heritage construction residential roofing

Roof Parts and What They Are

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Do you understand all of your roof parts?

Roofing systems have several components and each serves a different purpose in protecting your home. You don’t need to know all the details, especially if you’re working with a roofing contractor. But, if you’re the curious type, this list of basic roof elements will help you understand exactly how your roofing system functions, and why.

Take a peek at your roof’s anatomy so you can talk shop the next time an inspector knocks.

This is what a roof is made of:

It’s not just the shingles. Each roof part listed below works together to comprise a healthy roofing system.

The Roof Deck

This is where it all starts. The roof deck is the foundation of your roofing system. This layer is usually made from plywood and is securely installed so that all the other roof layers can rest safely upon it.


The roofing underlayment is installed to protect the roof decking from inclement weather. If the underlayment has signs of damage it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.


Exhaust and intake vents allow air to enter and exit the attic and ventilation spaces.


Installed around dormers, chimneys, skylights, etc., roof flashing directs water off the roof and into gutters. One of the most common causes of roof leakage is damaged or missing roof flashing.

Water and ice shields

Waterproofing underlayment installed to prevent damage from high winds and ice damming.

Drip Edge

Moves water from the eaves and off the building.

Chimney and cap

A chimney is an exhaust vent usually located around the kitchen or main living area. Chimney caps are installed on top to prevent water and snow from going down the chimney.


Projecting beyond the face of a wall, eaves are the lower edge of a roof and they provide function and architectural detail. (Think of a Craftsman bungalow.)


Shingles are the cherry on top. There are many different shingle types such as clay, metal, and asphalt.  Shingles protect the entire roofing system no matter their material.

Heritage Construction Inspects All Roof Parts

Whether you see water stains on your ceiling (never a good sign) or missing shingles, our free roof inspection will ensure yours is in good shape. There are many elements that create a healthy roof. So, call the pros today!





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