Roofing 101: What Are the Parts of a Roof?

Jun 26, 2019 | Education, Roofing Materials

At first glance, roofs appear pretty simple. There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to keeping you safe and dry though.

While homeowners are attentive to routine home repairs, maintaining and improving a roof can increase a house’s value. In some cases, roof quality can be a dealbreaker when trying to sell a home.

Do you know all the parts of a roof? Discover what each roofing component does so you can better understand when you need repairs or replacements.


Shingles are small rectangular sheets made out of composite fiber materials that serve as the outer most protection of a roof. Their different available colors give a house its characteristic look.


Also known as sheathing, this is the area where shingles get nailed down. Decking is typically made from plywood and serves as another layer of protection.


The gutter serves more of a purpose than clearing out all those leaves! The water hits your roof during any given rainstorm. Gutters properly drain excess water to preserve structural integrity.


The ridge is the peak of a roof, the horizontal line where both ends meet at the top. Many roofs have a ridge vent to ensure proper ventilation.


This is the area where two parts of a roof intersect and create a downward slope. And the crease it creates can be more prone to leakage compared to other parts of a roof.


The flashing is pieces of metal applied to different parts of a rood to help prevent leaking. It’s usually rust resistant and feeds into the gutters. Flashing is most commonly placed in valleys and where the roof intercepts a wall.


Underlayment is applied over the top of the decking. It serves as a protection from moisture and humidity to preserve a roof’s longevity.


The dormer is the part of a roof that extends out and covers a window and sort of looks like a mini roof. Depending on the architectural design, not all roofs have dormers.


Gable is the most standard type of roof design. Gable roofs consist of two rectangular parts that come together and form a triangle. This is likely the type of roof you drew on paper as a child.

Drip Edge

The extension of flashing that’s installed on a roof’s edge is the drip edge. It helps deter water overflow and closes off any gaps or openings at the bottom of a roof.

Understanding Parts of a Roof

Knowing the different parts of a roof that make it come together is important. While these components may seem overwhelming, it’s vital to know them.

Replacing a roof can be costly but necessary in some situations. Keeping up on maintenance can save a significant amount of money in the long run. Always be safe when getting on your roof, as half a million people fall off ladders during home repairs every year.

Don’t wait for problems to arise. Routine roof inspections can help catch issues in their early stages.

Do you have any questions about the parts of your roof or need a consultation? Contact us to learn more!


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