What Makes a Solid Roof? Anatomy of a Roof

A quality is often taken for granted. It’s there and we see it every day, but we often forget that it’s the only thing protecting us from the elements and keeping our homes from being severely damaged.

So the next time you’re lying warm and comfortable in your bed or enjoying a nice meal with your family after a hard day’s work, think about that roof and what it does for you.

Now some roofs are obviously better than others, so quality goes a long way in the roofing business. When you hire a contractor to build your roof, make sure it’s someone who’s going to do a good job and give you a quality product that will last for many years. Many home owners have been conducting background checks on roofers to ensure they can deliver.

There are many components to a quality roof, and any good contractor will know them and give you something you can be proud of and that will last for a long time.

But what exactly are these different parts that make up a roof? Keep reading to learn much more on this subject.

The most common type of roof in the United States is a gable roof, so that’s primarily what we’re going to be talking about. The vast majority of all roofs are this style, which is made up of two sloping sides that meet at a peak.
Some of the parts of gable roofs include:

Ridge. This is simply the highest point on a sloped roof. Look up at your roof and the ridge is the very top.

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Eaves. These are the lower edges of the roof that overhang the exterior walls of your home.

Gable. This is the part of your roof that looks like an “A.” They are on the end of the home and there is one on each side. They form the peak of the roof.

Rake. This is the sloped sides of a gable end. The rake can be flat with no overhang, or it can overhang the gable end like an eave.

Shingles. There are other types of roofing materials, including metal, shakes, and tile, but most roofs these days have shingles. These are the pieces that are attached to the top of the outer construction and help protect your roof from damage.

Now of course, these are the part of a roof that you can actually see with the naked eye. But there is much more going on with your roof than just what you can see when you’re out in the yard playing with the kids or cutting the grass.
A quality roof is definitely much more than meets the eye. And for it to truly last, what you can’t see needs to be as well made and installed as what you can see.

A few additional parts of a quality roof include:

Rafters. These are part of the frame of your home, the underlying structure that is holding your roof in place.

Underlayment. This protects the decking and rafters from moisture and is the top of the decking.

Decking. This goes on top of the rafters and is a sold surface for the roof covering. It’s most often plywood, but can also be made of other materials.

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Flashing. This is a metal that’s used to stop water from damaging your roof. You’ll most often find flashing around chimneys and flue pipes.

Fascia. This is a board that’s fastened to the lower ends of the roof rafters. If you have rain gutters, they’re attached to the fascia board.

Drip Edge. This is metal flashing that’s placed along the edges of a roof and is designed to divert rain away from the home.

Soffit. These are the underside of the eaves.

This is obviously just a quick overview of the different components that make up the roof that’s protecting you and your family from the elements. The different parts above would all need to be replaced if you were looking at a roof replacement.

If a roof is installed by a quality constructor, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t last you for two or three decades, or longer depending on the type of weather you experience in your area.

Just give things a quick once over every year to be sure that everything is in good shape, and call a contractor if you suspect there might be a problem.