As a homeowner, it pays to know the different parts that make up your roof, as this helps you know what you are paying for. A new roof is a huge investment and knowing the roles that each part plays allows you to be better informed with your decisions on the matter. It also puts you and your Schaumburg roofing contractor on the same page, which can allow for better communication in case you want to get a roof replacement or repair work done.
Here are the different major parts of your roof and their functions.
- Truss Roof Frame – a group of rafters that form the ‘skeleton’ foundation to which the roof boards and other roof parts are attached. These frames are often made of heavy timber to provide ample support for the rest of the roof structure. Serious damage to the truss roof frame could mean that the whole roof structure is in jeopardy.
- Sheathing or Decking – panels that cover the roof’s support system (trusses, joints) to which roofing materials (underlayment, shingles/tiles/metal panels) are attached. Sheathing is usually made from plywood, often ½ inch thick. These sit on top of the rafters and provide a nailbed for shingles at the same time reinforcing the roof structure. When sheathing or decking gets damaged by a storm, a sufficient amount of shingles and underlayment must be removed to expose a bare plywood surface that spans a minimum of two rafters. This is to ensure the replacement decking can be held securely in place.
- Underlayment – also known as tar paper, this is a light material made of felt saturated with asphalt or a synthetic fabric, which is placed on top of the decking before the roof surface is secured in place. It is designed to protect the sheathing from exterior moisture. Likewise, it also protects the shingles against resin that the wood decking releases. A damaged shingle could also mean a damaged underlayment. Depending on the level of damage, the underlayment may need to be replaced as well when you replace a good number of storm-damaged shingles.
- Battens – components that hold down underlayment and provide a point of attachment for tiles. Battens are spaced evenly to give tile rows proper overlap distance. The gauge or spacing of battens needed for a particular roof will depend on the degree of pitch, type of tile, fastening method and climate. Roofs that use asphalt shingles do not require the use of battens.
- Shingles, Tile, or Other Surface Material – the most visible part of the roof and often what most people think of when they imagine roofs. Commonly made of asphalt or fiberglass, shingles are the exterior portion of the roof that protects the roof from the weather while giving the house a personal aesthetic character. The passage of time and bad weather can deal significant damage to shingles, causing them to curl, buckle, break off, or warp.
- Flashing – metal pieces that prevent water from seeping around roof intersections and projections such as chimneys, valleys, vent pipes and vertical wall joints. Since they’re made of metal, flashing can exhibit signs of rust over time. The more bad weather they endure, the sooner the rust will appear.
- Fascia –trim made of either wood or metal used to cover the rafter end of the eaves. These run along underneath the roof’s edge and often is the surface to which gutters are attached to. If your roof has leaks, you may see stains or signs of decay on your fascia, requiring their replacement.
- Soffit – the finished horizontal underside of the eaves that covers the surface between the end of the eaves and the house wall. Similar to leak problems with your fascia, your soffits will display rotting and water stains when you have a leak in your roof.
- Attic – the space under the roof that allows air to circulate, which helps regulate the temperature of the roof structure. If the attic is improperly ventilated, roof materials become more prone to problems brought by temperature fluctuations and extremes, moisture, as well as mold and mildew growth.
- Roof Vents – air won’t be able to circulate in the attic without roof vents. These help the attic remove hot air and moisture from the area, which promotes proper attic ventilation while curbing mold growth. Without roof vents, moisture and heat will build up underneath the sheathing, potentially causing massive problems from the inside out.
- Drip Edge – material placed at the end of the eaves to cover the edge of the roof. These are installed to prevent rainwater from penetrating the underlying construction through the roof’s edges.
- Gutter and Downspouts – though not directly a part of the roof per se, gutters and downspouts play an important role in protecting the home from the bad effects of pooling water. They guide rainwater to a designated area away from your yard where they won’t be able to do any damage to your foundation.
Your Roof Is More Than Just Your Shingles
As you can see, your roof is made up of a lot of parts, each one just as important as the other. Many inexperienced roofing companies focus only on the shingles when they conduct their inspections and repair services. Unfortunately, this does not get to the root of the problem.
Knowing the parts of your roof and what each part does can help ensure that you get everything you can from your roofing systems. It also allows you to know the right questions to ask your Schaumburg roofing professional.
Trust Only Experienced Roofing Professionals
Established Schaumburg roofing companies, such as Muller Exteriors Inc,, will go over every single roof component when they conduct a roof inspection for you. With a reputation to uphold, such trusted roofing companies don’t simply look for broken or loose shingles–they inspect every inch of your roof to discover small problems before they become major issues and pose significant danger to your household.