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Roof Components 101: Essential Parts Of A Roofing System

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Roof Components 101: Essential Parts Of A Roofing System

Thinking of installing a new roofing system? If yes, then the first thing you should know is that installing a new roof is not just about laying shingles. There are many other parts of a roof that make up your home’s roofing system. Collectively, they are called roof components. Knowledge of these components is necessary as these play a vital role in determining how your roof will be performing. Proper functioning of these parts will make the roof tough and enable it to protect you better and for a longer duration.

With this following blog, we shed light on these various roof components. We talk about what each of these parts does and how they work towards making the whole system work in a quality manner. So let’s get started.

Types Of Roof Components

In the following section, we will go through all the important parts of a roof in order.


This is the start of your roofing system. These are the roof components that the contractor will first install in a new roof. This is the foundation or, say, the skeleton of the roof.
Roof rafters are the support beams that run from the top of your roof to the wall, and they play a crucial role in supporting your home’s structure.

They’re usually made of wood or metal and can be attached to a truss system or built as part of the rafter itself. The contractor can install them in various ways—by nail, screw, or bolt—depending on what material you use for your roofing project. Rafters are usually exposed to see from inside your house, from the attic; however, you can also cover them with siding.


Another important structural part of a roof is the trusses. The roof trusses are similar to traditional roof rafters because they support the other roof components. But these types of roof components are made in a factory and delivered to the construction site. This can save time and money by using prefabricated materials — especially if you’re dealing with a small home construction project. In contrast, conventional rafters are usually custom-made and are done on-site.

Roof trusses are made of broad pieces of 2x8s and 2x10s wood.

Trusses are constructed in a “stick framing pattern” of chords on the top and bottom. This allows the structure to bear weight more broadly than rafters do. This is why they are getting more popular.

Roof Deck

Roof rafters and trusses lay the foundation of the roof structure. On this foundation, the contractor will install the rest of the components of a roof. The roof deck is a term that you can use to describe the primary structural layer of your roof. These roof components generally made from materials such as plywood or OSB.

It is the first step in building an effective roof system. The purpose of this layer is to make sure that your internal structure remains safe and water or other things stay safely away from your home.

For that to happen, this layer needs to be strong enough to bear the weight of any additional roofing components you’ll install and prevent water from getting into your attic through cracks or expansion joints.

Roof Underlayment

After laying the wooden roof deck, the next line of roof components is the underlayment. This layer comes between the roof deck and the roofing shingles that will go on your roof. Underlayment has a specific purpose: to ensure the water damage does not seep through the roof and into your attic if the shingles get damaged.

Roof underlayment broadly comes in two materials. These are Felt and Synthetic underlayments. Felt is a popular roofing underlayment that adds extra protection to your roof. As a water-resistant membrane, it’s intended to keep moisture out of the home, thereby protecting your shingles and preventing leaks. But nowadays, the majority prefer synthetic underlayment as well, like polypropylene. These are extra capable and can last longer. Ice and water shields are also used along with underlayment in some parts.


Insulation is necessary so that the roof can maintain your home’s temperature. Since there are so many roof components, this item can be forgotten. But you must keep roof insulation in mind. Proper insulation is the key to saving energy and money. Many roofing experts suggest that if you install the insulation properly, you can save at least 10-15% on your energy and utility bills. How? When the temperature inside your home is manageable, you will not need to use ACs as often, saving you a lot.


Flashings are metal or plastic roof components that help keep water from getting in around the parts of your roof where it meets walls, chimneys, skylights, and other parts of your home. When flashings are improperly installed or missing altogether, water can seep through and cause rot and mold growth problems.

Your roofing system may need to have multiple types of flashings. This depends on what type of materials were used in its construction. For example, metal flashing will usually be placed at the corners of the roof, while different kinds of asphalt shingles could use various metal and plastic flashings along their length.

Drip Edge

As you may understand from the word, the drip edge is a type of metal strip that runs along the edges and eaves of the roof structure. These may be the smallest components of a roof, but the drip edge is a vital part of your roof, as it keeps water from seeping into the seams between your roof components. Water seepage can lead to many problems, including rotting fascia boards, moss and mold growth on the roof decking, and water pooling in the gutters — all of which are inefficient and disruptive.


Fascia is the board that covers the top of your home’s exterior walls. It runs vertically along the entire length of each side of your house, except where there are windows or doors. Fascia is attached directly to the edge of your roof decking using screws, and fascia is typically made from wood, aluminum, and PVC materials.

The purpose of these roof components is that they help to support your gutters and keep them in place. When gutters remain in their place, they work better, limiting the water damage to your home. Fascia boards help keep moisture away and play a part in supporting the roofing materials on the lower edge. They can also improve the visual appearance of your home.


Though the term soffits are used frequently with fascia, the two are not the same. The fascia is the outermost part of your roofing system that sits at the top of the roofline, while the soffit is the innermost part of your roofing system that sits below the fascia. This is one of the components of the roof that are generally not visible at first glance but helps protect your home.


While gutters may be simple and often-overlooked roof components of your home, they’re integral to its protection. Gutters connect to downspouts, which channel rainwater away from the foundation of your house. It’s easy to forget about them until you start getting water in the basement or find leaves in your bedroom. It is better to install the best gutter system to avoid such situations.

There are many types of gutter systems available in Plymouth, MA. You can choose one according to your preference, budget, and house system. Gutters are broadly classified into 2 categories, regular and seamless gutter systems.

Some popular ones are box gutter systems, K-shaped and half round gutter systems.


Shingles are the roof components that are visible to the world. These act as the first line of defense from the weather extremities. Since these shingles will be the top layer of your system, you need to ensure that it looks good and is tough and sturdy.

A typical asphalt shingle roof (the most common type) is made of three parts. At the bottom is a layer of felt paper, which protects the roofing materials from water and other elements. The next layer contains the actual shingles, usually made of asphalt and fiberglass. Finally, the topmost piece is a cap to keep out any moisture that may have penetrated the layers below it. Together, these parts will protect your home for years to come.

Here are 3 types of asphalt shingles used in roofing.

  • 3-Tab Shingles
  • Dimensional Shingles
  • Premium Shingles

Roof Ridge

This roof component takes the topmost place on the roof. The roof ridge is the highest point on your roof system. It is a strip that runs through the two ends of the roof. It is created when two horizontal planes meet on a roof. This strip is called a “ridge” because it “ridges” or separates two sides of a building.

Roof ridges have a crucial job — to uphold the height of the roof. But this is not the only function of these roof components. Apart from holding the roof structure and keeping it from falling, the ridge can serve as a decorative element. The roofer will always cover this roof peak with a ridge or hip shingle.

The manufacturers specifically design the hip and ridge shingles to be bent to conform over ridgelines. This helps provide long-term durability that’s perfect for covering this roof region.

Looking For Roofing Services In Plymouth, MA?

Now we hope that you are now in a much better position regarding the roofing basics than you were before. Now that you are well acquainted with all these roof components, you can now understand when you hire a roofing contractor for roof installation. This knowledge will help you to put your demands forward clearly and also prevent you from being misguided in decision-making.

If you are looking for roofing services in Plymouth, MA then be sure to contact Mayflower Roofing. We offer all the services related to roofing, be it commercial or residential. Whether you are in need of replacing any of the roof components or are in need of services such as roof repair or roof inspection, we do it all. Contact us today at (508) 841-3622 and our team would be happy to answer all your questions.