A Beginner’s Guide to Knowing Your Roof: New Homeowner’s Edition


Buying a new house can be a dream or a nightmare, depending on your housing knowledge and general awareness when it comes to property investment.

Indeed, one of the major mistakes that homeowners make when buying a new house is not taking into account structural details that either make property a worthy investment, or more expensive due to extensive maintenance and poor resale value.

Case in points: residential roofs.

Just because a house looks picture perfect—with a lovely asphalt shingle roof that triggers images of a red-suited Santa Clause—doesn’t mean it’s worth the money.

In fact, your realtor is likely to show you parts of the house that look appealing, but do not necessarily offer long-term benefits.

As a new homeowner, you’re probably nervous about making a poor investment—hoping to get the best of everything, and negotiating price based on priorities.

While this is fairly normal, it’s unadvisable to compromise on key structural elements, such as a roof—which could mean signing up for costly roof replacement in the near future, especially if you live in unpredictable Texan climate.

Understanding Roofing Systems

roofing system

Before making a hefty property investment, take a moment to study the anatomy of a house and understand how a subpar roof could affect your expenses in the long run. Roofs come in all shapes and sizes, but not all roofs are created equally.

In general roofing systems consist of four layers, each one serving a specific function:

  • Underlayment: This protects your roof from water penetration, creating a barrier against moisture damage.
  • Starter shingles: These help to evenly secure the eaves and rakes—particularly useful during rainfall.
  • Roof shingles: Not only are asphalt shingles aesthetically pleasing, but can also last between 20 to 30 years and prevent the black stains caused by algae.
  • Roof ridges: These act as an anchor to support the trusses and roof rafters.

Cladding, Venting and Gutters

When it comes to roof cladding, you have several types to choose from—each one with pros and cons, depending on the material used, climate and geographical zone, among other factors.

  • Metal roofs: energy efficient and durable.
  • Asphalt shingles: fairly common, architecturally attractive and lightweight.
  • Shake roofs: composed of wood product, flammable and susceptible to mold and mildew.
  • Roof tiles: extremely durable, with a lifespan that can exceed 50 years.
  • Flat roofs: resistant to ultraviolet rays, but susceptible to water leakage.

Based on your choice of roof cladding, you may also look for roof penetrations such as a vent or chimney—a pathway or direction for heat and fumes to exit the house. Ensure the presence of metal flashing to prevent heat and water damage.

And last but not the least: downspouts that allow rainwater to drain away from the basement in order to avoid indoor flooding.

Think you got it all?

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks!

Buying a new home can be intimidating, but if you know what to look for, it can give you the confidence to buy a home that truly lasts a lifetime.

For more questions about roofing Fort Worth TX systems, get in touch with James Kate Roofing and speak to someone who’s been in the business 15 years and counting!

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