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What’s the difference between a roof and a roofing system?

by: Kirsten Land on January 16th, 2018 about General, Residential Roofing

A roof is more than just the shingles. A roof includes (or at least should include) ventilation, insulation, an ice and water barrier, a felt underlayment, and then the shingles. But not all of those things are created equal!

A roofing system is when all of the components and layers are produced by the same manufacturer and are specifically designed and tested for quality together. Having exceptional consistency and quality in your roofing system is the best way to ensure your roof will last.

Many manufacturers offer a complete roofing system, and contractors can become certified in the various systems. That means they’ve gone through training, learned about the products, and know exactly how that roofing system should be installed.

It’s not uncommon to see new roofing crews pop up after a storm in Oklahoma, and many of them use a pieced together approach of products purchased at the local hardware store. While some of those products do come with a manufacturer’s warranty, it won’t be nearly as strong as the warranty on a roofing system. Also, if any part of the roof is installed improperly, it could void the warranty.

Each roofing system ensures proper ventilation for the roof. It’s amazing the number of roofs we see that aren’t properly ventilated! Attics get hot, especially in the summer in Oklahoma. Proper ventilation helps your shingles and other roof materials last much longer in the Oklahoma heat.

Other weather factors we face in Oklahoma are heavy rain in the spring and freezing rain in the winter. The cohesive design of a roofing system helps ensure your roof doesn’t leak by placing ice and water shields in the proper areas. Plus, the multiple layers of the roof work together to create a high-quality seal that keeps water out of your house.

One really important part of the roofing system warranty, though, is making sure it’s transferred properly when the house changes hands. If you’re buying a house with a relatively new roof, be sure to get all the necessary warranty paperwork before closing.

Some companies only allow 30 days to file the warranty transfer. If a house has only sold once, it might be possible to get it transferred after that. But for houses that have changed hands many times, it’s much harder to get a warranty to cover something if not properly transferred to new owners.

If it’s time to replace your roof, be sure to ask your roofing company what roofing systems they use and what level of certification they have for those systems. It can save you time and money in the long run!

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