Basic Components of Roofing: Ventilation And Maintenance Tips


Many components are to be considered before getting the roof done, but generally, there are five basic components of all roof systems that are very important to be considered:

  • Roof covering: shingles, tile, slate or metal and underlayment that protect the sheathing from weather.
  • Sheathing: boards or sheet material that are fastened to roof rafters to cover a house or building.
  • Roof structure: rafters and trusses constructed to support the sheathing.
  • Underlayment: a sheet of asphalt-saturated material used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck.
  • Drainage: the features of the roof system’s design, such as shape, slope, layout, etc., that affect its ability to shed water.
  • Flashing: sheet metal or other material laid into the various joints and valleys of a roof system to prevent water seepage.



Proper ventilation holds the key to the roof system durability. Without proper ventilation, the heat and moisture buildup in the attic area and rot the sheathing and rafters. Due to poor ventilation, the insulation becomes useless and the roof shingles start to buckle.

Therefore, keeping the roof ventilation sources free of blockage is very important. It helps preventing damage that can be done due to moisture hence increase roof life and helps controlling energy consumption and increases comfort level of home especially area under the attic.

Along with the proper air flow, insulation is also an important factor for proper ventilation in attic area. The insulation on the floor should be in gap free layers to prevent any heat gain or loss. Vapor retarder must be installed under the insulation to prevent moisture in the attic area. There muse be open spaces properly located for free in and out flow of air. The space between the roof sheathing and insulation must be more than an inch.


Below are a few factors that hurt the roof system the most in Dearborn MI.

  • Sun: UV rays, Heat cause roofing materials to deteriorate over time.
  • Rain: If the water gets under shingles, shakes or roofing materials, it makes its way to the deck and leads the roof structure to rot. It damages the walls, ceilings, insulation and internal electrical wiring of the house as well.
  • Wind: Shingle’s edges can be lifted due to high winds, causing damage to the roof.
  • Algae and Moss: Shakes with bad drainage and moisture can become a suitable place for moss to grow on and makes the moisture level in the roof surface increases and leads to rot the roof. The dampness enables the algae to grow which rots and deteriorates the roof. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the house to eliminate damp, shaded areas and drainage must be kept clean.
  • Trees and leaves: Tree branches touching the roof will scratch and gouge roofing materials as they are blown back and forth by the wind. Leaves on the roof system’s surface retain moisture and cause rot and leaves in the gutters block drainage.
  • Missing or torn shingles: Missing or torn off shingles makes the roof and interior of home vulnerable to water damage. Missing or torn shingles should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Shingle deterioration: Old shingles get curled, split, worn out and become less effective. A deteriorated roof system only gets worse with time, and it should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Flashing deterioration: Without good, tight flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights, and wall/roof junctions, water can sneak into the house and cause damage to the walls, ceilings, insulation, and electrical system. Flashings should be checked as part of a twice-yearly roof inspection and gutter cleaning.