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What is Below Shingles on a Roof?
Roofing Blog

Do you want to know what is Below Shingles on a Roof?

When you look at a roof what you notice first is its shape and the material, most often asphalt shingles, that covers it. Upon a closer look you may notice some vents and pipes, but besides that it is really impossible to see what the roof is really made of. Unless you see a roof being replaced or a new roof being installed, you may never know how many layers and types of materials are hidden underneath the shingles and really make up the roof beyond the visible materials.

In fact, there are several layers beneath the shingles that work to create the roof shape, support it, regulate temperature, insulate your home, and block out moisture. Knowing about what really makes up a roof can help you understand how it functions, how it can be damaged or protected, and help you in dealing with roofing issues on your property in the future.

 

Layers Under Roof Covering

Let’s go over the layers that make up a roof, starting from the bottom and heading up.

 

The Frame

The frame of the home is what gives it its shape and defines its boundaries. The frame of the roof creates its shape and the support for all covering material. The frames of modern homes are typically made of a series of wood trusses manufactured to the specifications of a particular blueprint or home design. Occasionally, roofs are built completely on-site with wooden beams cut to appropriate rafter size and put together on the structure. It is important to have an idea of what the finished roof will look like when creating the frame since frames for certain roofing materials, like clay or concrete tile or slate, require additional reinforcing in the frame to hold up their weight. 

 

Insulation

Insulation in a house helps to regulate the internal temperature of a structure and prevent its fluctuations during weather changes. It also aids in reducing the use and cost of heaters and air conditioners. In a finished attic, the insulation is placed between the rafters of the roof’s frame. In an unfinished attic, the insulation can usually be found on the attic floor. 

 

The Roof Deck

The roof deck is nailed on top of the roof frame. It is made of wooden boards, usually either plywood or another engineered wood product such as oriented particle board (OSB). This creates the roof’s surface on top of the trusses. Holes are cut in the roof deck at appropriate areas where roofing vents will eventually be installed.

 

Water Shield

A waterproof barrier or membrane that is designed to prevent build up of moisture or protect areas that are particularly susceptible to water damage is laid down next. This is typically a peel-and-stick membrane that is used to line all valleys on the roof and, in climates that have ice or snow in the winter, the perimeter around the eaves. The peel-and-stick membrane attaches directly to the roof’s deck.

 

Underlayment

Next, and directly below the roof covering, is the underlayment. There are several different kinds of underlayment, which we will go over below since they serve as an integral part of the roof, particularly in preventing water from reaching the roof deck and then causing leaks. Underlayment is usually made of fiberglass paper or felt, and it covers the entire roof. Depending on the type of underlayment, it is either nailed to the deck or sticks directly to it if it is self-adhesive. 

Underlayment is either water-resistant or waterproof. There are three kinds of underlayment: asphalt-saturated felt, non-bitumen synthetic underlayment, or rubberized asphalt underlayment.

 

Asphalt-Saturated Felt

Until about 15-20 years ago, this was the most common kind of underlayment. It is water-resistant and nailed down to the roof. It is commonly called tar or felt paper and can vary in thickness. It consists of a base material (wood, cellulose, polyester, or fiberglass) which is soaked in a protective coat of asphalt (bitumen) or a similar material.

 

Synthetic Underlayment

This is presently the most common type of underlayment used by contractors, although in hurricane-prone central Florida it is quickly being replaced by the hardier rubberized asphalt (discussed below). Compared to felt paper (above) synthetic underlayment has increased durability. Fiberglass is added when the synthetic material is coated in asphalt, resulting in increased resistance to tears and punctures. Still, synthetic underlayment is water-resistant and must be nailed down to the roof deck.

 

Rubberized Asphalt

This is the most expensive type of underlayment, which is presently growing in popularity, although it leads to a higher cost of roof replacement. Its expense comes from a higher amount of rubber and asphalt polymers in production, which contribute to its strength. This underlayment comes with an adhesive on one side. When the covering is peeled away this adhesive sticks directly to the roof deck and creates a waterproof seal, as no nailing is required. It is also called peel-and-seal. 

Once the chosen underlayment is in place, the roof covering is added, beginning with the shingle starter strip and drip-edge at the eaves, the vents and flashing in their designated spaces, and shingles (or other chosen covering material) across the entire roof. 

If you have any questions about roof underlayment or need any work done on your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. a call and schedule a free estimate at 386-263-7906!

home-insurance
Roofing Blog

Will my home insurance cover repairs to my roof?

As a homeowner you have a home insurance policy to help protect your home from damages and help bring it back to its original condition after such damages occur. Home insurance policies provide coverage for certain events, called perils, and often exclude others: these are all specified in your home insurance policy. 

When it comes to roofs, home insurance policies typically cover damages caused by weather. Most frequently, this involves wind or hail damage, although other perils like lightning strikes, tornadoes, and fire are also covered. Indirect damage is also covered, for instance, in the case that wind downs a tree which falls on the roof of a house. On the other hand, some kinds of roof damage are specifically not covered by home insurance. This includes improper installation of roof components, material failure due to manufacturing defects, and normal wear and tear. Wear and tear occurs as a roof ages and affects different materials in different ways. For example, shingles become brittle and metal corrodes. This is why roofs have a limited life expectancy which is typically 15-25 years for a shingle roof and 40-50 years for a tile roof.

Another important part of insurance coverage in places like Florida, and along the eastern seaboard in general, is named storms. Damage caused by named tropical storms and hurricanes is covered in a particular way. Every insurance policy includes a deductible–an amount that the insurance company expects the policy holder to pay out of pocket. This is most frequently $500 or $1000, but can be higher. Damage caused by named storms, however, usually carries its own deductible, separate from all other perils, like a typical windstorm or hail storm. It is referred to as the “hurricane deductible” and is usually 2% of the Dwelling A limit on a policy. The hurricane deductible is always clearly stated in a policy alongside the other perils deductible.

In the case that your roof is damaged by one of the events outlined above and listed in your policy, your insurance will help you pay for your roof repair or even a roof replacement if the damage is extensive or if the roof cannot be effectively repaired, in compliance with state building codes, without replacing the whole roof. To get this process started you will need to call your home insurance company and file a claim as soon as the damage occurs. In Florida, state law says that a policyholder has three years from the date of loss, the insurance term for the date on which damage occurs, to file a claim. It is best, however, to file your claim as soon as you notice damage to your roof in order to prevent further damage in the form of leaks.

Interior leaks are the most obvious evidence of roof damage, but it is best to catch roof damage before these occur. This saves cost down the road and prevents situations that cause homeowners stress and anxiety. It is also important to keep in mind that if interior leaks do occur, you must tell your insurance company about these when calling in the claim, as this damage is also covered under home insurance policies. After the claim is called in, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage to both the roof and the interior, if there is any. It is important to set an appointment with the adjuster at a time when someone can meet them, so that the adjuster is able to enter the home and effectively document the evidence of the damage. This is crucial since the insurance company will not pay to repair damage unless they have documentation. 

It is frequently difficult or impossible to see roof damage if it has not progressed up to an interior leak. Things like missing or creased shingles and loose or cracked tiles go unnoticed by most homeowners since people do not often spend much time on top of their roofs. Furthermore, even if a homeowner notes evidence of roof damage, he or she will have a hard time pinpointing the exact date on which this damage occurred, unless it follows directly after a hurricane or tropical storm. And yet, this date is crucial when reporting a claim, since claims with incorrect dates of loss are typically denied. 

So how do you determine if your roof has damage covered under your insurance policy and the date on which this damage occurred? The easiest and most reliable way is to call a professional. A roofing contractor will be able to identify damage on your roof and pinpoint its cause. At Florida’s Best Roofing, we will inspect your roof for free and advise you whether or not the damage to your home will be covered by your insurance policy. We will also help you figure out the date on which it occurred based on its age and tracked weather patterns in your area. We will also meet with your insurance adjuster to make sure that all evidence of damage is noted. Florida’s Best Roofing services all your roofing needs in Palm Coast and offers free estimates.

Call us today at 386-263-7906.

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc is a Palm Coast-based roofing contractor, providing professional roofing services in Flagler and Volusia County Areas.

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