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Chesapeake Roofers: Article About Roofing Materials

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When homeowners think about the materials that roofers have to work with, most simply think about roof coverings such as shingles or tiles. However, roofers have to use many other materials to do their jobs correctly. It's important for homeowners to find Chesapeake roofers who truly understand how to use all of these roofing materials to complete a job quickly and efficiently.

One roofing material that is just as important as the roof covering is flashing, which is usually made out of metal and is used to cover seams or surface transitions on roofs. Some of the most common metals used to make flashing include copper, galvanized steel and aluminum, which either don't rust easily or never rust at all. Although metal flashing is most commonly used, some roofers also use vinyl flashing. While vinyl is easy to work with and cheaper, it typically doesn't last as long as the metal variety.

Beyond flashing, roofers also have to know which roofing nails to use. There are many sizes of roofing nails, and the best to use depends on the roof covering. Although they can be made out of different materials, the most commonly used metal is galvanized steel.

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Sometimes, roofers use nails made out of a certain material so that it matches the metal they are attaching. For example, aluminum nails are used on aluminum flashing and copper nails on copper flashing. At times, roofers use nails that have plastic caps, which are specifically designed to attach underlayment to the roofing deck. Homeowners should never hire roofers who use staples instead of nails.

For emergency patchwork, roofers also need to know how to use roofing cement, a thick material that is typically applied to the roof with a caulk gun to fill in holes. Roofing cement should never be used as a permanent fix to any roofing problem, but since it can be applied even on wet surfaces, it's the perfect temporary fix for a leaky roof when it's already raining. General use roofing cement shouldn't be confused with liquid lap cement, which is specifically used for attaching sheets of rolled roofing.

Underlayment is another important material for roofs. It is usually referred to as roofing felt or tar paper and comes in two styles: 15 pound felt and 30 pound felt. Choosing which underlayment to use depends on the roof covering. The 30 pound felt is also less likely to wrinkle during installation. Underlayment used to be fused with asphalt, but many newer types of felt underlayment are made with fiberglass.

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