It rains a lot in Central Indiana an average of 42.44 inches a year, in fact. That's about a foot more than the national average — a foot more that could cause serious structural roofing damage without taking the proper precautions. This begins with waterproofing your roof. Both the roofing materials employed and the shape of the roof play a role in deflecting moisture. Here's how.
The steepness of your roof influences several factors, from the level of maintenance required to the compatibility of materials to the cost of installation and repairs. It also greatly determines the degree to which precipitation is a factor.
Flat or low-pitch roofs are going to be safer to walk on, inspect, and repair but also be especially susceptible to pooling water and subsequent leaks. These are generally a no-go for weather conditions in the Midwest, especially for residential buildings.
Medium-pitched roofs are the most common in Midwestern homes and for much of the United States, as they effectively slough away precipitation while remaining workable without special equipment.
High-pitched roofs may be striking, but they are also costly. Everything slides off a roof with a dramatic slope including people so hiring a professional contractor with the necessary equipment is non-negotiable for installation or repairs.
Shingles are your roof's armor, shielding your home from rain, sleet, snow, hail, and wind while contributing to its overall aesthetic. The most economical and common types of shingles are asphalt, coming in both the standard 3-tab format as well as a host of architectural styles. While it provides solid protection from the elements, it is susceptible to wear and will need replacing every 25-30 years (although some varieties are more resilient). Wood shakes, slate, and even metal shingles have also been utilized with success among Midwestern homeowners to waterproof their roofs and maximize energy efficiency.
Laying directly under the shingles (hence the name) and on top of the roof deck, underlayment is critical to keeping water out of your home's uppermost story. Synthetic underlayments are the most widely used today, containing an asphalt-saturated base layer interspersed with fiberglass optimum resilience and stability. Rubberized asphalt is pricier, but creates a seal that is virtually waterproof. While not necessarily applied to the entire roof deck, it is recommended for valleys (where the downslopes of two sections of roof meet) or at the eaves (sections of roofing overhanging the sides).
Exposed or concealed flashings, comprised of sheet metal (exterior), plastic, or bituminous coal (concealed) deflect water away from vulnerable joints or seams in the architecture, including around chimneys, vents, or skylights. Proper roof flashing installation will greatly decrease your home's vulnerability to unwanted seepage and rot.