Bergen County Roofing: Article About Roof Inspections
After the exterior roof covering is removed during a replacement or repair project, a layer of underlay, sometimes referred to as felt, is left attached to the roof's decking. Different types of underlay are used on homes based on the local weather conditions and the slope of the roof. The type of underlay that is used also depends on the materials used on the outside of the roof, such as metal panels, asphalt shingles or wood shakes. Inspection of the underlay is an important part of ensuring a roof's structural integrity. Experienced Bergen County roofing contractors know what to look for to make sure the underlay is performing up to standard.
In most locations, underlay is a required part of a roof per the state and local building codes. It is used as a moisture barrier to prevent water vapor, rain and melting ice or snow from seeping through the layers of shingles or tiles and into the wooden sheathing and support structures on the attic side of the roofing system. While the material is resistant to moisture, it is not waterproof. It acts as a secondary barrier to moisture intrusion.
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One of the first things that will take place during a roof inspection is to determine whether or not such a layer exists on a house. Older homes outfitted with a metal or slate roof that was installed more than 50 years ago may not have any underlay at all.
Once it is determined that there is an underlay, the roofers will then inspect for problems. If the homeowners have reported a roof leak, the roofers will check for places where the exterior roofing materials may be missing or damaged. The next area of concern will be loose or missing flashing. Finally, the underlay will be examined.
While inspecting the underlay, roofers will determine how it is fastened to the decking. Newer underlay produced in the past 20 years is typically self-adhesive. Some types of underlay require the use of fasteners such as staples. The staples create small holes in the material through which water can seep. This can be a source of damage to the home's interior.
Inspectors will also check for a fishmouth in the roofing felt. Tears and gaps at valleys and near roof protrusions are also common problems. The roofers will also inspect for the number of layers of underlay. Some areas with heavy ice and snow accumulations require up to four layers of underlay, including a specific ice barrier layer.