Much of the United States experiences extremes in weather conditions. If you're in the "snow belt" you get plenty of the white stuff piled on your roof, with perhaps a touch of freezing rain. The Pacific Northwest is subject to torrential rains, mostly in the fall and winter, but anything can happen. If you are in the market for a new roof, it pays to know the layers needed to keep your home warm and dry. You can then click here for more info and make an informed decision about calling a contractor or buying the materials and doing it yourself. If you aren't comfortable with heights, the contractor option is your best bet.
The Roof Layers
The following is an outline of the various roof layers.
All roofs have seams. A self-sealing barrier is used to prevent moisture from creeping in from around skylights, near the eaves and dormers. The latter is a window that is built out from the roof line. These are usually rectangular in shape with a peaked "mini-roof" that is attached to the main roof. It is an architectural style seen often on Victorian or Cape Cod style homes. The barrier material comes in strips or rolls and can be opaque or clear.
The next layer is the roof underlay. This waterproof material, usually made of fibreglass and reinforced felt, comes in large rolls. It's laid out over the entire roof, and acts as a barrier to rain and snow melt. It is effective at protecting your roof from water that is driven under the shingles during high winds and heavy rains.
Starter Strip Shingles
Starter strip shingles are placed at the edges of your roof, along the eaves and on the rake. The rake is the overhang found over entry ways and on some types of windows, like the dormers described above. These shingles come in strips or rolls, have an adhesive backing and are applied in one continuous piece to prevent leaks.
Basic shingles cover the entire roof, giving your home personality and adding curb appeal. In the residential market, these are some of the most popular varieties.
Hip and Ridge Caps
Hip and ridge caps are the finishing touches to your roof. These are shingles that have a fold in the middle so they will easily fit over the peaks and ridges. These also overlap, starting from the bottom of the roof. Water follows the ridge lines down to the gutters and the downspouts, safely depositing it away from the home's foundation. All homes, except those with flat roofs, have at least one ridge. Victorian, Edwardian or Cape Cod style homes have several because of their more intricate architectural features.
How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.