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Jacksonville Roofing: Article About Water Resistant Roofs

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In a humid environment, construction components must be water resistant in order to prevent moisture related damage. While some materials are naturally watertight, others require treatment. Nearly all building surfaces benefit from coatings that are designed to keep water from seeping into the interior. The roof is particularly vulnerable because it takes a direct hit from falling precipitation and, if it has a low slope, accumulates standing water. At the roof's valleys and penetrations, flashing is installed for the preservation of the framing underneath. Jacksonville roofing specialists can either lay a new, impervious roofing system or secure openings on an existing structure.

Whether the customer chooses shingles, tile or another roof style, he or she needs to know which materials and installation methods offer the best protection against leaks. Perhaps the most important safeguard against moisture is the underlayment. Although traditional roofing felt is adequate, a greater moisture barrier is a modified bitumen membrane. This self adhesive product is made of asphalt and polymers along with filler and sometimes resins and oil. It often contains a measure of polyester and fiberglass as well. As a solid defense against leaks, this membrane can occasionally interfere with ventilation in attic spaces and must be carefully installed.

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The substrate onto which the modified bitumen membrane is attached needs to be completely cleaned and primed before installation.

A sloped roof allows rainwater to freely flow onto the ground rather than ponding on top of the building. A gutter system that directs the water away from the building's foundation is necessary for sufficient drainage.

With a slate roof, the material is naturally waterproof. Asphalt shingles are covered by an impermeable coating. Because moisture rots wood, roofing shakes need to be treated routinely with preservatives and fungicide. Property owners must keep pine needles and other moisture retaining natural debris away from the roof in order to prevent decay. If the wood deteriorates, it must be replaced and cannot be recycled. A metal roof will rust if untreated, and steel corrodes easily even when painted. Standing seam panels quickly and effectively move water to the edge of the roof and sometimes require gutters that are larger than normal. For the client who opts for a clay or concrete tile roof, a waterproof coating is necessary. Although clay can be almost watertight, this roof style requires gaps between the tiles that leave the surface accessible.

A coating is recommended for virtually every roof type for the sake of protecting the structure from damaging water leaks. In today's market, many sealants also reflect heat and harmful UV rays while blocking water from the materials underneath.

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