The Anatomy of a Roof

While replacing a roof can be a big, important decision, it also helps protect your biggest investment-your home-and it gives you the chance to start fresh with a new exterior look. Getting the color and shape of shingle you always wanted is a great way to express your individual personality and add real value. Plus, if you have a leak, ignoring it can only get worse and could result in interior damage or even mold or deck rot.

Anatomy of a Roof

You’ll notice that a roof is much more than just shingles-it’s a complete system of integrated components and layers all working together to protect the home.  Here’s the scoop:

1.Deck.  The structural base, usually made of wood or plywood.

2.Dormer.  A structure containing a window that projects vertically through the slope in the roof.

3.Eave. The lower border of the roof that overhangs the wall.

4.Exposure. The part of each shingle that is exposed to the weather.

5.Flashing.  Waterproofing construction used at intersections of different planes or at openings in the roof.

6.Gable.  The triangular section of the outer wall at the peak of the roof. Also a type of roof.

7.Hip.  The intersection of two roof planes that meet to form a sloping ridge running from the peak to the eave.

8.Ice and water barrier.   A self-adhesive waterproofing membrane used along eaves and valleys to protect these sensitive areas against ice damage and wind-driven rain.

9.Metal drip edge.  A narrow strip of noncorrosive metal used at the rake to facilitate water runoff.

10.Rake.  The outer edge of the roof from the eave to the ridge.

11.Ridge.  An intersection of two roof planes forming a horizontal peak.

12.Ridge vent.  An exhaust vent that runs horizontally along the peak allowing warm, humid air to escape from the attic.

13.Undereave vent.  Intake vents located under the eaves that help draw cool dry air into the attic.

14.Underlayment.  A layer of protective material between the deck and the shingles.

15.Valley The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff.


(This information was adapted directly from the Owens-Corning website.)