By Chuck Magee, Roof Crafters, LLC
It is a common misconception that there's nothing more to a roof than the shingles you see and the felt beneath them. In reality, while these are the most obvious features of
a roofing system, there is a far greater structure to be considered to keep your roof and your home protected, safe and comfortable. A complete, quality roofing system that will last for years to come gives equal attention to its three key components: a ventilation system, an insulation system, and the shingles, felt and accessories making the roofing system itself.
Your attic ventilation system not only maintains a much-needed air flow from outside, but also aids the efficiency of the insulation, which helps keep the living areas of your home cool and comfortable. Without adequate ventilation, you run the risk of damage to your roof and home both in the summer and winter seasons.
High levels of attic heat in the summer can cause premature aging of your shingles, warping of the wood framing, and even damage to interior wallpaper and paint. In the winter, poor ventilation means an abundance of moisture that can result in a rotting wood frame, growth of mildew and buckling of the shingles. Moisture-producing appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, bathtubs and showers can create significant issues in your home just through their normal operation. Proper ventilation can help you prevent all of these issues.
Insulation, as you probably already know, is important to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. It traps heat inside your home in the winter and allows air to circulate to prevent overheating in the summer months. As a result, your home will be more energy efficient, which can turn into significant savings on your electric bill.
Along with high costs to heat and cool your home, other problems associated with poor attic insulation include fluctuating temperatures, cold and drafty rooms, and leaks in the attic. In extreme cold weather, inadequate insulation can mean dangerous ice dams forming on your roof and pipes freezing within your walls. The right amount of insulation, as well as proper installation of quality insulation materials, will ensure that you don't have to deal with these problems in your home.
Finally, the shingles and felt are the last key component of a top-level roofing system. A high-quality warrantied shingle paired with synthetic felt, which, unlike asphalt felt paper, is waterproof, is a good start to this portion of your roof. As part of this top area of your roofing system, you will also need starter shingles, an ice and water shield, a quality drip edge for eave protection and a reliable ridge ventilation system. Together, these elements make the shingles and felt of your roof not only look great, but also ensure they will function well and last over time.
A high-quality roof brings a range of benefits to your home, including more comfortable temperatures, lower energy bills, and a professional look. In addition, the right materials and components working together in your roof, ventilation system and insulation system can also save money and frustration from potential damage and future maintenance costs. Miss just one piece of this complex system, and you will end up not only with roof problems, but problems to your home as well -- not to mention damage to its appearance. The combination of roofing, ventilation, and insulation will bring returns for years to come.
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