Roofing Guide

There are a number of elements or roofing materials that come together to create that waterproof layer known as your roof. The materials that are used to create that waterproof layer may vary from roof to roof but the concepts that are used remain consistent. And the result is a roof whose sole purpose is to repel water away from your house.

Structurally, everything underneath the waterproof layer at the top of your house supports that impervious layer. The ridge beam which spans the length of the roof makes up the support between the opposite slopes of your roof. The rafters are sloped beams that extend from the ridge beam to the eaves and support the load of the roof. The waterproof layer or the roof covering starts just above the rafters.


Boards that are laid on top of the rafters are called sheathing. The sheathing adds stability and rigidity to the frame of the roof and provides a nailing surface. Common sheathing can be made up of different roofing materials such as particleboard, OSB, and the most popular option, plywood. When installing sheathing it is important to center each sheet on top of the rafter underneath. During installation, it is important to note where the rafters are located underneath and you should only walk on the sheathing where the rafters are supporting it below. It may be wise to use chalk lines on top of the sheathing to indicate where the supporting rafters are located.

Roofing Underlayment

The next layer in the waterproof membrane is the roofing underlayment which is typically referred to as roofing felt. The roofing felt’s job is to act as a waterproof barrier between the sheathing below and the roofing material such as shingles above. The roofing felt is applied on top of the sheathing in overlapping strips horizontally.


The final tier in the waterproof layer is the outermost layer which is the shingles. There are many options for the outermost layer including asphalt shingles, wood shingles, metal, and clay, slate, and concrete tiles. Deciding on which option to choose is dependent upon budget and more importantly, prevailing weather conditions. You should consult with your local Baton Rouge roofing contractor for what option suits both your budget and the weather conditions in your area.

Creating that impervious, waterproof layer known as your roof requires expertise in this specialized area of the construction industry. The roofing materials that can be used run the gamut. Doing your homework and consulting with the right Baton Rouge roofing specialist should lead to a long-lasting roof for your home.