No matter if you have shingles or metal roofing, there are actually a lot of parts to a roof. All of these roofing elements have names too. While it’s not imperative that you know all the names of roof parts, some clients really like to know – and it just so happens we love to educate.
While this list is not exhaustive, it gives you a sense of some of the more common roofing terms. Consider it the basic anatomy of a roof that’s already built. There won’t, however, be a test later.
Some of the photographs and illustrations below have been tinted or shaded blue to help clarify the roofing element pictured.
Cricket – (Also called saddle) small peaked area behind a chimney designed to prevent water and debris from accumulating at the chimney.
Dormer – A structure that extends vertically beyond the plane of pitched roof. The most common version is a gabled dormer (pictured here) but is one of nearly a dozen types.
Drip edge – A piece of metal, plastic or vinyl that is located at the eaves end of the roof to protect the fascia from water damage.
Eaves – The edges of a roof, extending beyond the wall face and can functionally protect wall and foundation from water runoff and even the sun’s rays, depending on the design.
Fascia – The trim that caps the rafters and supports rain gutters if installed.
Flashing – Materials used to waterproof the seams and joints of a roof. Found along walls, sills, valleys and structures that extend above the roof plane such as chimneys.
Gable – Triangle shaped wall between two intersecting pitched roof sections.
Hip – Shaped like one side of a pyramid, a roof plane that is triangle shaped, and slopes up to meet two adjoining pitched roof sections.
Rake – The trim that runs from the peak of a gabled roof down to the eaves.
Ridge – The peak intersection of a pitched roof.
Ridge Vent – An important feature in a roof design, allowing heat and moisture to escape an attic.
Sheathing – Also known as decking, the panels that roofing material is affixed to which covers the rafters.
Soffit – Horizontal finish extending between the end of the eaves and the exterior of the wall. Often metal, but also vinyl or wood, should be vented for proper air flow.
Underlayment – A felt or synthetic layer placed between the decking and the roofing material designed to provide a moisture barrier for the roof deck.
Valley – The intersection formed by two sloping roof planes
Got more questions? Give us a call!
In addition to our preoccupation with detail and unsurpassed quality, we really were founded with the heart of a teacher. When you are ready, give us a call. We can come take a look, and help you understand your options, as well as help navigate an insurance process if applicable.