A Popular Mechanics article delves into exactly what goes into the construction of roofs. These structures may appear simple from the outside, yet roofing systems can be surprisingly complex underneath all those shingles or tiles. The article discusses one of the most popular roofing materials in the country:

One of the earliest

roofing materials was thatch, bundled reeds attached to rafters. Surprisingly weathertight, it is incredibly labor intensive, taking even a skilled thatcher weeks to complete. Later came roofs protected by overlapping slates, clay tile and cedar shakes (below), all of which remain in use today. But the great workhorse of the modern American roof is the asphalt shingle. Used for more than 100 years, it's a good choice for handy homeowners who want a product they can install themselves.

The common denominator in all roofing is that several layers work together as a system--each element from the roof deck on up contributes to resisting weather. Understanding how this system works can help you talk knowledgeably with a contractor, or help you make buying decisions to do your own work.

Roofing is not constructed simply by nailing several pieces of shingles together; the system is composed of a network of strategically placed components that help your home’s covering withstand the elements on a daily basis. If your roof gets damaged for any reason, you might want to entrust the repairs to an expert who knows exactly how to restore the structure’s integrity and performance. Virginia locals can always depend on an Alexandria roofing expert like Roofing & More, Inc. to deliver quality roof repair and renovation services.

The complex layouts of most roofs can make maintenance rather complex for homeowners, however. There’s also the considerable risk of falling from a great height, which is why homeowners who don’t have the proper safety equipment or skills to move across their roofs should not even attempt to carry out roof repairs on their own to begin with. It’s much better and safer to leave the job to a professional roofer who knows exactly what to do.

A fully licensed and award-winning Alexandria roofing contractor possesses the requisite knowledge and experience to deal with tough residential and commercial roofing concerns. Homeowners can consult such an expert about the required roof repairs and corresponding costs involved to ensure optimum weather protection for their households.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Roof Repair Basics: How Your House Works, Popular Mechanics)