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What Is Roofing?

Roofing Companies Columbus GA is the process of covering a building’s top to protect against rain, snow, sunlight, and temperature extremes. Roofs come in a wide variety of shapes and forms, from flat to pitched, and can be constructed from many materials, including wood, clay, or concrete tiles.

The ten most common roofing methods are reviewed and compared in terms of construction features, heat flux reduction, cost, maintenance, and appropriate climates.

Sheet metal is a versatile roofing material that offers durability and insulation benefits. It’s an ideal option for commercial and industrial buildings, but is also a popular choice for residential roofs. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and can be treated to protect against mold and mildew. It is also easy to install and can save homeowners money on energy bills.

A traditional metal roof starts as a sheet of steel, aluminum or copper. This is usually roll-formed into panels of various sizes and shapes that are used to replace traditional shingles or tiles on a roof. Metal roofing panels are typically made from galvanized or galvalume steel and may be coated to offer protection against corrosion and to create an attractive appearance.

The corrugation process, which creates grooves and ridges in the metal panel, makes it strong. This increases the tensile strength of the metal, which allows it to hold up against severe weather conditions. A variety of coatings are applied to the panels to provide waterproofing, anti-corrosion and to protect against ultraviolet radiation. The coatings can be painted or they can be anodized or zinc plated.

These coatings are designed to last a long time, but the fasteners that attach them to the roof will have a shorter lifespan. This can be due to expansion and contraction of the roof during seasonal changes or the use of different types of fasteners. For example, neoprene washers used on the fasteners will degrade over time. In addition, if the roof is exposed to salt water, the fasteners will rust.

Metal roofs are a good choice for environmentally conscious homeowners, and they are also an excellent choice for those looking for a low-cost alternative to asphalt shingles. It’s important to choose the right type of metal for your home, though, as some types are not suitable for all climates. Steel is a popular choice as it’s durable and affordable, but it is not as rust-resistant as some other metals. Aluminum is a good alternative to steel because it’s lighter and has better resistance to corrosion.


Shingles are thin, rectangular strips of building material that cover roofs and sometimes walls. They are usually made of wood or asphalt and are attached in overlapping courses, called rows. They are often colored to blend in with their surroundings. They are also often used to add architectural style to homes. They can be cut in a variety of ways, including by hand splitting, quarter-sawing and plain sawing. Wood shingles are usually cut from green cypress or redwood and kiln-dried to protect against warping. They may be striated or left smooth by the sawing process. Wood shingles are typically treated with weatherproofing stains and paints to keep them from bleaching to a grayish color over time.

There are many different types of shingles on the market, with each one offering its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Some are more durable than others, and some have higher wind resistance ratings. Others are more resistant to mold and algae growth. Some even have a class A fire rating, which is important in areas prone to wildfires.

Strip shingles, also known as three-tab shingles, are the most basic and affordable roofing option. They consist of a single layer of flat asphalt and are available in several different colors. These shingles tend to last for about 20 years, but do not offer the aesthetic appeal of dimensional or luxury shingle options.

Dimensional shingles, or architectural shingles, are a popular roofing choice, making up about three-quarters of all shingle sales in America. These shingles are more durable than 3-tab shingles, and they offer a multi-dimensional appearance that replicates the look of natural wood shake or slate tile. These shingles are more expensive, but they do have a longer lifespan than strip shingles and come with better warranty protection.

The shingles on your roof are exposed to extreme heat and cold, as well as rain and snow. Over time this can cause them to shrink and expand, leading to cracking, water infiltration and leaks. Some shingle materials are better able to resist this damage than others, such as asphalt shingles with a fiberglass mat.


Roofing underlayment provides a barrier between roofing shingles and roof sheathing, helping to keep water out of the home. It also helps to prevent ice and snow dams from forming on a roof, which can add strain to the structure and cause leaks. It also acts as an insulator, protecting the home from heat and cold and providing sound insulation.

The type of underlayment used depends on the roof-covering materials, local building codes, climate and slope of the roof. Generally, there are two types of underlayment available: traditional felt and synthetic polymer-based underlayments. Roofing contractors usually prefer using synthetic underlayment, which is less expensive and more durable than traditional felt underlayment. It also resists fire better than pine or fir sheathing and comes in many different colors to match the color of the roof.

Traditional felt underlayment is a type of paper saturated in asphalt to provide waterproofing. It is usually fastened with staples, although in high-wind areas, plastic windstrips may be added to prevent tearing. Felt underlayment is available in 15-pound and 30-pound versions, with the thicker variants offering greater protection against storms and damage.

Because underlayment can deteriorate with exposure to the elements, it is important to use only products that meet the requirements of roof-covering materials. Missing underlayment may allow moisture to infiltrate a roof, which can lead to wood rot, mold and mildew, rust, and structural failure.

Most roof underlayment is designed with a permeance rating below 1 perm, which makes it an effective vapor (moisture) barrier. However, because these underlayments do not allow the sheathing to dry downward, they should be installed only over ventilated cathedral ceilings or vented attics.

Missing underlayment may also cause problems with the sheathing itself. Without underlayment, resin pockets in wooden sheathing can react chemically with certain roof-covering materials. Additionally, without the proper underlayment, wood-shingle roofs may not achieve a Class A fire rating if they are made from pine or fir sheathing that is not treated with an acrylic tar.


Flashing is a vital part of a roof and can prevent long-term water damage to a home if it is installed correctly. It is a strip of metal that lies in between different parts of the roofing system, including the underlayment and shingles or panels. It helps seal seams in the roof and directs rainwater away from vulnerable areas of the structure. Flashing is generally made from galvanized steel, aluminum or copper. These metals are popular choices for roof flashing because they offer excellent resistance to corrosion in damp conditions. Flashing can also be made from a range of other materials, including plastics, to meet the needs of specific features or roof types.

There are many different kinds of flashing, each serving a unique purpose. The most common are step and counter flashing, which are used to protect hard-to-waterproof features such as chimneys. This flashing consists of a series of L-shaped pieces that overlap each other and sit over the gap between the roof and the wall. This allows for expansion and contraction of the wall and the roof without causing leaks.

Another kind of flashing is called a valley flashing, which seals the joint where two downward slopes of the roof meet at an angle. This type of flashing is particularly important for preventing roof leaks, as it is often the location of the most severe water damage.

Roof flashing is also used to protect the area around other roof penetrations, such as plumbing vent pipes or skylights. These are usually constructed of flexible material to accommodate a variety of pipe diameters and ensure a secure, waterproof seal.

While roof flashing is a necessary component of any roof, it can also add visual appeal to a home. It is available in a wide array of colors and finishes, and can be matched to the color of the roof or the trim for a clean, polished look. Some flashings are also designed to look more traditional, like bare copper, adding a charming touch of old-world charm.

Because flashing is metal, it can be fairly durable and requires little maintenance. However, it is best to replace flashing when a new roof is installed. Flashing that is not replaced properly can cause serious problems and is prone to leaks.