The roof on your house can account for as much as 40 percent of its exterior. From home safety to curb appeal, it is essential to understand what keeps your house looking great and (most importantly) dry.
Sooner or later, a majority of homeowners will have to replace their roof. However, many do not know where to begin. This is why we have outlined below the most common roofing components and terms that you should familiarize yourself with before you start on a roofing project.
What Are Roofs Made Of?
When it comes to roofing components, there are seven basic ones you need to be familiar with that we have outlined below.
Shingles: They are made out of various materials. However, their major purpose is to provide protection for the underlying sheathing against the weather. Traditionally, shingles are measured in squares. One square of shingles measures 100 square feet. Therefore, if you know that you have a 25,000 square foot roof, then 25 squares will need to be ordered.
Sheathing: Sheet material or boards that attach to the rafters that cover the house. It is also called the roof deck.
Trim: This is installed to protect the roof’s seam along a ridge or hip (see more on ridges and hips below).
Rafters: These are made out of metal or wood slats inside your house that support the shingles and sheathing. They are kind of like your roof’s skeleton.
Underlayment: Paper-like, water-resistant material that gets laid on top of plywood sheathing in order to seal it against damaging elements like snow and rain. It is used with a vapor and membrane barrier, and usually a sheet of plastic to block water and air from permeating.
Flashing: Sheet metal or different material that is installed on top of the roof system’s joints in order to protect against water damage. Your roof’s joints are anywhere where it changes direction, and these points are sealed off from them the elements using flashing.
Drainage: This roof design feature enables it to shed water. It is measured using the pitch or slope of the roof, and that is determined by the rise in inches for every foot of horizontal distance – which is called the “run.” A roof that has a 5 inch that rises 5 inches for each foot in distance, for example.