.
When shingles are improperly installed over an existing roof or are over-exposed, they may form a curl or cup. May also be due to a manufacturing defect.
The substrate over which roofing is applied. Usually plywood, wood boards, or planks.
Deck Armor™ – premium breathable roof deck protection. It provides a critical extra layer of protection between your shingles and your roof deck — to help prevent wind-driven rain (or water from other sources) from infiltrating under your shingles and causing damage to your roof structure or to the inside of your home.
A raised roof extending out of a larger roof plane.
An installed lip that keeps shingles up off the deck at edges, and extends shingles out over eaves and gutters, and prevents
Dubl-Coverage Mineral Guard®
Roll roofing material with 19″ selvage edge for double coverage over roof deck.
The roof edge from the fascia to the structure’s outside wall. In general terms, the first three feet across a roof is termed the eave.
When installing rolled products in roofing, the area where a roll ends on a roof, and is overlapped by the next section of rolled material.
Engineered Wood Association. Tests and sets standards for all varieties of plywood used in the U.S.
The area on any roofing material that is left exposed to the elements.
Nails or staples used to secure roofing to the deck.
The Federal Housing Authority sets construction standards throughout the U.S.
Fibers condensed into strong, resilient mats for use in roofing materials.
Metal pan extending up or down a roof slope around flashing pieces. Usually at chimneys and plumbing vents
Materials used to waterproof a roof around any projections
Sealant designed for use around flashing areas, typically thicker than plastic cement.
Traditional roof style; two peaked roof planes meeting at a ridge line of equal size.
Crushed rock that is coated with a ceramic coating and fired, used as top surface on shingles.
The method to assure sealing of shingles on very steep slopes, in high wind areas, and when installing in cold weather.
When shingles are nailed or fastened above the manufacturer’s specified nail location.
The down-slope ridges on hip roofs.
A roof with four roof planes coming together at a peak and four separate hip legs.
When a snow load melts on a roof and re-freezes at the eave areas. Ice dams force water to “back-up” under shingles and cause leakage.
Continuous metal flashing consisting of several feet of metal. Used at horizontal walls, bent to resemble an “L”.
Shingles made from two separate pieces that are laminated together such as GAF Timberline® Series, Country Mansion®and Grand Sequoia® Shingles. Also called dimensional shingles and architectural shingles.
The area where roll roofing or rolled underlayments overlap one another during application (see also side laps and end laps)
Self-adhering low-slope roofing. Liberty™ systems are applied without torches, open flames, hot asphalt, or messy solvent-based adhesives.
Roof pitches less than 4:12 are considered low sloped roofs. Special installation practices must be used on roofs sloped 2:12-4:12. Shingles can not be installed at slopes less than 2/12.
A roof design with a nearly vertical roof plane that ties into a roof plane of less slope at its peak.
The general term for the base material of shingles and certain rolled products.
Rolled roofing membrane with polymer modified asphalt and either polyester or fiberglass reinforcement.
Mixture of sand, mortar, limestone and water used in bonding a chimney’s bricks together.
Nail Guide Line
Painted line on laminated shingles, to aid in the proper placement of fasteners.
When a nail is not fully driven, it sits up off the roof deck.
Installing a second layer of shingles aligning courses with the original roof to avoid shingle cupping.
The National Roofing Contractors Association. Respected national organization of roofing contractors.
Valley installation using metal down the valley center.
Material made from recycled wood pulp and paper.
Shingles made from organic (paper) mats.
Oriented Strand Board. A decking made from wood chips and lamination glues.
The term used for fasteners driven through roofing material with too much force, breaking the material
Installing shingle courses higher than their intended exposure.
Term for the size of hand sealant dabs, size of a U.S. 25¢ piece.
Method of installing shingles in a straight up the roof manner.
The vertical edge of gable style roof planes.
The plastic sheet installed on the back of WeatherWatch® and StormGuard® underlayments. Used for packaging and handling. Remove before installation.
Hard plastic ridge vent material.
Rooftop rectangular shaped roof vents. Also called box vents, mushroom vents, airhawks, soldier vents.
A roofing area defined by having four separate edges. One side of a gable, hip or mansard roof.
The exposed section of double thickness on Timberline® Series shingles – also called dragon teeth. Shaped to imitate wood shake look on the roof.
Sealant installed on shingles. After installation, heat and sun will activate sealant to seal the shingles to each other.
The non exposed area on rolled roofing. Area without granules. Designed for nail placement and sealant.
Roof design of a single roof plane. Area does not tie into any other roofs.
GAF’s shingle underlayment. Breather type with fiberglass backing to reduce wrinkles and buckles.
The area on rolled material where one roll overlaps the rolled material beneath it. Also called selvage edge on rolled roofing.
Where a vertical roof plane meets a vertical wall. The sides of dormers etc.
Intake ventilation installed under the eaves, or at the roof edge.
The first course of roofing installed. Usually trimmed from main roof material.
Generally all slopes higher than 4/12 are considered steep slopes.
Metal flashing pieces installed at sidewalls and chimneys for weatherproofing.
The bottom portion of traditional shingle separated by the shingle cut-outs.
Removal of existing roofing materials down to the roof deck.
When shingles reflect the uneven surface beneath them. Ex: Shingles installed over buckled shingles may show some buckles.
When a roof plane ties into another roof plane that has a different pitch or slope.
Term used to describe a fastener not fully driven flush to the shingles surface.
Asphalt-based rolled materials designed to be installed under main roofing material to serve as added protection.
Area where two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on a roof creating a “V” shaped depression.
Term used to describe moisture laden air.
The finished wall inside of a structure, used in roofing to determine how far up the deck to install waterproof underlayments at eaves.
The written promise to the owner of roofing materials for material related problems.
Modified bitumen based roofing underlayments. Designed to seal to wood decks and waterproof critical leak areas.
The method of installing valleys by laying one shingle over the other up the valley center.
Q: For how long should a roof be expected to last?A: Because all roofs will eventually deteriorate, how quickly they do so is dependent on many factors. Ventilation of the roof and attic, local climate, level of materials quality and more can all affect the projected lifespan of a roof.
Q: What factors contribute to roof deterioration?
A: Roof deterioration is the result of a combination of many things. Ultraviolet rays from the sun, extremes in temperature, wind and rain, level of foot traffic and more can all deteriorate a roof over time. Additionally, shingles of a darker color live shorter lives than lighter colored shingles.
Q: What can cause wood shingles to crack and split?
A: The cracking and splitting of wood is a natural occurrence as wood ages, and is primarily a result of swelling from moisture absorption and shrinking from the drying that follows.
Q: Can a pre-existing roof be covered with another layer?
A: Local building codes occasionally have ordinances which restrict the number of layers a building may have. Multiple layers often make a roof more vulnerable to hail, and applying new roofs over wood shingles may result in problems with fungus.
Q: Is it possible to repair composition shingles?
A: If damage to the shingles is minor, a contractor can replace individually damaged shingles.
Q: How large does hail need to be to damage roofing?
A: Several variables can determine whether hail will damage your roof, including the type and age of the roof, wind speed, density, hardness, and even shape. Typically, hail around the size of a marble won’t damage well maintained composition shingles, unless in extreme winds.
Q: Is it normal to find granules from a composition roof in the gutter and driveway?
A: Granular loss is a normal part of the weathering that composition shingles undergo, but wind, rain, and other affects can also displace some of the granules.
Q: Is it normal to discover lightly colored “splatter” marks on the roof after a hailstorm?
A: Such marks are normal to see after hail. After installation, the roof darkens due to the presence of oxidation and algae, which are both removed during contact with hail. These marks will disappear as the oxidation and algae return.
Q: Are houses in the same neighborhood all affected in the same ways by hail?
A: Because the physical aspects of hail can vary widely even within small areas, different houses are affected differently during hailstorms. Velocity of the hail, geography, age, and condition of the roof, and wind direction can all also alter how hail affects a roof.
Q: What are particular obstacles one should consider before replacing a roof?
A: Several subjects should be considered when undertaking that process, including:
1. The design of your roof may have been intended for wood shingles.
2. The eaves of your house may not have the right positive air intake for ventilation if a composition roof were installed.
3. You should be aware of what decking and wood lath you’re working with, as the interface of materials with your existing valleys, trim, and dormers can alter the roof design.
4. Wood shingle roofs are able to “breath” on their own, due to wood’s moisture evaporation and convection of heat. Replacing wood shingles would necessitate additional ventilation such as vents or wind turbines.
5. If you have a vaulted ceiling, it may be constructed into the roofline, and depending on the lay of insulation, air may not be able to circulate and dissipate heat properly. Specialized channels can now be installed during re-roofing that will allow for proper movement of air.
6. Some new materials can be installed that will save money with air conditioning and heating, such as solar shield decking, sensory exhaust fans, as well as Energy Star rated roofing products. Ridge Vents are also available that provide non-powered attic ventilation, with 5 feet being equivalent to 2 wind turbines.
7. Composition, metal, or thermoplastic roofs require some method to move hot air out of the attic, or else the attic’s temperature would be exponentially increased, as would the bill for air conditioning. Attics need the right intake and exhaust if you want to keep temperatures down.
8. Your roof may have an open valley or a closed valley, with the primary drawback of the latter being the build up of material into a visible hump in the roof. Open valley designs not only eliminate that build up, but also divert water away from the roof.
How Long Do Roof Shingles Last?
Longevity of Roof Shingles
The cheapest of asphalt shingles generally will be most susceptible to deterioration from temperature, wind, storms, and exposure to the sun, and may begin to show signs of damage within 5-6 years (possibly less) after their initial installation, and their overall lifespan is usually the shortest as well, averaging somewhere between 12 and 18 years. Shingle granules are typically applied to protect against weather, and sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. The process of aging speeds up as these granules wear away, and so leaks are more likely to occur as the shingles deteriorate.
Loss of granularity can result from numerous factors, ranging from expected wear and tear to foot traffic, blistering of the shingles, mechanical damage, hail, or even from defective product. Ice dams, poor ventilation, and growth of moss can also reduce the longevity of your shingles. In hotter and mostly sunny climates, lighter color shingles are best as they offer the most resistance to UV rays, heat, and drying out.
In hot and humid climates, however, shingles are more susceptible to fungal and algae, and you should consider special algae resistant shingles which are partially coated with leachable copper, protecting them against algae, moss, and general discoloration. Newly formulated algae resistant shingles are available from Atlas with a Lifetime Warranty, for example.
Most shingles suffer damage during hailstorms and will require replacement, but there are premium asphalt shingles from some manufacturers that are able to withstand Class IV hail storms. These are of similar durability to concrete tile or metal roofing.
Interesting Roofing Facts
10 Fun and Interesting Roofing Facts
Over the course of thousands of years, an incredible number of advances and discoveries in roofing alone have occurred, and these are just a few of our favorite facts for your enjoyment.
1. Thatch, stone, and clay comprise some of the most ancient roofing materials in the world, with thatch dating to somewhere between 5000 and 1800 B.C., while clay tiles can be found as old as 12,000 years ago.
2. Thatched roofs, thanks to the reeds used in their construction, are inherently waterproof, and the bundles that make up their construction sheds water away like no other, as well as snow and sleet in colder climates.
3. In the Pacific Northwest, the most classical types of roofing are consistently considered to be red and white cedar shingles.
4. While the use of natural materials holds sentimental appeal with many people, because of the risk of fire, some insurance companies will increase the charge to cover a home made of such, or even deny insurance at all.
5. Wood shingles are often heavier in their weight than materials made of metal.
6. Even though little over a century old, asphalt shingles are easily the most popular roofing in the United States of America.
7. “Green” or eco-friendly roofing materials last longer than asphalt shingles.
8. Traditional green roofs, with plants growing directly on them, will never leak if properly installed. The plants and soil protect against temperature variance and damage from the sun, and as along as the water barrier remains intact, a green roof will keep the rain out for years ahead.
9. Generally, water travels before it visibly drips through a roof, and a leak can sometimes come out twenty feet or more away from the source in the roof.
10. The weakest parts of your roof are the areas that require protection in the form of flashing, but damage shingles or damaged waterproofing can also be a common source of leaks. While you may not need to replace your entire roof, a prolonged leak without maintenance, dry rot (or simply a very old roof) may indicate that it is time for a full replacement.
Do not hesitate if your roof needs inspection or maintenance. At Roofing Systems of Baldwin County our team of trustworthy and experienced professionals are at your service. Remember that estimates are always free, and financing is available.
Most of the time, your roof is probably “out of sight, out of mind.” However, your roof protects your most valuable assets: your family and your home. It’s also the single most expensive part of your house to have replaced, so it just makes good sense to maintain it and to keep an eye out for minor problems before they become major repairs.
We’ll discuss five of the most common areas of your roof that are likely to develop leaks or other problems. Grab a pair of binoculars, and give each of the following areas a careful and regular once-over. (Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable checking these items out yourself, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to schedule a professional roof inspection for you.)
The main expanse of the roof (called the “roof field”) is commonly covered with shingles, tiles, or wood shakes. With shingles, things you want to look for include discoloration, curling, cracking, missing shingles, and missing granules. Look for nail heads that have popped up. Take your time and examine each row carefully. If you have a tile roof, look for cracked, chipped, and missing tiles. Don’t allow anyone other than a qualified roofing contractor walk on your roof; doing so could easily break tiles and cause problems.
With a wood shakes, you should look for shingles that are curling, cracking, lifting, warping, or missing. Also look for moss growing on the roof. If left to grow, the moss can cause serious long-term damage.
The fascia is the board running along the roofline that covers the area where the roof is joined to the wall. Because the fascia is continually exposed to the elements, it is likely to deteriorate over time. Often tucked behind gutters and not easily seen, it’s common for the deterioration to progress without being noticed. Carefully examine each board for areas of moisture penetration or wood rot. For proper repair, damaged boards should be removed and replaced.
The soffit is the horizontal section of the roof below the roof eaves. It is also exposed to the weather and subject to deterioration over time. Thoroughly inspect the soffit all the way around your house for areas of damage. Damaged areas should be removed and replaced.
Gutters are an important part of your roofing system. They’re designed to collect rainwater pouring off your roof, direct it to the downspouts, and drain it away from the house. If the gutters aren’t working properly, water can back up and puddle on your roof– which will cause sure and swift damage. That’s why it’s important to keep gutters free from debris such as leaves, dirt, and plant growth.
Flashing is the thin strips of metal that are installed to seal and protect the joints of a roof from water intrusion. It’s typically found around pipes and chimneys, as well as around skylights and dormers. The most common type of flashing damage to watch for is either corrosion to the metal, or pieces that have come loose from their original placement.
Check the Attic
When the Roofing Systems of Baldwin County Pros are inspecting your roof for signs of damage, don’t forget to check your attic if you have one. It’s often the first place you’ll find signs of roof problems. Take a good flashlight with you and inspect the ceiling, floor, and insulation for any signs of water intrusion. If you see any stains or notice any weird smells, be sure to check them out carefully.
All roofs will deteriorate with age. But by inspecting the areas described here and catching roof problems early, you can help prevent many of them from turning into expensive repairs down the road.
If your roof is leaking or shows any other signs of problems, give us a call now at 251-202-7055 for a professional inspection and evaluation.
We work outside of regular business hours and are always here for you if you have an emergency.
John Manis: Owner
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