Understanding The Different Parts Of Your Roof And What They’re For

Most people have little to no interest in what the parts of the roof are and might even care less about their respective functions. However, understanding these things will prove useful when you finally decide to have your own home or have a need for a replacement roof in the future.

For this very reason, we have listed down the basic parts of a roof, their functions, and their variations based on expert knowledge from research.

Sheathing or Decking

This part of the roofing serves as the nailbed of the structure where the shingles— or any other kind of roofing material used— are attached. Typically made from half-inch plywood, particleboard, or oriented strand board (OSB), the decking panel covers the rafters and supports the roofing.

Roof or Eaves Edge

Also known as fascia, this part of the roof consists of all boards along the edge of the roof or eaves. It is also described the board that covers the rafter and is often attached serves as the connecting part between the gutters and the house itself.


The attic is probably the part of the roof that is commonly known among people who aren’t into structural and building studies. It is described as a space under the roof and is usually used as a storage space for the home. However, it’s primary function is to protect the roofing system from the intense heat of the summer sun as well as the moisture in the air during winter.


The saddle serves as a conduit to redirect rainwater around projections in the roof such as chimneys, vent pipes, valleys, and the vertical walls’ joints. This part of the roofing system that protects the roof projections and is also known as the “flashing.”


The highest point of the roof is called the “ridge.” This is also described as the horizontal line of a pitched roof.


The valley is a sloping section of the roof that is formed by two surfaces. It usually takes an angle of 90 degrees or the shape of the letter “V.”

Eaves Membrane

This part of a roof with asphalt shingles serves as a protective membrane to thwart water or moisture absorption. It also protects against “ice dams” that usually form during winter.

Roofing Underlayment or Underlay Membrane

The roofing underlayment, which is also dubbed “underlay membrane,” is a felt-like material that serves as a protective barrier against resin (for asphalt shingles) or moisture. This waterproof membrane prevents resin buildup, which usually comes from the wooden decking, from damaging the shingles. It also serves as the added protection during inclement weather.

Roof Vents

As the name indicates, roof vents are openings that help keep the roofing system ventilated by capturing the wind. This enclosure in the roof is usually made of plastic or metal that has openings and fins. Roof vents are most effective when built in a way that that allows them to rise above the roof and is open on all four sides.

Plumbing Vent

The plumbing vent is a pipe with an end that emerges from the roof. This part of the roofing system has a similar function as the roof vents, except it admits air as a means for wastewater to flow properly to the sewer.


Shingles are another part of the roof that many are most familiar with because it is the part of the structure that protects it from rain and the heat of the sun. Many kinds of shingles are available in the market but the most common is the asphalt shingles. Shingles can also be made of wood and stone but these usually come at a higher price tag.


By | 2018-03-19T02:28:43+00:00 March 19th, 2018|General|

About the Author:

Palm Beach Roofing Expert has been providing Palm Beach County, FL trusted, reliable roofing services for years. We are industry leaders for roof installation, roof repair, and roof replacement referrals & networking. When you work with us, you can expect the best service available from the best service provider available in our area!

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