The Basics of Roofing

Roofing is the uppermost part of a building, protecting it from rain, snow, sunlight, and extremes of temperature. It also helps drain water away from the building and provides insulation.


Roofing is made up of a variety of materials, including asphalt shingles, wood shakes, concrete tiles, and corrugated metal. These materials offer a range of options for color, texture, and style.

Roofing materials are the first layer of protection for a building, helping to protect it from sun, rain, and snow. The material that roofs are made of can be a big factor in how durable and long they last.

Choosing the right roofing material can have a significant impact on the lifespan of your home and its overall value. There are several different options for different needs and budgets, so it’s important to find the best match for your home.

Some of the most common roofing materials used today are slate, tile, metal, wood, composition, asphalt, tar and gravel, and membranes. These options all vary in durability and appearance.

Slate is a popular natural roofing option made out of pieces of thinly layered stone. These stones are very durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions like high-speed winds, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more.

They are also incredibly attractive and can add value to your home. Aside from slate, other types of natural roofing include clay tiles, which are made out of earthen clay and molded and fired for strength and durability. They are commonly found in southern coastal and desert areas, and they absorb less moisture than other materials, which can help with maintenance costs.

Another natural roofing option is wood shake. They are a more durable option than shingles and are more resistant to rot and insects. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles, from smooth to textured and rustic. They also last for up to 25 years with proper care and are affordable.

Composite shingles are also becoming more popular as a roofing material, offering the look of slate at a lower cost. These shingles are formulated to mimic the look of natural slate, and they come with some of the industry’s longest warranties.

Thermoplastic membranes are also a great roofing option, offering durability and longevity. They resist punctures, tears, chemical spills, oils, and other damaging substances. They are also energy efficient and can help control cooling and heating costs.

Rolled roofing is a traditional and inexpensive option for low-slope residential and outbuilding roofs. It consists of a series of long rolls of mineral-impregnated and asphalt-impregnated material topped with granules. These large strips are fast and easy to apply, and they can be installed on sloped buildings with the torch-down method or using roofing nails.

A new roof is a big project, and it takes some preparation to make it as smooth as possible. Start by covering your yard with a tarp and moving any vehicles that could be in the way. Then, get your ladder ready and ensure it is stable and in good condition. It’s also a good idea to bring along a friend or two who can help carry heavy loads up and down the ladder.

Before you begin installing shingles, you’ll want to measure the length and width of your roof and determine how many rolls of roofing material you’ll need. This will allow you to know how much to buy and where to store it.

Once you have your materials, it’s time to get started on the actual installation. You’ll need a steady hand and a strong hammer. Next, you’ll need a chalk line to mark the area where your first layer of roofing will be.

The first layer is about 35 inches tall, so it’s important to mark off the right spot. You can use a measuring tape to get the exact measurements, but the most accurate option is to measure the height of your roof from the ground.

When you’ve finished the first layer, you’ll need to apply another one that’s about 32 inches tall. This is because you’ll be overlapping the first layer with it, so you need to measure in both directions to get a good fit.

Barbara Winburn