General Roofing Systems 101

Published July 18, 2022
By Brandon Hamilton

How well do you know your roof? A quality roofing system is essential for not only the safety of your home, but also your home’s valuation, and surprisingly to many, its level of energy efficiency. Yes, there is MUCH more to your roofing system than just shingles – each component of a great roofing system is important in properly protecting your home against the elements.

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Welcome to General Roofing Systems 101, where we will educate you on what goes into a reliable roof replacement and why your home needs each component of your roofing system to be properly installed and maintained to stay protected for years!

Lincoln Exterior Renovations (Lincoln Exteriors) has transformed homes for over 43 years and we are committed to the expert installation of the best roofing products on the market.

Understanding Your Roof – Inside and Out

When it comes to a roof replacement, “good enough” is not good enough for the Lincoln Exteriors team. We consider the importance the entire roofing system plays in protecting your home and provide the best quality roofing materials by only using the industry’s leading, hail-rated, architectural, Canadian-made shingles, vents and other materials that will protect your home for years to come.

Our roofing systems include thoughtful details that are intended to add longevity and durability to your roof. Quality work is the difference between a great product and a product that lasts – which is why we’ve spent the past 43 years building relationships and hiring the best roofers in the city so that your roof is done right the first time.

​​To really understand the difference a Lincoln Exteriors roofing system can make on your home, it’s important to discuss the anatomy of the majority of roofing systems commonly seen throughout Calgary. Most roofing systems do not include a breathable underlayment and are severely under ventilated – leading to a number of major issues, including moisture leaks within the interior of your home and mold. Lincoln Exteriors ensures the materials, workmanship and installation methods of each roofing system surpasses the industry standards, ensuring the integrity of your roof and the protection of your home long-term.

Lincoln Exteriors general roofing systems 101

The basic items included in a shingled roofing system include:

  • Drip edge
  • Ice and Water Shield
  • Valley Metal
  • Full breathable underlayment
  • Starter shingles
  • Architectural shingles
  • Ridge cap
  • Ventilation

Drip Edge

Drip edge, AKA “flashing”, is installed within each one of Lincoln Exteriors’ roofing systems. The drip edge is installed at the eaves to direct water runoff straight to where it is intended to go – the eavestrough. Drip edge also helps direct water into the eavestrough during high wind rainstorms; in a climate like Calgary’s where the weather fluctuates often and drastically, it is essential your home is protected from the elements – roof included.

Ice and Water Shield

An ice and water shield is a granular, peel-and-stick waterproof membrane that is installed above all eaves and along all valleys of a roofing system. It acts as an additional barrier that helps protect against ice damming. An ice and water shield protects the more vulnerable areas of your roof (like valleys) from accumulating ice and water buildup, which can easily cause damage throughout the snowy and rainy parts of the year. In Calgary, ice and water shields are more than essential to include in your home’s roofing system.

Valley Metal

Roof valleys are without a doubt, one of the most vulnerable parts of a roof. A roof valley is where two slopes meet, which creates a space for water and snow to easily collect. Inadequately protected valleys are at a much higher risk for water damage and serious leaks. Along with a ice and water shield, our team makes sure to add another layer of protection by means of valley metal, AKA ‘metal flashing’. Valley metal is installed directly on top of the ice and water shield and is intended to shed water off the roof as quickly as possible. Shingles will then overlay the valley metal – protecting your home even more so from the elements of Calgary weather.

Full Breathable Underlayment

Lincoln Exteriors includes full, breathable, synthetic underlayment in all of our roofing systems, and only installs the highest quality underlayment for all roofing jobs. The underlay covers the entire roof deck and overlaps the ice and water shield. The purpose of underlayment is to keep water off the roof in the case any water egresses underneath the installed shingles. Full breathable underlayment is an important part of protecting the roof deck from water accumulation, which is why we make it a point to prioritize the underlayment in our roofing projects. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on the importance of using a breathable underlayment in the coming weeks!


Lincoln Exteriors roofing systems include three types of shingles. The first is starter shingles, which are installed at the eaves and at the rake edges of the roof. Starter shingles are crucial to the roofing system as it adheres to the first layer of architectural shingles that are installed. Without a starter strip, the shingles are susceptible to being blown off with a large gust of wind. They also will give a straight line for the architectural shingles to be cut along. The other is ridge cap, which are thicker than shingles and are pre-bent to allow them to fit along the ridge easily. The ridge cap also helps shield the roof from water and snow without deteriorating quickly. Architectural shingles are then installed over top of the starter shingles and underlayment. The shingles are the roof’s primary protection from rain, hail, and wind, and are also the aesthetic element of a roof, being the outermost part of a roofing system. Lincoln Exterior’s preferred shingle manufacturer is BP Canada – learn more about the shingles used in a Lincoln roofing system here!


Roof ventilation works as a system. When installed correctly, roof ventilation provides air circulation to keep the air quality and climate in the home at comfortable, safe levels. If any of the ventilation system does not function as it is designed to, issues such as condensation, attic rain, or ice damming can occur. Roof ventilation systems are designed to remove warm, moist air from attics by means of exhaust vents at the top of the roof near the ridge. Proper ventilation is key for a long-lasting, safe roofing system. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on properly ventilated roofing systems, done the Lincoln way, in the coming weeks!

The Lincoln Exterior Renovations Roofing Process

Out with the old

To start any roofing job, our team of seasoned professionals at Lincoln Exteriors first removes your old roofing materials. Removing the old and outdated elements from your roof will prime the “canvas” so to speak, so we are able to make any necessary repairs to the roof deck. Every building starts with a strong foundation, and every roof replacement starts with a healthy roof deck.


With your roof deck prepped and primed, our team installs drip edge at the eaves and ice and water shield around the eaves and valleys. These elements are essential parts of a high-quality roofing job because they help direct water runoff directly into the eavestrough, and also protect your roof from ice damage – an indispensable step due to lllskllksdijustin89brutal Calgary winters. Our team then lays a roofing underlayment over the remainder of your roof deck, so it is perfectly protected prior to laying the shingles.

The Details

Once your roof deck is prepped and primed, we then install the shingles. When we install the shingles, Lincoln Exteriors makes it a priority to use sufficient nailing to ensure wind resistance and overall longevity. With your new roof properly installed, we get to work on a thorough cleanup to leave your home in the same condition it was when we arrived. Lincoln stays mindful of the details in the cleanup process to make certain that no hazards are left on-site, even using magnets to pick up any fallen nails. After a final job site inspection, your new roof is complete and ready to protect your home from whatever Calgary weather it will have to endure.

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Roofing Solutions You Can Trust

Are you in need of Calgary roofing services? We would love to manage your comprehensive roofing needs. Get in touch with us today by calling (403) 275 4871 or by filling out our contact form. To read more about our roofing process please click here to visit our roofing page. Your roof is in good hands with Lincoln Exteriors.

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