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All About Roofing
Experts recommend that you repair or replace your roof every ten to thirty years. Since they're the first things exposed to damaging elements of nature (like rain, wind, sun, snow, hail, ice, etc.), it's not surprising that they need a little attention now and then. Of course the climate in which you live will determine how often you repair or replace your roof as well. For example, a roof in a climate that changes from extreme cold temperatures to extreme hot ones year after year after year is prone to problems like brittleness or even crumbling.
There are six basic styles of roofs. The most common roofs are gable roofs and you can immediately recognize these types because they're in the triangular shape that we're all familiar with. A flat roof looks just like its name implies. Although there are many variations, most roofs are structured along these two basic styles.
For example, most Roofs are sloped (or pitched) and depending upon the climate, a roof may be high pitched or low pitched. High-pitched roofs are found in climates that produce a lot of precipitation. As you might have guessed, precipitation such as snow or rain doesn't stand much of a chance against a high-pitched waterproof and/or thermal resistant roof. In warmer climates, like the southwest, you'll find many buildings and homes with low-pitched roofs. For your protection, your city may mandate a specific roof pitch (measured in degrees).
How Roofs Are Born
To build a roof from scratch, constructors (more appropriately called, roofers) will more than likely either frame it (put it together) at ground level and then hoist it onto the house, or attach a prefabricated roof onto the house in the same manner. The idea is to build as much of it within easy walking distance before attaching to the top of a home - where roofers later have to climb up and apply additional materials.
What Roofs Are Made Of
What materials? Well first, roofs begin as 2 x 4s. These act as a roof's frame. Once the frame is built, it's hoisted atop of a house, and then it's covered with plywood, or sheathing. If advisable, your roof's sheathing may be covered with insulating board as well. As a precaution against water damage, vital parts of the roof may even be covered with metal flashing.
Atop of the 2 x 4s, the plywood, and sheathing lies what most of us finally recognize as a roof: it's covering. Coverings range from asphalt to clay tile, and from slate to concrete tile, however most of them are covered with either hot tar or shingles. Shingles are squares of roofing materials overlapped and nailed to the surface beneath it.
When you talk to your contractor about the type of roof you want, you're bound to hear some terminology that you're unfamiliar with. Defining all these new terms is beyond the scope of this article, but you can rest assured that your contractor is well familiar with the lingo and is more than happy to describe your options.
Author Paul White represents FloridaHomeBuild.com. A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects.
About the Author: Author Paul White represents FloridaHomeBuild.com. A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects.