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3 Roofing Terms All Homeowners Need to Know

Modern Metal Roof
The roof plays a big part in your home's look, but it also protects you and your belongings from the outdoor elements. Most homeowners understand the importance of their roof and periodically inspect, repair, or replace their roof shingles.
Although important, the roof system consists of more than just shingles. Without proper understanding, maintenance, and repairs, the other areas of your roof may be in distress. This distress can lead to an unappealing home, roof leaks, and costly repairs. With this guide and your contractor's help, you will learn a few roofing terms all homeowners need to know.

1. Underlayment

Your shingles need to be installed on a durable surface that acts as an additional layer of protection for your roof. Known as the underlayment, this extra layer is an imperative part of your roofing system. In most cases, one of three different underlayment types will be used on your roof.
An underlayment made of an asphalt felt paper is one of the most common types used. Although it is water-resistant, the asphalt felt underlayment is not waterproof. Therefore, regular inspections and maintenance are essential for protecting your entire roofing system from leaks and water damage.
Rubberized asphalt is another type of underlayment. The combination of the rubber/asphalt on one side and the adhesive membrane on the other side create a durable layer of protection for your roof, which reduces the risk of moisture and heat damage.
Finally, a non-bitumen synthetic can be used on your home's roofing system. This underlayment design is constructed out of polypropylene or polyethylene. These polymers are durable, lightweight, and resistant to fungal growth. Non-bitumen synthetic underlayments create excellent moisture barriers between your shingles and home's interior.

2. Flashing

You may have seen the flashing on various areas of your roof but probably did not know what it was called. The flashing covers high-risk areas of the roof, adding another layer of protection between the exterior and interior of the house.
Flashing is usually made out of galvanized steel or aluminum. If you live in an older home, your roof’s flashing might be made of tar, which is not as durable as metal flashing.
Chimney flashing is used around the base of the chimney. If the flashing is corroded, warped, loose, or missing, water will seep in through the cracks around the chimney base.
Step flashing should also be in good condition and secured to your roof. You’ll see this flashing where the roof meets the side surfaces of dormers, chimneys, and skylights. Valley flashing is also an important part of your roofing system. This flashing protects the area where two roofing planes meet.
For sloped roof designs, continuous flashing is also necessary.  This flashing is installed in the area between a sloped roof and vertical wall, protecting the roofing joints.

Soffits and Fascia

Although they are two terms, the soffits and fascia work together as a team to create an appealing and durable roofing system.
The soffit is the exposed surface under the overhanging part of the roof's eave. Its main purpose is for attic ventilation, allowing air to move in and out of the attic with ease, reducing moisture and excessively hot and cold temperatures. Even though they are made out of vinyl in most cases, soffits can experience water damage if your roof is leaking.
The fascia also aids in the protection of your roof and siding, acting as a barrier between the roof trusses, rafters, and gutter area.
If your roof has sustained damaged or you have experienced leaks because of missing shingles, have a roofing contractor inspect the soffits and fascia and repair or replace them if necessary.
To learn more about your roof or to schedule maintenance or repairs, contact Carroll Roofing Company, Inc., today.