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Learn the Basics of Roof Systems

Roof systems are essential components that protect a building, its contents, and the people within. With one in place, businesses and homes can function effectively. Select the best Roofing companies myrtle beach.

This course introduces the various commercial roofing systems and discusses maintenance considerations for each.

Pitch and Slope

The pitch or slope of a roof design is critical, and every homeowner, commercial building owner, and roofing professional should understand its significance. Angle measures an incline as the ratio between the vertical rise to horizontal span in inches per foot.

Roof pitches with steeper angles are essential for several reasons, such as efficient water drainage. A higher pitch provides more support to protect structures from rain and additional structural strength for older homes or those with weak foundations that have existing roofs being added onto.

Some roofs feature very little or no pitch yet still require at least some slope to allow for proper drainage and avoid leakage issues. Flat or low-slope roofs, usually covered with waterproof membranes, need just the slightest slope to drain water effectively without leaving pools of standing water behind.

Many people misconstrue pitch and slope as synonyms; these two measurements refer to different sizes of roof inclines. Residential roofing typically prefers “pitch,” while contractors use slope measurements instead. To learn more about roofing, the National Roofing Contractors Association provides extensive resources for homeowners and contractors.


Once a problem arises or it comes time to replace their roof system, homeowners need to learn what constitutes its components. Bill Ragan Roofing has prepared this buyer’s guide as an educational resource to assist homeowners with this learning experience.

Common materials for flat roof systems include underlayment, membrane, vapor barrier materials, and flashing. Underlayment is typically composed of paper-like material laid over plywood sheathing to protect it from weather elements like rain and snow. Membranes come with multiple plies representing how many layers of asphalt and fabric make up the flat roof membrane.

Liquid-applied membranes such as thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) offer outstanding resistance against chemicals, bacteria growth, and UV radiation, making them cost-effective solutions with broad applications.


An integral component of any roof system, ventilation is of crucial importance. Without adequate airflow, indoor environments quickly become stuffy and cause discomfort, health issues, and energy waste. Ventilation involves the introduction of fresh air while simultaneously extracting any stale air, either naturally or artificially, from spaces through mechanical means.

Natural ventilation can be achieved by opening windows or using fans to help control indoor humidity levels and dilute metabolic pollutants like carbon dioxide and odors released by people and equipment in space, providing enough oxygen for metabolism. Its primary goal is humidity regulation.

Ventilation in mechanical systems such as heating and cooling is typically achieved using air handlers, supply and return vents, and blower assemblies working together to provide “mechanical ventilation.” Mechanical ventilation aims to lower humidity levels in occupied spaces while simultaneously normalizing temperatures; furthermore, it helps prevent mold growth.

Ventilation is essential to achieving a comfortable and energy-efficient home for homeowners. If your attic is not adequately ventilated, moisture issues could occur, which shorten roof lifespan and increase energy bills – you might notice this if window condensation builds up or you cannot open doors due to imbalanced air pressure issues.

Read also: What Are the Properties of Polyurea?


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