The Many Parts of a Roof - Homeowner's Pal

The Many Parts of a Roof

September 7, 2017

The roof on your house is one of the most important aspects of your home. Your roof has a very important job, perhaps one of the most important in your home: protect you from the elements.

If you have noticed your roof looks like it needs attention it is best to look into it further rather than leave it for later. While it may seem like a daunting task, leaving a problem roof can cost you big in the long run.

Roofs are expensive if they need to be redone as they require a lot of knowledge and skill to install and repair. For this reason, it is not something you can typically do yourself and instead you will need to hire the job out.

Before calling your contractor, it is important that you know the different parts of your roof so that you can get a more accurate quote. Having this knowledge will help you to understand the different parts of your roof and leave you with a better concept of what to do next.

Parts of the Roof

A sloped roof is the most widely used type. Simply put, it is a roof that sits on an angle rather than flat.

The Valley

The valley is where two parts of the roof meet. It creates an area that has a “v” shape. Ridges are the high points of the roof and form a point at the top.

Flashing

Anything the protrudes out from the roof, like a chimney, is wrapped with flashing at the base. Flashing is an incredibly important part of your roof as it weatherproofs your house. This can be metal or shingle material that creates a watertight bond, allowing no water to get under the shingles. If you notice a problem here, you should contact your contractor immediately.

Shingles

Shingles sit on top of paper which lays on plywood that creates the base of the roof. The paper acts as a barrier that better insulates your home. Under the plywood are rafters that make the frame in which the roof sits on top.

Vents

Nearly every single roof has vents. This ensures that no moisture or vapors build up in your attic causing mold or damage. These are also used for plumbing and works to ensuring that your home does not smell.

Insulation

All roofs should have insulation. This can be sprayed from the inside, or be a batting material. If your roof is not insulated it can be letting heat out in the winter and cool air in the summer. This can cause your heater and air conditioning unit to work overtime costing you more money than it should.

Eaves

Eaves catch the rain that runs off the roof. This way you can direct it into drains instead of around your foundation.

The Gable

A gable is the part of the roof that overhangs from the house. This creates a little area that can be used to cover a patio or front stop.

All of these aspects work together to create the roof. If there is a weak spot in any of these areas water can build up and create havoc with the roof system. Now that you know the various moving parts that make up your roof, you will be better suited to making an informed decision on what to do next.

Jeff Larson

About the Author

Jeff Larson

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