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  • Writer's pictureJessica Foster

Protective Features of Roof Assemblies

The details and components that come together when a roof is assembled all strive towards a common goal: protection. The practices used in roof assemblies to guarantee the home is safe from exterior forces are consistent across construction, with methods such as flashing being used again and again not only for various areas of the roof, but across the whole building.

Roof covering materials go beyond just aesthetics. The International Residential Code sets requirements for these materials not only for the safety of inhabitants, but neighbors as well. Precautions must be taken in events such as a fire, which can easily spread to nearby buildings. Fire-retardant-treated shingles can be implemented in the construction of the roof to prevent fire spread. This is achieved through a specific vacuum-pressure process in which the materials are treated by impregnation with chemicals. If a roof is less than 3 feet away from a lot line, the roofing materials must be in compliance with the IRC to prevent the spread of fire.

A more common hazard to be accounted for is rainwater. One feature to combat this is the installation of flashing. Flashing is installed at certain locations in order to prevent moisture from seeping into the roof and wall at various joints, much like how decks can be adorned with flashing to prevent water from entering the home. These locations include transitional areas such as where the roof and wall intersects, where the roof slope changes directions, and around roof openings. If the flashing is metal, the metal needs to be corrosion resistant. Another structure that contributes to moisture management is a cricket/saddle. A cricket is a ridge near the chimney of a roof, meant to divert water away from the chimney. They can also be placed to divert water away in transitional areas between roof areas. The IRC calls for cricket coverings to be made of sheet metal or the same material as the roof covering.

In areas with colder temperatures, ice barriers should be installed for various types of shingles. Ice can build up at the edge of a roof, referred to as an ice dam, and can potentially leak into a home. So, roof assemblies should be constructed with an ice barrier, so that the ice can be held without it entering the penetrations of the home. Proper installation methods are a must when it comes to avoiding water damage. This idea can also be seen with roof valleys, which is where two slopes on a roof meet. The function of a roof valley is to make runoff pathways to safely guide water down the roof, but if they are not installed correctly, they can be susceptible to leaks. Underlayment, which are barriers under siding, are critical for roof valleys. The IRC has different installation methods depending on the type of material used, the roofing material, and the slope of the roof. To make an ice barrier, two layers of underlayment are cemented together.

Though a roof is different to other structures such as a deck, the precautions and methods used overlap due to their importance. Features such as flashing installation, fire-retardant materials, etc, are common across all building construction to guarantee protection. Here at Fine Remodeling, we are your Delaware contractor, we are familiar with all aspects and hazards such as water, fire, ice, and so on. Get in touch with us about your next remodeling/renovation project so you can be sure it is done right the first time.

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