A roof is the weather-proof covering of a building that shields occupants from precipitation, sunlight, and temperature extremes.

The frame that supports a roof is called a truss. A truss can be built of wood, wrought iron, or metal.


The shingles on your roof help to keep moisture out of your home. They also provide a barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can damage other roof components and your furniture, carpets and draperies.

Shingles come in different colors, and some are designed to withstand the weather conditions of your region. For example, dark shingles tend to absorb more sunlight than light ones, which makes it cooler underneath the shingle in summer and helps to improve your roof’s energy efficiency.

However, it’s important to remember that even the best quality shingle can be damaged or destroyed by high winds, improper shingle installation and other factors. If you notice that your shingles are missing, cracked or warped, it’s a sign that it’s time to replace them.

If you notice that areas of your roof look darker than the rest, it could be a sign that the protective surface granules are falling off. This can expose the asphalt underlying the shingle to the sun and lead to deterioration.

In addition, moss and algae can grow on a roof and trap moisture that could otherwise be absorbed by the shingles. This can speed up the deterioration of the shingles and cause other problems in your home.

Another sign that your shingles need replacement is if you see water marks on your ceilings or walls. This can be caused by a leaky roof or poor ventilation. The moisture can also draw down the attic insulation, which can affect the temperature of your living spaces.

It’s best to avoid walking on a roof, but if you must, it’s recommended that you wear soft-soled shoes with large surface-area tread. Avoid using hiking boots, as these have a knobby design that can easily damage shingles. Tennis shoes, basketball shoes and running shoes are good choices instead.

If you are concerned about shingles, there is a vaccine available that can decrease your chances of getting the disease. The CDC recommends that healthy adults over 50 get the vaccine, called Shingrix. It can also be given to children with weakened immune systems.

Flashing is a strip of water-resistant material installed in places that are prone to leaks. These include roof intersections and projections like chimneys, plumbing vents, skylights and dormers. It’s usually made of galvanized steel (a steel that’s been coated with zinc to prevent rust) and is bent into shape to fit into the joint where it’s placed. Flashing keeps the seams of these features from leaking, and it also helps to redirect water away from the building.

Leaks are a common problem in the home, and they can damage not only shingles but also the framing of the house. A single leak can cause structural damage that may necessitate a full home renovation. Without flashing, or with flashing that’s not working properly, these leaks can be very damaging.

Flashing comes in several different forms, depending on the type of roof and project it’s used for. The two most commonly used are base and counter flashing. These are a series of L-shaped pieces that work together to protect hard-to-waterproof features, such as chimneys. The base flashing is a long piece of metal that’s attached to the roof, and the counter flashing sits on top of it. They overlap and are secured to each other, with the counter flashing pointing up and the base flashing pointing down. This system allows the flashing to expand and contract as the weather changes, keeping the water out.

Other types of flashing include continuous and step flashing. Continuous flashing is a long strip of metal that spans the entire length of the joint being waterproofed. It can be affixed to the top of dormers and other protrusions on the roof, or it can wrap around pipes and vents that extend from a roof. The center of the metal strip is often a spout opening, either for a pipe or for a vent cap.

Step flashing consists of rectangles of sheet metal bent into an L-shape, with the base of each “L” nailed to the roof and the top of the “L” secured to the wall of the dormer or other projection. This flashing is then covered with a course of shingle tabs.

Drainage is one of the most important aspects of any roof. It is essential to the longevity of the roof and to the structural integrity of the building itself. In addition, a well-functioning drainage system can help prevent flooding and protect against mold and mildew.

Gutters and downspouts direct water that rolls off of a roof away from the building, protecting the siding, windows, and foundation from moisture damage. They can also help to reduce water bills and conserve this precious resource.

Rainwater and waste water flow through a drainage system, collecting in pits, downspouts, and internal drain pipes that carry the water to a ground pipe. The water is then directed to a main drain line, which transports it away from the structure.

If a drain fails or is not properly maintained, it can lead to a buildup of water on the roof surface, which can cause significant damage to the roofing materials and even the structural support members. The damage can also cause leaks in the interior of the building.

There are different types of roof drains and systems, depending on the type of roof. The most common is a flat roof, which typically has a pitch of one to ten degrees. This pitch allows water to move toward a drain, which is located at the edge of the roof. In order to function properly, the roof drains need to be free of obstructions and to have a sufficient discharge rate.

In some cases, a grate is placed on top of the drain to protect against debris. The grate is usually made of cast iron to keep large debris from blocking the drain. In addition to roof drains, there are downspouts and scuppers that are also used to remove excess water from a flat roof.

The drainage system in a building can be complex and requires specialized fixtures and expertise to maintain. The best way to ensure that a drain system functions properly is to have it regularly cleaned and maintained by professionals. This is especially critical in South Florida, which experiences frequent hurricanes and heavy rains that can clog drains quickly.

Insulation is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy costs, maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, and protect the structure of your home. It restricts the flow of heat from warmer to cooler areas, thereby significantly cutting heating and cooling expenses. It also helps to protect your roof from damage caused by weather elements.

Ideally, your roof should be insulated with a high R value in order to meet local building codes. There are several types of insulation that can be used in your home, including rolled batts, rolls, and rigid foam boards such as EPS, PIR, or XPS. Rigid foam is particularly ideal because it is a tightly assembled panel that prevents air gaps and minimizes condensation risk.

In most climates, the ideal place for ceiling insulation is between the joists. This allows a very high R value and is a key component in meeting both ASHRAE and IECC thermal requirements. Suitable bulk insulation includes batts, loose-fill and spray foam (most commonly Polyurethane).

For walls, the best choice is foam board insulation with an R-value of at least R-5 per inch of thickness. It is available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and is easy to cut and fit. It is also very durable, resists mold and fungus growth, and provides excellent fire resistance.

Blown-in insulation can be installed in a wide range of spaces, but it may be more challenging to install in areas where the attic meets the floor and around soffit vents. Its R-value is lower than that of rolled insulation, but it still offers an acceptable level of performance and is much faster to install than other forms.

Structural insulated panels are an excellent option for both new construction and retrofits. They have a structural skin of precoloured metal or other prefabricated material on both sides and a dense closed-cell foam core. These panels are produced by sandwiching the core with oriented strand board or another sheathing material, then either gluing or using a vacuum to press the sheathing and foam together. The sheathing and foam are then sprayed with a vapor retarder to ensure it is moisture-resistant and compatible with a roofing system.