Your roof is made up of several components that all work together to protect your home. Knowing what each component does and how it affects the overall structure of your roof can help you understand why it's important to maintain your roof regularly. We can divide the roof into three main components: The roof structure, the roof covering, and the roof edge. Under these three categories, we can identify the 11 main components. Here they are:

Roof Structure

The roof structure is what you see when the roof is in its initial stages of building. If a roofer does not get the structure right, no amount of covering or edging can help the roof. It's essential to get this part done correctly. It includes the following:

1. Rafters

Rafters are the main support beams of a roof. They extend from the peak of the roof to the eaves and hold up the entire structure. These parts of the structure are usually made from wood and give your roof rigidity and stability.

2. Purlins

Purlins are connected to the rafters, typically at right angles. They help strengthen the structure and provide additional support. Purlins also act as a backing for other components, such as soffits, fascia boards, and any insulation material you may use. Purlins can be wooden or metal and are usually placed every few feet along the entire length of the roof.

3. Pitch

The pitch of a roof is the angle at which it slopes. This can range from very shallow to steeply slanted – the steeper the pitch, the more efficiently water and snow will run off your roof. You’ll need to select an appropriate pitch for your climate, as well as for any architectural style you may be trying to achieve.

Roof Covering

The roof covering is the topmost layer of the roof, and what you see from the ground. It can be made from a variety of materials including shingles or shakes, metal sheets, clay tiles, slate, concrete tiles, and more. Different types of roof covering provide different levels of protection and aesthetic appeal. Here are the components of the roof covering:

4. Underlayment

Before you apply the roof covering, a felt-like material called underlayment is installed to create an additional barrier against moisture. On most occasions, the roofer will use asphalt felt paper, which is a waterproof material. This layer helps protect the roof in the event of rain or snow. Underlayment also provides added strength and protection to the roofing system.

5. Decking

The decking is made out of either plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). The decking forms the main structural support for the entire roof and it helps keep the shingles in place. Plywood is more durable, while OSB has been found to provide better protection against moisture.

6. Shingles

The shingles are the most visible part of a roof and they come in a variety of materials, such as asphalt, wood, metal, tile, and clay. They are installed to protect the underlying layers from water infiltration and provide an attractive finish to your home. When you pick shingles, make sure they’re the right size and shape for your roof. Consider durability, aesthetics, and cost when selecting the type of shingle you want.

7. Flashing

Flashing is key to preventing water from entering your home through the roof. It’s used in places where two different materials meet, such as around chimneys or skylights. You can choose from metal, rubber, vinyl, and other types of flashing. Make sure the material and installation are up to code in your area, as this will help avoid water infiltration down the road.

Roof's Edge

This is the edge of your roof, or where it meets the walls. Your roof’s edge needs to fit tightly against the walls and be able to handle heavy precipitation, snow, and wind. You can find a variety of materials for this purpose such as metal, rubber, vinyl, and other types. Depending on your location and weather conditions you may need certain types of edging for your roof.

8. Drip Edge

A drip edge is molding placed along the edge of your roof to help prevent water infiltration. To get it right, ensure to check with your local building codes to ensure that you are using the correct material and installation technique for your area.

9. Fascia

Fascia is the board that runs along the edge of your roof and serves to protect it from water infiltration. It should be made with durable materials such as wood, fiber cement, vinyl, or aluminum. The fascia also plays a cosmetic role, as it can be painted or stained to match the color of your home.

10. Soffit

Soffit is the material that covers the underside of your roof's eaves and helps to protect them from weather damage. It should be made with a durable material such as vinyl or aluminum, and need to also be properly sealed against moisture. If you live in a colder climate, install soffit vents that will allow warm air to escape from your attic, preventing ice dams from forming.

11. Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are essential for keeping rainwater away from the foundation of your home. They collect water from the roof and direct it away from other important parts of your home such as windows, siding, doors, and basement walls. Without them, water can seep into these areas causing costly damage over time.

Let City Roofing Handle Your Residential Roof Repairs

At City Roofing, we understand that the roof is one of the most important components of your home, and it requires professional care to keep it in its best condition. Our team of experienced technicians can handle any residential roof repair job you may have, no matter what type of material your roof is made from. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and get a free quote.