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18 Parts Of A Roof And Their Functions

Many Tomball homeowners are content to know that their roof isn’t leaking. They don’t even think about it. If you are in trouble and need to have your roof fixed, it is helpful to learn the language of your roofer, even if you don’t understand what they’re saying.

It is important to realize that your roof is much more than the shingles on top. Your roof is complex and designed to withstand strong winds, heavy snow, and drenching rains. Every part of your roof was created over centuries of problem-solving. As your go-to Tomball Roofing Company we have learned how to make roofs more durable and last longer than the ones from the previous generation.

Here is a list listing the most important features and parts of your roof.

The most prominent features of your roof almost always have a purpose. While some shapes are inevitable, others can be crafted with skill and experience. Each shape serves a purpose and certain shapes will give them the best chance of doing their job for many years.

  1. Ridge – This is the area where the roof planes’ upper edges meet. Modern ridges look enclosed but they are actually used to provide additional ventilation. They are also covered with specially-designed shingles that keep rain/snow out and insects from entering the area.
  2. Valley – A valley is formed at the intersection of the lower edges and roof planes. The valley acts as a gutter and collects rainwater, directing it to the gutters at the roof’s edges.
  3. Vents – Venting plays an important role in the design of your roof. Modern roofs have numerous vents all along their surface. Proper roof ventilation keeps the air moving under your roof, keeps internal components of the roof dry, and prevents mold growth.
  4. Rain gutters – Rain gutters collect water from the roof and release it through a downspout. This allows the water to drain away from the foundation. You will see gutters on residential roofs, although some roofs have enough overhang to not require gutters.
  5. Abutment – Abutment is the area where your roof meets any vertical surface such as a wall or side of your chimney. To prevent roof leaks, abutments must be protected.
  6. Roof Flashing – To prevent water from infiltrating the seam, flashing is applied over an abutment. For the best fit, it is typically made from galvanized metal that has been custom-formed on the job site. Roof flashing can be used wherever there is a problem such as valleys on your roof. After the desired shape has been achieved, the flashing can be sealed with roofing sealant to keep it watertight. The base of your chimney is the best place to see flashing.
  7. Eave – The area of your roof above an exterior wall is called the eave. For a cleaner and more secure look, eaves can be closed or covered with material that connects to the wall.
  8. Soffit – The horizontal structure that covers the area between the eave (and the exterior wall) is called the soffit. You can have a soffit that is plain or fancy depending on your budget and taste, but it must also include venting. Venting can be as simple as a pattern of small holes in the material or as a complex with a series of louvers.
  9. Fascia – The fascia is any vertical face along the roof’s edge. Fascia can range from a few inches up to ten inches in width and can be plain, or decorated depending on the purpose. It serves two main purposes: to provide a straight line for the roof edge and to serve as a base for attaching the gutter.
  10. Gable – This is the area of your outside wall that rises above the point of the roof’s ridge. Gable roofs are homes with this feature. Gable roofs are the most popular roofing system in the country and offer the greatest amount of space under the roof.
  11. Hip – A hip is a place where two roof planes meet and do not extend to your roof’s ridge. This is the hip of your roof. A roof that has only this feature is called hip roofing. Because they can withstand heavy winds, hip roofs are very popular in extreme wind areas.
  12. Dormer – Dormers can be cut out of your roofline to allow for natural light to enter the interior. Even if your roof is hip, most dormers will have a small roof that covers them.
  13. Rake – Rake can be described as a term rather than a characteristic. Any steeply sloped surface on your roof’s surface is the rake.
  14. Drip Edge – The drip edge is installed at the edge of your roof. It prevents water from getting under your roof.

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