The Basic Elements of a Hedrick Roof

Posted by Heather Hedrick on Dec 19, 2017 5:42:00 PM


If it’s time to replace your roof, you’re likely wondering what elements will make it durable structure that lasts. While roof replacement can be a big investment, it's also one that serves your house every day of the year. A roof is combined of multiple parts that work together to protect your home, and it’s important to know what role each plays to make informed decisions on what to buy.

Roofs are designed in layers. Each layer plays a significant role in protecting your home from elements like snow, ice, rain, and extreme heat. It can also control your home’s energy efficiency and make it more comfortable. Below are several important layers that make up the roof’s structure.  


Attic Insulation

While attic insulation does its job inside your home, it should still be considered an important aspect of your roof’s performance. Insulation serves as a protective layer that prevents warm air from escaping the home in the winter and hot air seeping in during the summer. If your attic insulation is insufficient, even high quality roofing products won’t be able to perform at their optimal level.


Intake Ventilation

Your attic’s ventilation system is what allows your home to breathe. When warm, humid air rises to your attic, the ventilation system will replace it with cool, dry air. This prevents moisture buildup that results in mold, mildew, wood rotting, and poor air quality. Keeping the attic space cool and dry will help keep your home more comfortable.


Exhaust Ventilation

Your exhaust ventilation system will work with the intake system to remove warm air from the attic and prevent water condensation. By circulating fresh air, it removes air pollutants and improves air quality to make your home healthier and more comfortable.


Ice & Water Barrier

The ice and water barrier is designed to shield the roof from heavy amounts of moisture. When ice forms and melts, water can flow into areas like the chimney, skylights, or vents, which are susceptible to moisture penetration. A common cause of this issue is ice dams, which form in the winter when snow and ice collect on the roof and melt. A good water barrier will help prevent shingle deterioration caused by pooling water and keep your roof in good condition.



Iowa summers can bring severe storms. Your underlayment serves as a seal around the roof to protect it against heavy rain and wind. High winds can lift shingles, allowing surfaces below to be damaged by excess moisture. The underlayment provides and extra line of defense against water damage and keeps your home safe and dry during severe weather.


Starter Shingles

Starter shingles are placed on the roof before the main shingles. This provides a straight, clean look that will add to the shape of the roof and seals the first row of shingles and prevents moisture from infiltrating the surface. It also helps to prevent strong winds from blowing off your main shingles, providing extra protection from storms.



Your main shingles are the first line of defense against rain, snow, ice, and solar radiation.  Not only do they protect your roof, but they can also add to the beauty of your home. A wide variety of styles and materials are available, and it’s important to compare the pros and cons of each to determine which is right for your home. Consult a roofing contractor for more information on high performance shingles that will protect your roof against adverse conditions.


Hip & Ridge Shingles

Hip and ridge shingles are placed on the very top of the roof, adding finished look. They improve the aesthetics of the roof as well as add a final layer of protection.


By understanding the important role each layer plays in your roof, you can select materials that you can depend on for years to come. 


If you need roof replacement or repair, Hedrick Construction can advise you about what materials could be best for your home and budget. We provide roofing services for both commercial and residential properties in Ames, Ankeny, and Des Moines. Contact us today for a free estimate.


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Topics: shingles, roofing, roofing underlayment, ventilation