When most people think of their roofs, one thing comes to mind, the shingles. That’s one piece of a roof, but it’s a small piece in a very large puzzle. Let’s walk through the anatomy of a roof so that the next time you have a conversation with a roofing contractor, you will know exactly what they are talking about.
Located at the very top of your roof is the roof ridge. It runs the entire length of your roof and is where the two roof planes join. The ridge is also sometimes called the peak.
The ridge vent is the horizontal piece at the roof’s peak that allows heat to exhaust from the attic.
Wherever there is a joint opening on the roof, you will see a metal piece under the shingles. This is called flashing. Flashing is also used around chimneys, dormers, and skylights to form a seal against the elements.
The roof deck is usually made of wood or plywood. It serves as the base underneath your shingles.
Roofing underlayment is made of either synthetic or felt material. It adds an extra layer of protection beneath your shingles and helps repel moisture as well as protects against water infiltration.
There are two common types of shingles. The first is laminated architectural asphalt shingles and is the most widely used roofing. Architectural shingles are made with more than one layer of tabs, which adds dimension to them as well as increased durability and protection. The second is three-tab shingles. These are a more inexpensive option as they are only one layer in thickness.
The gable is the triangular section at the top of an outer wall that intersects the peak of the roof.
The narrow strip of metal you see around the edge of your roof is called the drip edge. It is non-corrosive and helps direct dripping water away from entering under the first row of shingles.
Not all homes have dormers. These are raised sections of a roof that typically contain a window.
An eave is the lower part of the roof that overhangs exterior walls.
Undereave vents, as their name alludes to, are located on the underside of the eaves. They aid in drawing cool, dry air into the attic and help keep a steady flow of air going in the attic.
Now that you are familiar with what makes up an entire roofing system, you’ll be able to recognize these features in other homes as well as your own. More importantly, you are now able to have an informed conversation with a roofing contractor. If you are looking to replace your roof, give Bealing Roofing & Exteriors, LLC, a call and let’s discuss your options.
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