skip to Main Content

Roofing 101

The roof of any home is both intricate and irreplaceable. At Century Roofing, we want you to be as informed and as educated a possible when it comes to understanding your roof and its needs. Below we’ve laid out the basic elements of your standard roof, as well as what to look for when choosing the right roof for your home.

The Fundamentals of Residential Roofing

Most residential homes are equipped with a steep-slope roofing system, meaning that the roof is inclined at least at a 25 percent slope. The right roofing system for your home is one that doesn’t compromise these seven main elements:

1). Deck or Sheathing
Boards or sheet material that are fastened to roof rafters to cover your home’s structure. Your roofing materials will be applied to the sheathing.

2). Roof Structure
The supporting frame (rafters) and other engineered components that support this frame (trusses) that in turn support the sheathing.

3). Roof Covering 
The roofing materials (i.e. shingles, tile, slate or metal) plus an underlayment that protect the sheathing from weather.

4). Flashing
Sheet metal or other material installed into a roof system’s various joints, pipes and intersections to prevent water seepage.

5). Drainage
The roof’s design which affects its ability to shed water. This includes shape, slope and layout.

6). Fire Rating
System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C, with Class A materials having the highest resistance to fire. Be aware of fire ratings when choosing the material for your roof.

7). Ventilation
The longevity of your roof is determined by proper ventilation and insulation. Without them, moisture and heat can build up beneath your roof, causing your sheathing and shingles to rot and deteriorate.

Choosing Your Roof

You have a multitude of options to consider when selecting your new roofing system: cost, durability, fire resistance, and aesthetic, just to name a few. Here is a break-down of the most commonly used roofing materials used for steep-slope structures.

Asphalt Shingles
Most U.S. homes use asphalt shingles, which can be reinforced with organic or fiberglass materials.

Fire Rating: Class A

Organic Shingles
Organic shingles consist of a wood or other cellulose-fiber base that is saturated with asphalt and coated with colored mineral granules.

Fire Rating: Class C

Fiberglass Shingles
Fiberglass shingles consist of a fiberglass mat, top-and-bottom layers of asphalt, and mineral granules.

Fire Rating: Class A

Wood Shingles & Shakes
Wood shingles are sawn by machine while shakes are handmade. They are typically made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other wood. Both will give your home a more authentic, built-by-hand look.

Fire Rating: Class C
(Note: Class A fire ratings are available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment)

Tile
Made from clay or concrete, tile is a durable roofing material that comes in a variety of colors, finishes and textures. The most widely-recognized styles that use tile roofing are Mission and Spanish-style homes or flat styles to create French and English looks. But be forewarned: tile is heavy. If you are replacing another type of roof system with tile, you will need to verify that your home’s structure can support the load.

Fire Rating: Class A

Slate
Slate is available in different colors and grades. While it is considerably more expensive than other roofing materials, it is virtually indestructible.

Metal
Metal shingles are typically intended to simulate traditional roof coverings such as wood shakes, shingles and tile. Apart from its longevity, metal shingles are relatively lightweight, have a greater resistance to adverse weather and can be aesthetically pleasing.

Fire Rating: Class A

Back To Top