The term “roofing supplies” covers a wide range of materials and items needed for roof construction and maintenance. This includes not only shingles but molding, lumber, pipes and vents, roofing cements, ladders and all the necessary tools, even roofing nails.
Starting at the top, let’s consider the roofing material. This is considered the roof proper and includes wood shingles, ceramic tiles, asbestos shingles, metal roofing sheets and tiles, rubber roofing sheets and shingles, and more. Location is a prime concern when selecting material, so that the roof will stand up to the local elements and issues that impact it.
Lumber is used in a roof primarily as the support structure or frame. This generally consists of a triangular truss and a lattice of beams. The frame serves as the base which is laid over the top. Lumber is used for other elements including the cornice, part of the frame that hangs over the wall, the fascia, or underside of the cornice, the eave, beam ends of the wood frame that allow water to drip away from the roof, and the soffit, or underside of the eave ceramic smoking pipes.
Pipes and vents protrude from the roof. They help the house breathe, and are also the escape routes for smoke from a fireplace or cooking hood, as well as for hot air from the attic. The bottoms of pipes and vents are commonly sealed with a boot, or metal strip, including a lead based or plastic sealant. They have one way shields sealed with rubber so that the air or smoke can escape, but water doesn’t flow into the pipe or vent.
Roofing tools include the ladder to climb up to the roof, as well as others used for maintenance, installation and removal. These include simple items such as a broom and bucket to hold waste shingles, a slater’s hammer complete with a hammer as well as an ax and blade, a slate cutter to cut through shingles, seaming pliers to grasp shingles, and a hip runner to install the ridge cap, the portion of the roof on top of seams.
When it comes to roofing nails, they must be long enough to extend through the shingles and go further to about 3/8 inch below the underside of the shingle. Anything that interferes with the nails biting into the wood might cause the nail to spring out of the shingle, and eventually the loss of shingles. This includes shingles with ridges, some under shingle materials, and of course nails that are too short. A good roofer can drive a roofing nail with one solid hit. A homeowner doing it themselves will find that they can drive the nails with one hit after only a few minutes.