GAF Asphalt Shingle Roof Installation

A roof is more than just a roof, ask a professional roofing contractor. Using a car as an analogy, a vehicle is made up of many different parts as is a roof. Each separate part of a roof work together in harmony to keep you comfortable in your home.

Here’s a list of all the different parts that make up a roof:

  • metal
  • leak barriers
  • under-layers
  • quality shingles ie: asphalt shingles
  • wood shakes
  • clay tiles, cement tiles, metal tiles or rubber tiles
  • wooden deck
  • ridge caps

How you see your roof

Imagine that you are standing on the footpath and looking at an average house. You can see the walls, the garage door, the windows, the front door, and if you look up, you can see the roof. In Australia, the most common roofs you will see are made from metal, terracotta and cement tiles, rubber tiles, and there are quite a few shingle roofs starting to appear as well. What you see is where your focus is. What you DON’T see is what really makes a difference. There’s more to roofing than meets the eye. So let’s talk about what goes on, under the shingles.

The Roof Deck

Starting at square one, the surface area of your roof is covered in plywood. Going back to our automobile analogy, this is like the car’s metal body. This gives us the surface area on which to install roof shingles.

Sheets of plywood are fastened to the wooden trusses above your ceiling space or attic to form the roof deck. If you are replacing a roof, don’t forget to ask the contractor to replace any of these ply sheets that are damaged.

There is a potential danger with rotting or damaged decking if a person is walking around on the roof. They could crack or break through the wood or cause more damage to the roof system, such as to the shingles.


The Rake and Drip edge.

shingle roof rake edge

These are the first part of your roofing system to be installed. They are long, narrow pieces of metal installed along each edge of your roof deck, along the eaves and the gable ends.

The installation of these depends on the building code requirements of your local council. It’s not a good idea to save money by foregoing installation if it is seen as an option. It’s recommended that the Drip and Rake edge be installed on every roof with no exceptions. They come in a variety of colours and sizes and can be custom built for your specific roof system.


Flues and skylights

These are arguably the most important part of a roof system. The metal installed in the valleys, chimneys/flues and skylights usually take the full force of the flow of water on a roof. A bad installation here can result in you having your own personal waterfall in the living room


The way the back pan is installed around the flue and skylight helps redirect the water away from the sides.


shingle roof drip edge

Just like a valley between mountains, water runs along the valleys on your roof peaks. As the valleys take most of the water, correct installation is of paramount importance. Valleys have leak barriers installed underneath them.

Leak Barrier

Think of a leak barrier as a “second layer” of protection for your Roof Deck. A backup plan, if you will, and also a protection against moisture build up. As an optional upgrade, some high end roof systems even have leak barriers installed on top of the entire Roof Deck, where normally a standard Roof Deck Protection would normally have been installed.

Choosing an appropriate Leak Barrier and installing it properly is an important step in every Roof System. Ask your roofing contractor about leak barriers so you understand the concept. They will help you to choose the right one.

Roof Deck Protection

Roof Deck Protection is very similar to a Leak Barrier. The difference is that Roof Deck Protection is installed on the entire Roof Deck area instead of only on “special areas” as we mention in the Leak Barrier section.


GAF roof deck leak barrier

Typically, Roof Deck Protection is a step lower in quality than a Leak Barrier. As with Leak Barriers however, there are many different types of Roof Deck Protection available to choose from ranging from basic felt/tar paper to advanced plastic woven sheets of rip and wrinkle proof material. Choosing a reliable Roof Deck Protection is an important part of a quality Roof System.

We recommend installing a higher quality Roof Deck Protection such as a GAF/ELK Deck Armour. For a relatively small additional cost, you’ll be rewarded with a much more reliable Roof Deck Protection.

Ask your local trusted Roofing Contractor about which under-layer would be best for your Roof System anyway.


Life beneath the shingles is quite complex. How important is all this? Ask the team at All American Roofing who really know their stuff and will be a great help and ensure you have a roofing system that is reliable for many years. Their GAF products carry manufacturer’s warranties and have shingle roofing Data Sheets available that will give you all the technical info.

Good luck with your roofing project. Remember, be proactive and make educated decisions and when in doubt, check with All American Roofing.

Facebook Comments