A roof is one of the most important and perhaps most overlooked parts of a home. Along with the chimney it is often joined with, the roof is an assumed part of a structure. But without the proper attention, it can cause a great deal of expense and misery to a home when it fails.


The Purpose of a Roof and Chimney

In addition to keeping the weather out, the primary goal of a roof is to unite the walls and create a private spaces. When used in conjunction with the chimney, the roof provides a great deal of comfort and security to a home. The chimney is a fantastic invention that allows a fire to be built inside the home, yet prevents it from burning the home or smoking out the occupants. By containing the heat and combustibility of the fire, as well as directing fumes, smoke, and soot up and out of the way, a chimney is used primarily for comfort and luxury -- although many people still use to heat their homes, at least in part. The chimney either runs perpendicular to, or passes through, some part of the roof.

The roof works to keep a home secure and insulated. By trapping air in the home, the roof allows it to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, keeping the hard work of air conditioners and heaters inside.

The Construction of a Roof

There are many components of a roof that a homeowner would do well to understand. At the bare minimum, an understanding of how the roof is put together will give the homeowner a chance to spot any problem areas before they grow too large to handle. The typical roof is constructed from a frame of timber and then covered in shakes or tiles, whether a utilitarian vinyl tile or exquisite slate or copper. The tiles are held in place using roofing nails. Loose nails are a sure sign of future leak problems, and amount to just one example of how the sharp-eyed homeowner can prevent big trouble.

Maintaining a Chimney

When it comes to using and enjoying the chimney in a home, there are also a few things to keep in mind. Chimney pots and screens should be used to keep the odd bit of debris and creatures out. Keeping the chimney routinely cleaned is also a must -- not only does it keep fires in the chimney burning cleanly, but it also prevents potential illness from accumulated soot that emits harmful gas.

Your roof and the chimney are wonderful parts of your home that can last a lifetime, if only you learn how to properly care for them.