There are several types of roofing materials to use if you are repairing or replacing your roof. Slate is often considered the cousin of the tile and it can successfully be used for roofs. It is a very durable material but it generally is too expensive to purchase for most home owner’s budgets and it also needs professional installation, therefore adding extra costs to the job. Due to this, slate is often only used in custom roofing.
Another material that can be used for roofing is aluminium shingles and they are shaped to interlock. This is to provide additional wind resistance and this also makes them extra durable in areas where it snows. They can be found in a range of different colours and often come corrugated. Galvanised steel panels are quite favourably used as roofing material in some situations due to its many positives. They are some of the easiest roofs to install and can be painted to any taste and colour and some manufacturers even make metal panels that looks like actual timber. Galvanised steel is a very good material to choose for roofing if you live in an area with heavy snow as it will shed the snow easily. Just watch out for the snow sliding off the roof – safety first!
Some houses that have flat or low-sloping roofs will have built-up roofing systems of either asphalt and gravel or polyurethane foam. Asphalt and gravel roofs are layered with roofing felts that are each coated with asphalt and the top layer is then surfaced with crushed rock or gravel. Polyurethane foam can be sprayed on existing built-up roofs or on new roof deckings. It is generally a bit more expensive than asphalt and gravel roofs but it has the advantage of providing a lightweight insulation as well as very durable roofing.
As mentioned before, the choice when it comes to roofing materials are many and it is important to choose one that is suited for you, your needs and your budget. You will also need to take into account if there are any restrictions regarding houses and roofs in your area and implement these into your plans. Remember that some roof materials are heavier than other and will therefore be more expensive to ship, especially if the manufacturer is based far from your house. Last but not least, remember to choose a roof that is suitable for the particular weather where you live. Happy roofing!
Owning your first home can be a great and exhilarating experience but as a home owner you also have responsibilities. Owning a house also means maintaining a house. Maintenance can be hard and also expensive work. One of the first things to check for when purchasing a house is the state of the roof. The number one reason to lay a new roof or repair an existing one is to protect the house and its contents from water and the elements. The material for this is called roofing felt. This is a water-resistant membrane made from wood fibres and recycled paper, drenched in asphalt oils. It is placed between the surface and the roof’s sheathing. Roofing felt prevents rain and moisture from penetration and damaging the sheathing as well as preventing the roof surface from coming into contact with wood resins and other moistures. It is milled in different thicknesses and is purchased according to the weight. The most common ones being either: 15-pounds, 30-pounds or 90-pounds per square of roof surface. Roofing felt is often sold in 36-inch wide rolls which are 36-foot long. These are to be laid slightly overlapping and will cover roughly one square of roof. The underlayment used for asphalt roofs is often a 15-pound felt whilst wood shake roofs uses a 30-pounds felt underlayment that is placed in an overlapping pattern. Sometimes a 90-pound felt of roll roofing and valley flashing can be used on some asphalt shingle roofs. Always speak to a professional roofer if you need any assistance or advice.
There are several choices you will need to make when putting down a new roof. One of the first decisions to make is what type of material to use: asphalt, wood, tile, slate, aluminium shingles or galvanized steel panels. If you decide to lay a roof using asphalt shingles, the next decision to make is between shingles manufactured with an organic base or a fibreglass base. After these initial decisions you are left with the most enjoyable ones: to choose between different colours, textures and patterns. Just keep in mind to make choices that will blend in with your house siding and the rest of the houses in your area. Depending on where in the country you live, there might sometimes be restrictions which mean you will have to use a specific material, colour or pattern. Make sure to look into this before purchasing and laying a new roof as this otherwise might be a very expensive mistake.
As with most things, there are different materials to choose between in the sheathing and underlayment of a roof and this is often based on the type of surface that is being used. Most of the time roofing materials are laid over solid sheathing while wood shingles and shakes are more commonly laid over spaced lumber. This is a more ‘open’ sheathing system which allows the air to circulate more freely.
The most common material used for roof decks requiring solid sheathing is plywood and it is easy to see why. It is a durable and strong material which doesn’t warp easily, even during bad and changing weather. Also, plywood often comes in 4 by 8-foot panels which allows for easy installing over rafters. Wood boards come in two sizes: 1 by 6 and 2 by 6 with tongue-and-groove edges for added stability. Houses with exposed beams in the ceilings can have either decks of tongue-and-groove lumber or manufactured fibreboard combining a solid nailing base, thermal insulation and with a finished underside providing a beautiful ceiling. Wood shingles are laid on spaced or ‘open’ sheathing. The boards used are laid horizontally and several inches apart, across either rafters or the existing roof. They usually measure 1 by 4.
Choosing the right wood for sheathing can be tricky for the novice roofer. I would advice to use plywood or really dry and well seasoned lumber. The reason for this is that if a roof is laid over so called ‘green’ lumber, which have an higher than 20 percent moisture content, it can buckle as the sheathing warps as it is drying. Always check the local building codes to find out the permissible thickness for the rafter spans. Quite a few codes permit the use of 5/16-inches plywood on roofs with 12-inch rafter spans. This would be 3/8-inches thickness on 24-inches rafter spans. I would recommend to go for a thicker one as it provides for a sturdier nailing base. Also remember to use exterior grade glues if you are using plywood on roofs. There is however no need to have exterior type veneers.
Use well-seasoned tongue-and-groove planks with a maximum width of 6 inches if you are installing board sheathing as any wider boards could easily warp. Do not use any wood that has a high number of knots or pockets of resin as it can penetrate and cause damage to the actual roof surface and this can cause a delay in the installation and further costs if it has to be redone.