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How Many Layers Go Under My Metal Roofing?

How Many Layers Go Under My Metal Roofing?

How Many Layers Go Under My Metal Roofing?

You have seen the gleam and glint of your neighbors’ metal roofs throughout North Port. Those shiny metal roofs look beautiful, don’t they? Metal roofing is amazingly durable, and the cheerful colors stay bright for years. But what goes under metal roofing? If you have a metal roof installed, what layers should you consider besides the visible, beautiful metal roof itself? 

Cross Section

If you could somehow cut through the various layers of a residential metal roof, you would see at least six layers:

  1. Roof deck — Your house rafters and sheathing are the foundations for your roof
  2. Ice and water shield — A spongy, self-adhesive rolled material offers extra protection in valleys, over ridges, and along the roof edge
  3. UnderlaymentThis peel and stick material is installed over the sheathing across your entire roof to add an extra layer of waterproofing
  4. Ridge vent — Along the very top line of your roof, roofers cut a narrow slit into the sheathing, then cover it with a thick plastic mesh and cap that with shingles, tile, or metal; the vent allows air to escape your attic
  5. Flashing — Thin metal, plastic, or rubber that bridges gaps between unlike materials, such as the space between sheathing and chimney, or the narrow circle around sanitary stacks piercing your roof
  6. Roofing material — Whether you choose shingles, tile, or sturdy metal roofing, this is the final, visible layer that showcases your home and protects your investment

While your final roofing material is important, it must be supported by high-quality, long-lasting layers beneath it. For metal roofing, that means selecting the best underlayment, ice and water shield, and flashing your budget allows. Never skimp on these layers even though they will not be visible to neighbors and friends. 

Batten Down

Some people worry that metal roofing will be noisy in hard rainstorms. If you have ever heard the term, “batten down the hatches,” you already have part of the answer to that myth. A batten is a strip of wood, sometimes nailed or lashed down on ships to hold cargo holds closed. A batten is also used to attach to sheathing to support metal roofing panels. That slight ¾” of thickness provided by the batten elevates the metal roof. The air space and the battens serve several purposes:

  • The air helps insulate your home against the tremendous heat of direct Florida sun
  • That air space allows air to move across your roof, reducing humidity atop the underlayment and sheathing
  • The air gap insulates against sound, too, making the metal roof as quiet as any other roof
  • The battens provide the needed anchorage for metal fasteners, so your roof can withstand high winds and even hurricanes

Suppose you went along with an unscrupulous roofer who wanted to put down, say, old pallet lumber as battens, or worse still, wanted to attach your new metal roof directly to the sheathing. Typically such subpar work is foisted off as a “cost saving measure,” when in fact it is just cutting corners without helping you, the homeowner. 

Instead of using such a roofer, find a true professional with a lot of experience installing quality metal roofing. That roofer will use good grade lumber for the battens. Sure, the battens will be invisible when the roof is done, but the quality matters. The rest of your metal roof installation matters, too. 

Every Detail Matters

As you interview at least three roofers for your metal roof replacement project, ask about the small details. What brands of underlayment and flashing will the roofer turn to? How will the ice and water shield be laid down, and where? What will the roofer do to ensure soffit vents are unobstructed by attic insulation, so the ridge vents can work properly?

When completing a metal roof replacement, some roofers will not thoroughly inspect and replace sheathing sheets. Usually a specific number of sheets are part of the roofing estimate, with a notation about the per-sheet cost of additional sheets. Ask questions to make certain you know what you will be getting, because nobody can be sure of the condition of your home’s sheathing until the old roof is torn away, revealing potential problems:

  • Rotten sheathing
  • Insect-damaged sheathing
  • Sheathing coated in black or green mold
  • Saturated sheathing

Again, as with the battens and underlayment, nobody will ever see the sheathing, but the quality of the metal roof replacement depends on the quality of all parts of your roof, from roof deck up. 

Work with a roofer who respects the need for quality in every layer of your North Port home’s roof. Such dedication to quality ensures a metal roof that will last for decades. 

Mark Kaufman Roofing in North Port, Florida is your go-to source for residential metal roofing. Contact us today to learn about our complete range of services, from metal roof repairs to metal roof replacement.

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