Roofing refers to any number of processes involved in the covering of a roof. Roofing services are provided by many companies around the country. The basic function of a roof is to protect the structural framework of buildings from weather-related damage. A roof is usually the largest covering of a structure, consisting of all materials and structures required to support it on top of the ground, or over uprights, giving protection from direct sunlight, rain, wind, extreme temperatures, and debris. A roof also forms a seal against external impacts such as rain, wind, snow, ice, and other forms of weather damage.
There are three basic types of roofing materials available in the United States. The most common type is asphalt shingles, which are the most durable, economical, and commonly used. Other types of roofing material include metal, wood shakes, clay tile, slate, tile, concrete, gypsum, glass, gypsum, and ceramic tiles. In recent years, roofing materials such as green roofing (used for environmentally-conscious buildings) and composite roofing have gained popularity. Green roofing involves using materials such as aluminum or water-based composite materials instead of asphalt shingles, which are more hazardous to the environment.
Roofing materials are typically either installed using nails, screws, or tar/adhesive. Each of these methods requires a different amount of skill and equipment. Roofing nails, called ‘bite nails’ by builders, are small steel-tipped devices that are used to attach roofing sheets to the frame. They must be used on pitches that are higher than twelve inches because the asphalt shingles tend to break off at lower temperatures. On roofs over six stories, roofing nails are no longer necessary because the asphalt shingles provide the enough strength to hold the entire roof system up.
Roofing shingles are typically made of asphalt, cellulose, gypsum, or other similar materials. These materials provide the strength to withstand different types of weather conditions. The type of roofing material to use depends on various factors such as the amount of sun exposure, the design of the roof, the amount of snow or precipitation expected, and budget constraints. In addition to cost, consumers also have to consider the different types of materials available to achieve a desired appearance and function.
Over the past few decades, asphalt roofing materials have improved considerably. New technology has enabled manufacturers to make thicker layers that resist extreme weather conditions and are more durable. A three-inch thick layer is the minimum number of layers that are required in most regions. Over the past few decades, advances in the thickness of shingles and the number of layers has increased with each passing year.
For flat roofs, three layers are usually recommended. Only two layers are recommended for sloped roofs. Generally, one to three layers of earth are used to provide resistance against wind, hail, rain, and snow. The number of layers depends on the application. It is important to note that flat roofs using earth roofing are more economical than those with concrete and metal roofing.