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Asphalt shingle roof installation

Exploring Asphalt Shingle Roof Systems: What You Should Know

Asphalt shingle roofing systems are the most common type of residential roof system in our area. They are also commonly used in multi-family settings and even commercial settings from time to time. Your roof serves many purposes. These include protecting your home and its occupants from the elements.

Additionally, a well-designed and properly installed roof can help improve a building’s energy efficiency. It does this by reducing heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. Your roof also provides structural support to your home. By doing this, it helps to distribute the weight of the roof and any snow or other loads to the walls and foundation. The roof is also essential to a building’s aesthetic appeal, contributing to its overall style and design. 

As such an essential piece of your home’s construction, most find they know surprisingly little about their roofing system. So, let’s discuss the ins and outs of your home’s roof! We’ll uncover the essentials of asphalt shingle roof systems. This will take us from how shingles are made to the intricate design of your roof and its components. Plus, we’ll give you a basic overview of the installation process. Let’s dive in!

The Artistry And Precision In Shingle Creation

Making asphalt shingles involves a blend of artistry and precision. This combination results in the dependable roofing material on top of your home. This process involves more than just assembling materials. It’s more like a harmonious fusion of science and skill. Qualities that ensure your roof’s durability and appearance.

At the heart of all asphalt shingles lies a foundation carefully designed for resilience. The process begins with a fiberglass or organic mat that forms the shingle’s base. This strong foundation then serves as the canvas upon which layers of protection and design are added.

Once the foundation is set, the fundamental transformation begins. Coatings of asphalt are applied. These serve not just for waterproofing capabilities but also to fortify the shingle against the elements. These coatings are meticulously formulated to strike the perfect balance between flexibility and toughness. Thus enabling the shingle to expand and contract with temperature changes without compromising its integrity.

The final touch is the ceramic granules. They serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Not only do they contribute to your shingle’s appearance by allowing you to choose from a variety of colors and styles. But they also provide UV protection and enhance fire resistance.

Asphalt shingles

The Sum Of Its Parts

The craftsmanship behind shingle manufacturing isn’t just about individual components. It’s about the sum of these parts resulting in a reliable, long-lasting roofing material. With the make-up of fiberglass or organic base, asphalt coatings, and ceramic granules, your asphalt shingles are engineered to withstand the test of time. All the while maintaining their visual charm.

Designing a strong Asphalt shingle roof: Beyond Just a shingle

Components of your asphalt shingle roofing system

Building a durable and efficient asphalt shingle roof requires more than simply laying down shingles. It’s a thorough process that blends functional parts into a unified design. This then guarantees your home’s security and attractiveness over time.

Your asphalt shingle roof is a well-coordinated group of vital parts. In addition to the shingles, this roofing system includes several important components. These include underlayment, flashings, asphalt shingles, and ventilation. 

The Foundation of a reliable roof: Roof Decking

Before you can even begin your roof replacement, you must consider the foundation of your roof system, your roof decking. Roof decking is often referred to as sheathing. The roofing decking lays the groundwork for a solid and dependable roof system. It does this by forming the base upon which the rest of the roofing materials are installed. As such, it provides structural support and a secure platform for shingles and underlayment.

Roof decking is typically made from plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). These materials are chosen for their durability and strength. They have a unique ability to withstand the weight of roofing materials and environmental stressors. Choosing between plywood and OSB may depend on cost, local building codes, and personal preferences.

In addition to offering structural support, roof decking also protects your home from the elements. It acts as a barrier that helps prevent moisture from entering the interior spaces of your house. Paired with underlayment and shingles, roof decking forms a defense against rain, snow, and wind-driven rain.

A trusty second line of defense: Your roofing Underlayment

Roofing underlayment is the unsung hero when protecting your home from harsh elements. It’s consistently working behind the scenes. Think of it as your roof’s dependable companion, quietly reinforcing its defense against rain, wind, and occasional snowflake.

Roofing underlayment is like a safety net. It provides an extra layer of protection beneath your shingles. It’s typically made from asphalt-saturated felt or synthetic materials. This is because those materials guard against moisture. If water gets past your shingles, the underlayment prevents it from seeping into your home.

Imagine a rainy day when Mother Nature tests your roof’s strength. Roofing underlayment steps up to keep your home dry. It’s like a waterproof shield that prevents rain from entering your attic. This added layer of protection also helps extend the lifespan of your roof. Additionally, it keeps your interior spaces cozy and dry.

Asphalt Shingles: Your Roof's protector

Another main component of your roofing system is your shingles. Asphalt shingles are the first line of defense against nature’s elements. They do this by offering both protection and style to your home.

Asphalt shingles are like the armor for your roof. They are made from a blend of asphalt, fiberglass, and mineral granules. It’s because of this unique combination that shingles are tough enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. Asphalt shingles are effective from scorching sun to pounding rain. The fiberglass core adds strength, while the ceramic granules provide color and UV protection. Combined, this prevents shingles from fading over time.

Imagine a palette of colors and styles at your fingertips. Asphalt shingles come in a wide range of designs. Thus, allowing you to choose the perfect look for your home. From traditional three-tab shingles to architectural or designer options, you can match your roof’s style with your taste.

Guiding Raindrops: The Role of roof flashing

When it comes to keeping your home dry, roof flashing plays a vital role that often goes unnoticed. Think of it as your roof’s guide, directing rainwater away from vulnerable areas. This also ensures that moisture stays outside, which is where it belongs!

Roof flashings are usually made of metal. These include metals such as aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. It aims to provide a watertight seal at points where your roof intersects with other elements, including areas like chimneys, vents, skylights, and walls. By creating a barrier, roof flashing prevents water from infiltrating your home. Thus, safeguarding it from potential leaks and water damage.

Imagine rainwater streaming down your roof. It ensures that raindrops don’t seep into gaps and crevices that could compromise your home’s integrity. By diverting water safely away, roof flashing extends the life of your roof. Additionally, it prevents the need for costly repairs.

Breathing life into your roof: the importance of roof ventilation

ridge vent on roof

Your roof needs proper ventilation to stay in functional condition. Roof ventilation allows air to circulate. It can also prevent issues that can arise from trapped moisture.

It’s really all about finding the right balance between intake and exhaust. Intake vents allow cool air to enter. In contrast, exhaust vents expel warm, moist air. This cycle ensures that your attic stays at a consistent temperature and humidity level. Doing so prevents excess moisture buildup that can lead to mold, mildew, and even structural damage. Roof ventilation can take various forms, including ridge vents, soffit vents, gable vents, and turbine vents. Each maintains a balanced and healthy attic environment.

Imagine the scorching summer sun beating down on your roof. Without proper ventilation, your attic can become a sweltering furnace. This can potentially damage your roofing materials. It can also increase energy costs. In winter, trapped moisture can freeze. This then leads to ice dams that compromise your roof’s integrity. However, adequate ventilation creates a controlled environment that wards off these potential issues.

Renewing your roof: The basics of asphalt shingle roof replacement

Over time, even the most robust roofs need a refresh, and that’s where asphalt shingle roof replacement comes into play. This process involves carefully removing the old shingles and installing new ones, breathing new life into your home’s protective covering.

Before the replacement begins, a thorough inspection is conducted to evaluate the condition of your existing roof. This step helps identify any underlying issues that need attention, ensuring a smooth transition to your new roof. An inspection by a professional roofer will ensure the need for a replacement. Once that is established, the roof will be measured to determine the amount of shingles, underlayment, and other materials needed for the project. 

Once the assessment is complete, the removal of old shingles and damaged components prepares the roof for its transformation.The installation process follows a systematic approach. First, a sturdy underlayment is placed, acting as a moisture barrier beneath the shingles.

Drip edge is then installed on the eaves of the roof. This is an essential step as this metal edging is a preventative measure against water seeping up under the shingles at the base of the roof. 


Layer by Layer

Then, the asphalt shingles are precisely aligned and secured. This then forms a protective layer against the elements. Proper alignment, nailing, and sealing are crucial for a seamless finish. By taking these considerations, you can help guarantee the longevity of your new roof installation. The installation will begin with a starter row of shingles. These are installed along the roof’s eaves. These shingles are specially designed to provide a secure base for the rest of the shingles. 

The standard shingles are then installed at the roof’s bottom edge. From there, they work their way up to the ridge. Roofing nails are used to secure each shingle in place. The shingles must be cut around roof vents, chimneys, and other obstacles as required. 

Once the shingles are installed up to the ridge of the roof, ridge shingles are installed along the roof’s peak. These provide a finished look and also protect against wind damage. 

Areas of penetration are then sealed and caulked. This is to help prevent any water intrusion.  Upon completing these steps and many more, all debris is cleaned. A reputable roofing company should run magnets to remove any nails or metal in the landscaping. Additionally, they should complete a final roof inspection to ensure it meets local codes. 

professional roofing company can assist with each step, from design to installation!

Safeguarding your investment: roof maintenance essentials

Maintaining your roof is about more than just its appearance. It’s also about safeguarding your home’s structural integrity and value. Regular roof maintenance helps identify and address potential issues. If left unchecked, they can escalate. This ensures that your roof stands strong against time and weather.

As such, your roof benefits from routine inspections. A professional roof inspection, ideally conducted bi-annually, examines every part of your roof. Your roof should be inspected for wear, damage, or deterioration. This proactive approach will allow you to address any concerns quickly. By doing so, you are preventing minor issues from turning into costly repairs.

Clogged gutters and blocked drainage systems can accumulate water on your roof. This can cause damage over time. Regular maintenance involves clearing debris, leaves, and dirt from your gutters. Once the gutters are clean, ensure water flows away from your roof and foundation.

Some roofing contractors provide residential maintenance programs to give you peace of mind. They offer regular inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs. Don’t wait for issues to surface; invest in the longevity and vitality of your roof. 

Regular inspections of your roof can find damage and save money in the long run

Investing Today to Save tomorrow: The financial wisdom of roof maintenance

While it’s easy to overlook, regular roof maintenance isn’t just about preventing leaks and preserving appearances. It’s also a smart financial move. Investing in routine maintenance can save significant amounts in the long run. This is because minor maintenance issues can become costly repairs quickly. By maintaining your roof, you can often save on more major repair projects down the line.

Minor issues can quickly escalate into major problems if left unchecked. Regular roof maintenance allows professionals to identify and address minor concerns before they snowball into expensive repairs. By catching issues early, you can save money on more extensive repairs down the road.

"Depending on the type of repair, roof repair costs can run anywhere from $150 to $400 for minor repairs, and up to $7,000 for major repairs."  ~Forbes

Your roof’s lifespan can be extended through proper care. A well-maintained roof is less likely to suffer from premature deterioration, ensuring that you get the most out of your roofing investment. With regular inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs, you can enjoy a roof that stands strong for years to come.

Preserving your Roof's Legacy

Your roof isn’t just a shelter; it’s an essential part of your home’s identity. From asphalt shingles to underlayment, from flashing to ventilation. Each component ensures your home’s protection, comfort, and style. As seasons change and time passes, your roof protects against the elements.

At Custom Exteriors, we’re more than a roofing company – we’re your partner in maintaining the integrity and beauty of your home. From installation to maintenance, we bring expertise and dedication to every step of the process. So, whether you’re considering a roof replacement, exploring ventilation options, or seeking a trusted partner for routine maintenance, we’re here to ensure your roof remains a source of pride for years.

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