An Explanation of Basic Roof Anatomy

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.

Indianapolis Roofing Contractors 317-506-1358

Indianapolis Roofing Contractors 317-506-1358

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.

Indianapolis Roofing Contractors

Indianapolis Roofing Contractors 317-506-1358

Indianapolis Roofing Contractors 317-506-1358

Call RMG Roofing at 317-506-1358 for professional roof installation and replacement in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are veterans in the home and building construction industry, and provide a wide range of residential and commercial roofing services, including repairs, new construction, replacements, inspections, and more. Count on our team for unparalleled workmanship and sincere customer support! Request a free estimate, today.

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