The Value of a Complete Roofing System
Photo Credit: National Contractors

Do you understand the value of a complete roofing system? Installing a complete roofing system, with shingles and accessories designed to work together, may not always be the cheapest option, however, here are the key reasons why it might be the best option. Installing full systems will give the homeowner added peace of mind.

Photo Credit: GAF

Shingles & Accessories Specifically Designed to Work Together

A complete roofing system provides layers of protection against the elements and severe weather. Installing components made by multiple manufacturers can be risky; if the layers were not designed to work together, then mixing and matching them may lead to future problems.

The Roofing System

The roofing system consists of various components that help protect your home from the elements.

  • Ice & Water Shield (Leak Barrier): A self-adhered waterproof underlayment typically installed on top of the roof deck at the eave edge of the roof, as well as other vulnerable areas. This helps protect against leaks caused by wind-driven rain and ice dams.
  • Roof deck protection: Asphalt-saturated felt or a synthetic material that helps protects a home. It provides a water-shedding secondary layer of protection between the shingles and roof deck to prevent wind-driven rain from infiltrating.
  • Starter strip shingles: The first course of roofing installed at the eave and/or rake edges of a shingle roof to improve wind resistance.
  • Shingles: Roofing material typically made of asphalt, fiberglass mat and ceramic coated granules. Shingles serve as the primary roof covering and are installed in overlapping layers to protect the structure and help ensure proper water-shedding.
  • Ventilation: A balanced system of intake and exhaust vents that allow air to continuously flow through the attic space to exhaust excess heat and moisture.
  • Hip and ridge cap shingles: Shingles that are designed to be installed over the ridge and hip areas of the roof where two roof planes meet.

Factors to Consider when Selecting a Roofing System

There are numerous factors to consider when deciding what roofing materials to choose for your roofing project. You'll receive guidance from your governing documents, engineer or contractor on the types of materials that will be best for your home, but here are some key factors to take into consideration.


In most cases, asphalt shingles are going to be the most economical choice for your residential roof. If you are interested in a different aesthetic, or live in certain regions, you may want to consider other roofing material options, like slate, tile, wood shakes, or metal.

Warranty Terms

The standard manufacturer's warranty on asphalt shingles will last for anywhere between 20 years to "Lifetime." However, you should always be sure to review the specific terms of the warranty before making a final decision, as the specific coverage will vary significantly. You may also consider asking your contractor about the availability of enhanced warranties, which may provide longer or more comprehensive coverage than the standard manufacturer's warranty.

For example, when you install any qualifying GAF Lifetime shingles plus three qualifying GAF accessory products, you are automatically eligible for the GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty, which provides a Lifetime warranty term not only for the shingles, but for the qualifying GAF accessory products as well.

In addition, if you install GAF Timberline Shingles with LayerLock Technology, plus GAF starter strips, roof deck protection, ridge cap shingles, and your choice of leak barrier or attic ventilation, you are eligible for the WindProven Limited Wind Warranty, an industry first limited wind warranty with no maximum wind speed limitation. That means that no matter how fast the wind blows, the warranty provides coverage for shingle blow offs. According to The Insurance Information Institute, over a five-year period, wind and hail were collectively the top cause of home damage with an average repair cost of nearly $14,000. Regardless of where in the country you live, you may be at risk of wind damage. The National Severe Storms Laboratory reports that damaging winds from thunderstorms account for over half of all property damage throughout the 48 contiguous US states.

Maintenance and Repairs

Most residential roofing systems require minimal maintenance; however, you will want to inspect your roof at least twice a year and after significant weather events to look for damage or necessary repairs.

Now that you know the value of a complete roofing system, you'll be better able to discuss your options and select the best roof system to protect your home.

Whether you're in need of a complete replacement or a few repairs, always consult with the experts at National Contractors when considering a change to your roofing system.

National Contractors is GAF Master Elite certified with extensive training and licensing to get your roof repair(s) or replacement done correctly. We are an award-winning industry leader offering unsurpassed general construction services to community associations, condominiums, management companies, engineering firms, residential and commercial property managers.

We are a 23-year multi-chapter member of Community Associations Institute with staff that has earned the Educated Business Partner distinction. Hiring a CAI member ensures you are collaborating with a professional that understands the specific nature and unique challenges of community associations.

Images & article courtesy of GAF / Dawn Killough & Karen L. Edwards

Complete Roofing System