An average roof lasts between 15 and 30 years, depending on what materials were used and how well it was maintained. A well-maintained roof will stay in good condition and last much longer than other types of structures, if properly maintained. A new roof should be considered for your home when the existing roof is more than 25 years old, although there are instances where older roofs can be retrofitted to accommodate the changing needs of an ever-changing population. The roof you choose for your home should blend in with the rest of the structure, match the style of your home, provide sufficient protection from natural elements, be affordable, and most importantly, provide the functionality you need.
Roofs are constructed from different materials, but a roof is basically a solid surface that consists of many overlapping roofing membranes. A roof membrane is a waterproof layer added to the flat roofing structure to prevent water from entering the shingles. Roofing membranes come in different styles and qualities, such as aluminum, clay, fiberglass, vinyl, metal, slate, and tar/ Gravel. A quality roof membrane provides watertight protection to your roof and attic.
Roofs are usually made from one of four materials: wood, concrete, tile or synthetic fiberglass. Your roofing system is comprised of at least one ridge span, pitch, cleavage, tile or slate, the flashing system, and the fasteners, such as nails or screws. In addition to these main components, you also need to add flashing to the interior face of the home’s exterior walls, basement walls, garage walls, outside doors, chimney or flue, and the siding (or sheathing) of your house.
Roofs are built in several different ways, depending on whether you have an attached flat roof, detached or freestanding one, or a mixed roof. All of these types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Flat roofs provide a flat surface for walking on, which can be advantageous when it comes to natural ventilation, but can also be disadvantageous due to the moisture that accumulates on the flat roof. Freestanding roofs provide more room for walking around, especially in the case of apartment buildings, where many units face the street. The problem with freestanding roofs is that they are more susceptible to damage from wind and hail, and to damage caused by faulty installation.
A roofing system is made up of at least two layers: the underlayment, which is typically made of clay, metal, or cellulose insulation, and the underlying layer, which is made of durable materials such as slate, metal, tile or clay tiles. If you are planning to install a roof yourself, you will first need to prepare the sub-floor by cleaning it and making sure it is free from any debris. Once you are done with this, you can begin laying the tiles. This should only take about an hour or so, depending on your experience.
During the installation, you will need to install an underlayment to protect the underlying material from water, wind, and ice. This is usually a plastic membrane that run the entire length of your roof, from the edge to the bottom, and prevents moisture from penetrating the roof. To help with ventilation, you may wish to place vents at various places along the roofing material to let excess moisture out. Other roofing materials that may be used are roof shingles, which are not as resistant to the elements as clay tiles, and even tiles, although it depends on the climate.