by Kim Kinrade

Roofs were probably the first structures built by man. The skill to construct a shelter enabled the primitive homo sapiens to live outside of natural protection such as caves. This might have been an inclined apparatus such as a lean-to covered in leaves which directed the water downward and away from the occupants.

Although the materials have changed most modern roofs are designed with the same purpose. There is a similar inclined platform-design with overlaying shingles that move the water without any moisture coming inside. The type of materials depends on what part of the world you live in. In warmer climates clay tiles are prevalent while asphalt shingles are common in cooler, North American areas.

Roof Design

If you were to dissect a home in its simplest parts it is basically a box. In fact in areas where weather is not a great factor homes are built in just this way – with flat roofs. But the majority of homes built today have a roof which is semi-detached from the home. In other words it's sole purpose is to keep the weather out.

Just like the skeleton of the house the normal roof is a wooden frame consisting of a series of supports called trusses. The trusses are then covered with a platform to support the shingles which is now normally oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood. No so long ago many builders used tongue-and-groove boards.

Roofing contractors suggest a linear reduction from the applicable basic snow roof load, with full load at 30 degrees reducing to "zero" load at 70-degree slope. For those of us who are not engineers this means the ratio where snow will not harm the roof.

In many cases a heavy snowstorm followed by warm temperatures can put unusual weight on the roof. In an old roof this could cause buckling or a collapse. This is why it is important to get an inspection done on an older home. A qualified home inspection company can check and see if the trusses are spaced properly and are the right thickness. As well, any rot or insect damage will be revealed.


Re-Roofing Tips

  1. Drive around and take pictures of roofs you see that might fit in with your style of home. Take pictures so you can compare them
  2. Contact and fill out the form to receive four (4) free estimates
  3. Write down questions to ask before they arrive
  4. Check out the contractors’ licensing and insurance
  5. Ask for references from the contractors
  6. Compare: price advice material suggestions
  7. Get written estimate that includes all costs, description of work, clean-up and a completion date.

    Get a warranty agreement that guarantees the work for a specified period of time and includes an unconditional repair clause.  DIY ROOFING

      Types of Roofs

      1. Tile - May not be appropriate for winter where it could crack during a freeze-thaw cycle. It is extremely heavy however it is attractive and should last the life of the home.

      2. Fiber Cement - A constant in roofing for over 70 years it has only been in the past 20 years that cellulose fibers were substituted for asbestos. An imitation of tile this product is manufactured in corrugated panels comes in a wide range of colors.

      3. Metal – The draw for steel is that it weighs only 1.25 lb per square foot, almost one-tenth the weight of many clay tile. Many contractors claim that, because it is bolted down, it is safer than tiles in hurricanes withstanding up to 225 mph winds. Better yet, it is great for preventing stress loads from snow.

      4. Asphalt
      – The 3-tab asphalt shingle is still the old reliable in roofing and can still do the job if placed in the right way. It’s cheap and easy to put down, however, if you do not tar down the tabs wind gusts are able, in some cases, to strip a roof. With asphalt shingles it is easy to when a roof needs to be redone. Look for curled and missing tabs and take note of mold growing on the shingles.

        5. Laminates – This type of shingle is generally more durable than 3-tabs. They also look great, like cedar shakes in some case.

        6. Cedar Shakes – There are roofs with cedar shingles that are a hundred years old. Cedar has the natural oils which resist water and rot. It is very labor intensive to use cedar but the advantage are many and it has a classic look.

        To take the guesswork out of choosing your roofing company make sure that your job is done well visit . From this site you can submit your project to qualified roofing contractors for a professional job with stunning results.

        At you can get up to four (4) free estimates from roofing contractors and you get to choose the estimate you want. Their contractors are extremely knowledgeable on roofing and will set up an appointment to suit your busy schedule. Then, based on their detailed assessments, you get to choose the one you want to do the job.