Roof Anatomy 101: 3 Terms You Need to Know
March 22, 2018
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1. Decking

Decking refers to a roof’s “foundation”. Also known as sheathing, it is made up of flat panels—usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB)—that form the bottommost layer of the roof. The flat boards cover the roof rafters and are topped with a waterproof layer called the underlayment, which protects the decking from water penetration.

Because the decking is made of wood, it is vulnerable to water damage. Constant exposure to moisture can cause the wood panels to delaminate, resulting in spongy, warped, or rotting areas. During the installation of a new roof system, it is sometimes necessary to repair or replace the sheathing, depending on the extent of the damage. It is pointless to install new shingles on a compromised roof deck.

2. Underlayment

As we mentioned earlier, the underlayment is the waterproof layer that protects the decking from excessive exposure to moisture. It is sandwiched between the wood decking and the primary roofing material (asphalt shingle, metal panel, clay or concrete tile, etc.). Common underlayment materials include tar paper and felt membrane.

This protective membrane plays a key role in extending the life of your roof. By keeping water out, it saves the decking from rot and preserves the structural integrity of your roof.

3. Flashing

Flashing is another roof component that protects your roof from water damage. They are metal strips that cover up joints and penetrations in your roof, such as dormers, hips, and valleys and the areas around chimneys and vents. These spots tend to be vulnerable to leaks, which is why it is important to add flashing around them.

Flashing is applied over the roof surface, which means it is exposed to the elements and may get damaged over time. To ensure that your roof stays protected from damage caused by water leaks, faulty flashing must be repaired or replaced immediately.

These are only some of the parts of your roof that may come up during your consultation. Do not hesitate to ask your contractor for clarifications whenever necessary.

As one of the foremost roofing contractors in Akron OH, Campopiano Roofing understands the value of educating homeowners about their roofing systems. This is because we know that you yourselves are our most valuable partners in roof care. Call us at (330) 391-7799 to know more about our products and services and to get a free estimate on your next roofing project.