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Roof Components: Things That Make Up Your Roof

Posted on April 11, 2022

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Roof Components: Things That Make Up Your Roof

From the outside, it may seem like that roof is just a single part that has been given the important task of protecting your home from harsh weather conditions. However, a roofing system is made up of a number of other parts, known as roof components. The quality of these individual components will determine how your roof as a whole will function.

Many homeowners are unaware of what does go into making a roof. This leaves them confused when talking with a contractor. To avoid this, we have written the following blog. This will help increase your knowledge so that you can get the best components as well as services.

We have categorized the roof components of a residential roofing system into 4 broad categories. These are the Roof Frame, Roof Cover, Roof Structure, and Roof Edge. You should ensure all these roof components are of good quality to ensure a perfect system.

Roof Frame


Rafters are the primary roof components of a system. A roofing contractor will install these roof components first while building a new roof from scratch. So what are rafters? These are one of the parts of a roof that is installed across the length of a building to provide support to the structure. These are typically made from large pieces of wood of sizes 2×10 or 2×12 and are made on-site. These are installed in a slope series and are held together by the ridge beam.

These rafters are one of the most important parts of the roof frame and form the basic structure of the roof.

Using the wrong types of rafters, even incorrectly installed, can cause a plethora of issues for homeowners.

Roof Deck

This is one of the most essential roof components. This acts as a foundation on which the whole system is built.

All the different parts of the roof are connected through the deck. This acts as a flat barrier between the inner and outer structures. You can think of it as skin that covers the skeleton (i.e. rafters) for the roof. These can be of many materials, but the most common material for residential properties is plywood or OSB. The roof deck is a significant part of any construction process — and one that should not be overlooked.

Roof Cover


After the framing is done and the roof decking is installed, the next task is to install the underlayment. This roofing component is a type of sheet that is laid out between the roof deck and the shingles.

Underlayment acts as a layer of protection against rain, hail, and wind — it helps ensure that your roof can stand up against the elements. It acts as both a waterproof and an insulation layer, ensuring that your roof will be protected from both the cold and the heat. So if your shingles get damaged, or uplifted, then underlayment will make sure that water does not pass through.


Adding insulation to your home’s roof is important but it is often overlooked. Most people do not think about insulating the home. Only a few realize that a house’s roof is just as important to insulate as the rest of it. The insulation will help make a house or apartment more efficient and comfortable. How? Well, the insulation helps maintain the temperature of the inside. This means that your air conditioner and furnace will run less frequently, and you’ll save money on your utility bills.

What Is Used In Roof Insulation? 

Insulation materials can be made from a variety of materials that are thick in nature, from cellulose and fiberglass to wool and cotton.


Flashing is one of those metal roof components that help to keep water away from certain parts of a roof. Specifically, flashing keeps water out of the most leak-vulnerable parts of the roof. You have to use this metal sheet to cover areas such as the space between your roof and your chimney, or between your windows, skylights, etc. Thus, flashing is used in all the parts where the shingles are not installed. When the contractor does not install your flashing properly, water can seep into the seam. This can cause serious damage throughout your home. Not only leaks but roof flashing helps limit the breaking of fire due to openings.

Types Of Flashing

  • Chimney Flashing
  • Skylight Flashing

Roof Shingles

This is the outer, visible layer of roof covering. This is one of the roof components that cover all the underlying elements and is visible to the homeowner. Shingles are generally made from asphalt, fiberglass, or wood fiber and are available in a variety of shapes and colors. These are responsible to protect your roof and act as the first line of defense against weather extremities such as rain, wind, snow, etc.

The decision of choosing the right shingle material should not be taken lightly this can make or break a roof.

Asphalt shingles are commonly classified into 3 broad categories.

Roof Structure


A roof ridge, or simply ridge is the highest point of the roof. This is a horizontal line that runs through the entire length of the roof, connecting the two roof plane areas. Due to this, the contractors consider the roof ridge as one of the most important roof components of a residential roofing system. The roof ridge protects your home as well as adds to the curb appeal. You can find a ridge can on different types of roofs, including pitched, gambrel, gable, and mansard. You can cover the roof ridge with specially-made ridge or hip shingles.


The valley of a roof is the space between two sloping roofs. When two roofs meet at a point, they create a valley. It is named so because it’s similar to a mountain valley, where water can flow down from one slope to the other.

Water collects in this valley to flow off the roof. If not installed correctly, this can lead to leaking problems. Thus proper care should be taken while installing the shingles in the valley area.

There are multiple ways to shingle a roof valley depending on the contractor.

Roof Edge

Drip Edge

A drip edge is a type of metal flashing that is installed along the outer edges of your roof. These roof components form a crucial element in the finishing touches of any roof. Along with the fascia, this piece holds all of the underlayments on the structure.

Water flows over the surface of a drip edge and keeps water away from the rest of your roof, keeping it in place and protecting it from rotting out.

The face of the drip edge material is small in size, it usually has a 1 to 2-inch white or grey stripe. Though not necessary, you can also paint it to match your home.


The fascia board is one of the most important roof components used on the edge of the roof assembly. The fascia board is a thin, long horizontal board that runs along the bottom edge of your roof. It is responsible for supporting guttering as well as holding up the lower row of shingles in your home.


Most homeowners consider Soffit and Fascia boards to be the same, but that is actually not the case.

The soffit is a type of board that you don’t see unless you look for it, this is because it’s under the fascia board. Though it is not visible, the importance of this part of the roof cannot be ignored. It’s usually covered in ventilation to allow for airflow. The soffit provides extra protection against high winds and driving rain.


Gutters are the type of roof components of a residential or commercial building that collect rain and melted snow. Proper gutters make sure that the excess rainwater does not stand on the roof.

Gutters are made from a variety of materials such as aluminum, copper, etc, and traditional or seamless. These devices play a critical role in the maintenance of your property — keeping water away from your roof and preventing it from dripping into your walls, basement, or attic.

However, gutters are prone to damage. They can get clogged with falling leaves, debris, or other external material. Thus you should take good care of them.

Here are some of the types of gutters that are popular in New Jersey.

  • K-Style Gutters
  • Box Shape Gutters
  • Half-round Gutters
  • Fascia Shape


Gutters are located on the top of the roof and help in collecting the water. But how do they transfer water down to the ground? This is where downspouts come into action.

Downspouts are pipes that are attached to the side of your residence. These type of roof components effectively carries rainwater from your roof to the ground. It is important to have them installed correctly to prevent damage to your foundation and home, especially during storms. They’re often made of galvanized steel, plastic, or other highly durable and water-resistant materials. Gutters will not function properly without them.

These can be of various types

  • Rounded Downspouts
  • Rectangular Downspouts
  • K-Style Downspouts

Thinking To Replace Your Roof In New Jersey?

We have just described all the important parts of a roof that you should know in case you need a roofing-related service in the future. We hope that by reading this article you are now much more informed about how your roof is made and how each of the roofing components has a crucial role to play in the overall structure.

If you are also looking for roof replacement services, then there is no better option than Epic Exteriors Roofing. We have the best lineup of asphalt shingles available so that your roof stays in the best condition. Also, we are certified by GAF – one of the best asphalt roofing shingles manufacturers in the world. Our exceptional team has earned GAF’s Certified Weather Stopper® certification. This means that we are highly trained and can offer expert installation services. We also have a wide variety of gutter materials.

So what are you waiting for? Install the best roof components and give your roof a new look now. Contact us today at (609) 342-9829 to get started.

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