The Anatomy of Your Roof: Info from Your Local Roofing Expert

Anatomy of Your Roof:  Info from Your Local Roofing Expert When we give a quote to our clients, it often involves a significant amount of time explaining the parts of the roof before we can explain why they need to be repaired. This is understandable...after all, who spends time dissecting their roof to figure out what's underneath the shingles? It's not common knowledge. However, we do think it's important to be at least loosely familiar with the components of your home so you know how to spot quality work from service providers.

When it comes to your roof, there are multiple layers you'll need to understand so you can read and comprehend a repair plan and/or quote given to you by a roofing contractor. While the parts of a typical roof can vary depending on the specific design and style of the building, a few common terms you might see used include:

  • Roofing material: This is the outermost layer of the roof, which provides protection against the elements. Common types of roofing materials include asphalt shingles, metal, clay or concrete tiles, wood shingles or shakes, and slate. Here in Florida, the most commonly seen roofing materials are asphalt shingles and metal.
  • Roof structure: The roof structure consists of the framework that supports the roof and distributes its weight to the rest of the building. It includes components such as rafters, trusses, and beams.
  • Decking: The roof decking, also known as sheathing, is the layer of material (usually plywood or oriented strand board) that covers the roof structure. It provides a solid base for the roofing material to be installed on.
  • Underlayment: The underlayment is a protective layer installed between the roofing material and the decking. It helps to prevent water penetration and provides an extra barrier against moisture.
  • Flashing: Flashing is a thin, waterproof material (often metal) used to seal and protect vulnerable areas of the roof, such as roof intersections, valleys, chimneys, skylights, and vents. It prevents water from entering these areas and causing leaks.
  • Eaves: The eaves are the lower edges of the roof that overhang the walls of the building. They provide additional protection to the walls and foundation from water runoff and direct it away from the structure.
  • Fascia and Soffit: The fascia is a horizontal board that runs along the lower edge of the roof, supporting the bottom row of roof tiles or shingles. The soffit is located under the eaves and provides ventilation for the attic space.
  • Ridge: The ridge is the highest point of the roof where two opposing roof slopes meet. It is typically covered with ridge caps or other specialized materials to seal the joint and provide protection against water intrusion.
  • Gutters and Downspouts : Gutters are troughs installed along the eaves to collect rainwater and direct it away from the roof and the building's foundation. Downspouts are vertical pipes connected to the gutters, which carry the water down to the ground or a drainage system.
If you understand some basic terminology, you'll be able to communicate more easily with your roofing contractor and discuss the plan for repairing or replacing your roof. Knowing these parts and how they work together also helps you comprehend what a full roof replacement might look like, or what the hurricane damage on your insurance claim inspection actually means. No matter what your roof needs, EZ Roofing System can do it. From annual inspections and minor repairs to full roof replacements following some of Polk County's major storms, we are dedicated to quality work, excellent customer service, and operating with honesty and integrity. Call us to schedule your appointment!