A Little Understanding – Climate Protection (Part 2)

A Little Understanding – The Shingles and Flashing

The intricacies of shingles and flashing are overwhelming to those who do not understand the principal behind this type of roofing system. Once someone explains it to you, you too can become an expert like me. You got me! I am not an expert on roofing but I have helped shingle a few roofs. Sorry to those who are real roofers, but the premise behind applying shingle style water protection is actually quite simple… but the work is some of the most gruelling. The best time to install shingles and flashing is when the temperature is warm or better still, hot. This however, isn’t the best time for the workers to be on a roof exposed to the elements.

There is really only one way to shingle a roof

I have seen the pros do it and I have seen amateurs do it and from what I’ve seen, both start from the bottom and overlap each row until they cap off the top. There are really only three things that separate the pros from the amateurs.

First, the pros tend to shingle in sections. They lay a line of about six shingles at the bottom then move up. They repeat until they reach the top and then start at the bottom with six more shingles and follow the same system. Amateurs usually complete an entire row then move up and complete the next and so on.

Second, pros work at a speed that boggles the mind, while amateurs take forever to line up each shingle. Pros have one person placing them as the other nails them down at a rate of ten to fifteen shingles for every one that an amateur completes. I just guessed at that rate, it could be thirty to one, all I know is it is fast.

The third is not true in all situations but my research, okay an informal poll mixed with anecdotal evidence, tells me it happens more often than you think. Pros are not paid in cases of beer and slices of pizza and do not get their friends to help on the job site. Amateurs, on the other hand, quite often bribe their friends with food and drink in hopes that they will help with this exhausting job.

[Church goers] I don’t know which side of the alcohol debate you find yourself on… but I think we can all agree that paying your friends in pizza at any time is safe, paying them in beer while they are still roofing, not so much…

Pro or amateur, if done right, each shingle covers up part of the one below.

By overlapping each row and shifting the shingle, the nails are covered by the row above. The nails from the row above not only secure that shingle to the roof but, if overlapped properly, the nail will catch the shingle underneath (double nailing) giving it a better resistance to wind.

Once the roof heats up, a line of tar on each shingle sticks the overlapped shingles together making it even more wind resistant. Because of the overlapping of the shingles, water flows down the roof and cannot work its way inside.

Flashing is added where chimneys and any second story walls are against the roof. Shingles overlap the flashing and are attached with flexible adhesives so that all water is directed down the slope and cannot seep in. A properly installed shingle and flashing barrier means the outside stays on the outside.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

…This type of roofing system has built-in redundancy so that rain and wind cannot force their way past. The life of a Christ follower and the way the collective of Christ followers functions, must have built in redundancy to prevent the outside from forcing its way in. If the outside finds its way under the roofing system, it will destroy what is inside. If the world outside finds its way inside our lives and our churches it will destroy us, making us like the world.

Redundancy is key to both the roofing system and the Christ follower’s/collective of Christ follower’s system. A barrier must be put in place that has more than one set of defences against the pounding attack or constant erosion of the forces outside…

…Satan will use whatever he can to work toward his goal of death and destruction.

It isn’t always as obvious as a pitchfork holding, cattle hooved, evil looking creature showing up outside the Christ follower and the collective of Christ follower’s house. Instead… it is the things that seem normal, even good, that he hides behind as he “masquerades as an angel of light”  2 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV).

Slowly he wears down the outer layer of protection with a constant flow of what we consider normal everyday things. We don’t make sure that our spiritual shingles and flashing are all in good working order because we don’t see the water from Satan’s light shower as a threat. The little things that erode our belief system, changing us and the churches we attend, go unnoticed.

A Little Understanding – Climate Protection (Part 3) will be posted in late June 2019


From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.

For more excerpts and quotes from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”

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