August 24, 2018

Roof Preperation: Roofing Layers Explained

A roof is made up of a lot more than shingles or tiles. There are many layers below that.

Time to read:
3 Minutes
Written by
Nicholas Capobianco

Roofing Layers Explained

If you could peel back the layers of your rooftop, you'd discover that there are many more materials to this design than just the shingles. You may be surprised about the amount of roofing layers present. In general, you'll find underlayment hidden between the shingle layer and structural wood. As you consider a rooftop replacement project, the contractor may mention a 'full prep.' Get familiar with this term and what it entails. With the proper layers, your roof will last for several decades .

Uncovering the Wood Sheathing

A full prep involves a complete teardown of your old roof. Contractors will remove the shingles and underlayment until the bare wood rooftop is exposed. Before the contractor adds any new materials, he or she will examine the wood for defects such as:

  • Sagging sections
  • Rot or mold growths
  • Cracked areas

Because most homes only go through a full prep once every 20 or 30 years, it's common to have some wood that's in decline. The contractors document the bad wood so that it can be added to the overall estimate. It must be replaced before any new materials are brought to the rooftop's surface.

Laying Out Ice and Water Shields

A full prep involves the use of ice and water shields. In essence, these shields are stick-on materials that cover part or all of the wood sheathing. Most installations call for the shields in certain locations, such as along the rooftop's edge.

The shields are designed to protect the home from leaks caused by driving rain. Water moving up the rooftop can quickly penetrate beneath the shingled surface. Because the shield adheres to the plywood, no leaks are possible into the interior spaces.

Adding Roofing Felt

Shingle roof with woven valley

Roofing felt is the traditional underlayment layer placed below the shingled surface. Roofers follow these steps to continue with the full prep, including:

  • Measuring and cutting the material to the rooftop's size
  • Starting the felt at the roof's edge
  • Overlapping the felt as the layers climb up to the roof's peak

This material doesn't adhere to the roof, but it's affixed with nails. The felt is designed to waterproof the roof as rain falls normally against and down the surface. The shingled surface covers the felt afterward. The full prep is essentially completed.

Considering Nail Penetrations

As a homeowner, your investment in a new roof is considerable. You may be concerned about nail penetrations through the full-prep layers and what they mean to the roof's structural integrity. Ice and water shields have the ability to conform around nails as they're driven through the layer. Water cannot penetrate the roof around those fasteners.

The nails holding the shingled surface in place are covered by the layers created by the materials. Any exposed nails at the roof's peak are filled in with roofing cement. With experienced contractors finishing the job, no nails will allow water into the structure below.

Instantaneous Complimentary Roofing Estimate by Professional Roofers

Get an instant estimate with Roofr today. Our technologically advanced system will evaluate your roof so that you know what to expect with an installing contractor. Have piece of mind knowing that your most inportant investment is protected for many years to come. If you would like a trusted roofing company to repair or replace your free, call Roofr today at 866-819-5215to speak directly with a roofing specialist.ofing specialist.

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