Familiarising yourself with roofing materials and parts is crucial if you want a roof that will look great and last a long time.
Every roofing part plays a role in helping protect your roof from leaks and adverse weather like high winds. However, if you don’t know what each part does, you may not know what to maintain.
Continue our roofing part guide to learn the name of every significant roofing part. We will also explain why each one is essential to maintaining your roof.
What Are the Main Roofing Parts You Should Be Familiar With?
You may think a roof is as simple as tiles and nails, but you would be incorrect. A roof consists of multiple parts with different purposes.
Here are the roofing parts you should know about.
Roof decking is the essential foundation of a roof put on before any other part. Without excellent decking, your roof wouldn’t have structural integrity. It will also lack weather resistance and have nothing to stop it from buckling or sagging.
Two common materials for roof decking are Plywood and Oriented Strand Board (OSB).
Plywood resists moisture well and has solid strength, making it an excellent option for durability. OSB, however, is a cheaper option than plywood but still has decent durability. We recommend plywood if you can afford it, but OSB is still a suitable alternative.
Underlayment for a Roof
Although roof decking helps with durability, it cannot prevent all forms of damage on its own. Because of this, underlaying your roof is vital.
Roof underlayment is a second barrier behind the roof decking. You may wonder, “If I have high-quality plywood decking, why do I need to underlay my roof?”.
The main benefit of roof underlayment is that it helps to waterproof the home. It can prevent water and melting snow from penetrating the attic. Additionally, depending on the underlayment you choose, it may also be able to ventilate moisture, reducing mould buildup on the roof.
Roof underlayment is also critical for resisting high winds and UV damage.
There are two types of roof underlayment to consider. The first is felt paper underlayment, which is relatively cheap and resists weather well but can often tear due to the quality of the materials. The other option is synthetic underlayment, which is more expensive but is excellent for weather and UV resistance. Synthetic underlayment also doesn’t tear as easily as felt paper.
Roof Tiles and Shingles
Roof tiles and shingles are the first line of resistance to all roof damage types, including debris and intense weather. However, they have their differences.
Shingles are more versatile than tiles because they come in multiple materials, including wood, metal strips, or asphalt. They are also smaller than tiles and are flat instead of curved). Metal is the best material if you want a durable roof.
The materials you can find for tiles are slate, clay and concrete. Slate or clay are the best options to consider if you want durability.
Either type protects the roof from adverse weather and UV rays. The other purpose for tiles and shingles is to make the roof aesthetically pleasing. We recommend wood shingles or clay tiles for aesthetic appeal.
Although decking and tiles can help prevent water from leaking through to the attic, flashing is highly effective at stopping water from getting into the smallest gaps. You can expect to see flashing around the roof vents, chimneys and windows.
Chimney flashing is essential because it’s often the roof’s highest point, so rainwater will hit it first.
Additionally, because of the excellent water resistance, roof flashing can help make the roof last longer and maintain its appearance.
Although blocking rainwater from entering the attic is a good start, it can build up on the roof and damage it over time if you don’t utilise downspouts and gutters. Gutters collect and carry rain that falls on the roof until they direct away from the roofing materials.
Water buildup on the roof can be highly damaging because it can increase mould and leaks, so you must use excellent gutters and downspouts.
The materials you can use for gutters include:
- PVC, which is cheap and has an easy installation process.
- Aluminium, which resists corrosion well and is a cheaper option. Additionally, they are easy to maintain and have good durability.
- Copper is beautiful and very durable, but it is also more expensive than the other options.
You must remember to maintain the gutter and spouts by clearing out debris blocking the system. Doing this will make the gutters more effective and extend their life.
Roof Ventilation Systems
Roof ventilation is necessary to reduce mould buildup on the roof and in your home. It does this by balancing the amount of hot and cold air in the attic.
Because they are effective for balancing the climate in the attic and on the roof, roof vents can also help extend the roof’s life.
There are two types of roof vents you will commonly see on a roof:
- Ridge vents, which you can install along the ridge of the roof. These are excellent for helping stale and hot air out of the attic.
- Soffit Vents are under the soffit boards and mainly focus on populating the attic with cold air from outside.
Roof Ridge Caps
Think of ridge caps and the final touch to installing a roof. They are on the roof’s peak and help to stop water from entering it.
When water can’t get into the ridge, the roof lasts a lot longer.
Roof Drip Edge
The primary purpose of the roof drip edge is to direct rainwater from the fascia board. It acts as a channel for water to reach the gutters.
If the fascia gets wet, it increases the likelihood of rot starting on the roof and seeping through to the attic.
The Soffit and Fascia
The soffit and fascia comprise some of a roof’s more critical parts. The fascia board runs along the lower edge of a roof, and the soffit is under the eaves.
The reasons to have these are that they neaten the presentation of the roof, they protect vulnerable roof parts like the eaves, and they support ventilation and gutters.
You can choose the best material to look at, wood, or vinyl, the most durable and easy to maintain.
Roof trusses are an essential roof part that supports the total weight of the roof. They can carry heavy loads, so they support a roof perfectly.
Additionally, roof rafters can help support the roof and influence the roof’s shape.
Although a ventilation system will go a long way to keeping mould out of the attic, natural ventilation is an excellent alternative, so you must know about roof windows. If you have enough windows for natural ventilation, you can save money on an expansive and expensive ventilation system.
They also bring natural daylight into the attic, enhancing your indoor space’s overall environment.
Insulation for the Roof
If you don’t insulate your roof, you may not have a regulated temperature inside your house. Also, roof insulation can reduce the volume of noise from outside your house.
Final Thoughts on Why Knowing About Roofing Parts is Essential
In summary, there are multiple parts of a roof you must be familiar with if you want a roof that is aesthetically pleasing and durable. Durability is the main point; you must ensure that you have a roof that lasts for a long time without constant maintenance.
Before looking at specific roof parts, you must understand how they benefit a roof. If you want to balance the roof’s looks and functionality, you need to find the best parts and materials. If you ever need more answers, refer back to our guide.
If you want to know more about any specific roof part, check out our blog on Evo Building Products.