There is a lot to learn when you are on the market for a new roofing system. The best place to start as a beginner to the industry is with the basics. First gain an understanding of the different parts and features of a roofing system, and then use that knowledge to make an educated decision on the right roof type for your property.
Continue reading to learn the basic anatomy of a roofing system, including common components, features, and more.
Common Roofing Components
There are some basic elements to a roofing system. These include the underlayment, flashing, shingles or tile, trim, and more. Here is a brief description of some common components:
Underlayment – Roof underlayment is the black paper section that is applied to the plywood sheathing. It is the basic barrier from the outside elements. It is installed using a type of membrane; either a waterproof membrane, a sweat sheet or vapor barrier.
Flashing – Pieces of sheet metal applied to various planes of a roof to prevent water seepage. They are generally used around intersections or projections of roofs, including vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and joints at vertical walls.
Shingles – Shingles, or tiles, are the segments that cover the outer most part of a roof. There are many types of materials to choose from, such as wood, asphalt, slate, tile, metal, and composite materials like polymer, rubber, or plastic.
Sheathing – See Deck; Boards or sheet materials that are fastened to the rafters.
Trim – Roof trim is applied to the seams of a roofing system where hips and ridges connect. They provide protection for the seal to prevent damage or water leaks.
Common Design Elements
Cornice – See Fascia and Rake; The wood or metal finishing at the end or edge of a house. These may include fascia, friezes, or rakes.
Dormer – A projected exterior portion of a house or building on a sloped roof. It usually has (or is) a window.
Eaves – This is the lower edge of a sloped roof that runs horizontal to the house or building.
Fascia – A flat decorative boarding, usually wood or metal, which covers the rafter tails at a cornice’s outer edge.
Gables – The triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches.
Hip – The hip is the highest point in which two adjoining roof sections connect.
Pitch – The number of inches of vertical rise in a roof per 12-inches of horizontal distance.
Rake – The angled edge of a roof over a wall.
Ridge – The upper edge of two intersecting sloping roof surfaces.
Valley – The slant formed at the intersection of two sloping roof surfaces.