The roof structure of a building protects it against rain, snow, sun, and extremes of temperature. It also provides thermal insulation.
Roof inspections should be done by roof contractors on a regular basis so problems can be identified and repaired early. Regular inspection at Roofing Columbus GA is much less costly than major repairs later on.
There are a wide range of roofing materials available. The choice of material depends on the type of building, the roof covering, and often the architectural style of the house. For example, many craftsman-style homes have medium-pitched roofs and require a specific kind of roofing structure. Similarly, some regal-style homes require steeply pitched roofs.
Flat and low-slope roofs can be covered with a single membrane system like EPDM, rubber, TPO, thermo-polyolefin (PVC), metal, or high-density spray polyurethane foam. These systems are often designed to be waterproof as well as thermally efficient.
The supporting structure of a roof can be constructed with wood, steel, or concrete. Wood can be fashioned into rafters, beams, and sheathing. Steel can be fashioned into joists and planks. Typically, joists are used for spans up to 30 feet (9.1 m). Keystone-shaped joists are sometimes used for longer spans.
In vernacular architecture, roofs were often made from cut grass or sod, which provided insulating properties as well as a means of protecting the structure from rain and sunlight. Today, these kinds of roofs are often encouraged as part of the “greening” movement.
Choosing the right roof material is one of the most important decisions you will make as a homeowner. A good roofing system protects the interior of your home from moisture, heat, and cold and adds to its value. There are many different materials from which to choose, but some are better suited to certain locations or climates than others. Several factors will influence your choice, including your budget and the architectural style of your home.
The most common roofing material is shingles, which come in a wide variety of colors and styles to fit any home. Some are made from natural materials such as thatch or wood, while others are synthetic products such as fiberglass or polycarbonate. Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of shingle and usually come with a warranty of 20 to 30 years. They are a great choice for homeowners on a tight budget, as they are fairly inexpensive.
If you’re looking for a more durable and attractive roofing material, consider clay or concrete tiles. These are much heavier than shingles and therefore require more support, but they also last longer and add to the overall value of your home.
A more high-end option is slate, which has a beautiful, unique look and can last for over 100 years. It’s not as durable as other roofing materials, but it can add a lot of curb appeal to your house and is perfect for more elegant homes. Slate is very heavy, however, so it will increase the cost and time to install your roof.
Another type of roof covering is a built-up roof (BUR), which is an affordable and durable option. It’s made from multiple layers of roofing felt saturated with bitumen and applied in overlapping sheets. A layer of crushed rock granules is often added to the top to provide extra protection from UV and weather exposure.
Metal is also a highly durable and attractive roofing option that comes in a wide range of thicknesses, finishes, and colors. It can be used to clad the entire roof or just parts of it, such as the chimney flashing or areas around vents and dormers.
Whether you’re installing a new roof or re-roofing, the process is messy and labor-intensive. If you’re not experienced in handling shingles, it’s best to hire a professional. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure to wear sturdy boots and cover the plants with plastic sheeting. You’ll also need a ladder, a sturdy stepladder, and a roll-off dumpster that can be parked in front of your home for easy access.
Before beginning the shingle installation, it’s important to waterproof the valleys, which are the V-shaped areas in the middle of the roof where water runs off. A layer of felt paper is installed under the shingles, and it may need to be nailed down with close nails along the edges and spread out a bit more towards the center.
Proper attic ventilation removes moisture and heat from the attic, which helps prevent damage to the roof deck and insulation and lowers energy bills. Installing ridge vents and soffit vents is an efficient way to keep your home cool and dry. Hip and ridge caps protect the ridges of your roof, add a finished look, and help to prevent wind uplift.
In order to keep roofs functioning properly and avoid costly repairs, a set of procedures must be established for maintenance activities. These procedures should be based on each individual roof type and application, as well as geographic areas that experience wide variations in weather types and temperatures.
Ideally, a housekeeping survey should be conducted monthly to keep drainage devices open and identify any conditions that may require corrective action or immediate repair. This can normally be accomplished with in-house building mechanics if they are equipped with the proper tools and trained to recognize the conditions being surveyed.
During a housekeeping survey, it is important to remove any debris that has accumulated on the roof surface. Debris accumulation restricts drainage and accelerates membrane deterioration. In addition, it can pose a potential tripping hazard to building personnel.
Other items that should be surveyed regularly include:
* Ice and snow: During the colder months, the removal of snow and ice from drains, scuppers, gutters, and roof surfaces is essential. Extreme caution should be taken when using scrapers and shovels so as not to damage the membrane. The use of de-icing salt should be closely monitored as it can accelerate metal drain line corrosion and cause membrane deterioration.
Traffic Patterns: Continuous foot traffic over a roof surface can accelerate deterioration and erosion. In some cases, this can result in permanent damage. Precautions such as walkway systems or additional surfacing can be installed to protect the membrane.
Inspecting the chimney and flashing is also a good practice. Damage to these components can allow water to penetrate the roof, resulting in expensive interior damage and premature deterioration of the roofing system.