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What Are The Parts of a Roof Called

May 13, 2024

Have you ever gazed up at a roof and marvelled at the intricate web of components that come together to form a protective shield over our heads? The world of roofing is indeed a fascinating one, filled with terminology and structures that play crucial roles in ensuring the safety and durability of a building. In this blog post, we will delve into the different parts of a roof, explore key components, and unravel the intricate terminology that defines this integral aspect of construction.

Roof Structure Basics

At its core, a roof is a vital component of any building, providing protection from the elements and shelter for its occupants. Understanding the basic structure of a roof is essential for appreciating the roles of its various components. Let's start by looking at the fundamental elements that make up a roof structure:

Roof Deck

The roof deck is the base layer of the roof, providing a flat surface for other roofing materials to be applied to. It plays a crucial role in supporting the weight of the roofing materials and protecting the underlying structure. Here are some common materials used for roof decking:

PlywoodStrong and versatile, suitable for a wide range of roofing applications
OSB (Oriented Strand Board)Affordable and commonly used as roof decking material
Metal PanelsDurable and lightweight, ideal for certain roofing systems


The underlayment is a waterproof barrier installed directly onto the roof deck, providing an additional layer of protection against moisture infiltration. Different types of underlayment materials offer varying levels of waterproofing and durability. Some popular choices include:

  • Asphalt-saturated felt: A traditional choice with good waterproofing properties.
  • Synthetic underlayment: Lightweight and highly resistant to tearing and punctures.

Roof Trusses

Roof trusses are structural frames that support the roof's weight and distribute it evenly across the walls of a building. They play a crucial role in maintaining the stability and integrity of the roof structure. Common types of roof trusses include:

  1. King Post Truss: Features a central vertical post for support.
  2. Queen Post Truss: Utilizes two vertical posts for added strength.
  3. Scissor Truss: Provides a vaulted ceiling and additional living space.

Exterior Roof Components

The exterior components of a roof, such as shingles and eaves, are visible elements that contribute to the overall aesthetics and functionality of the roofing system. Let's explore these components in more detail:


Shingles are the outermost layer of the roof, serving as a protective barrier against weather elements. They come in various materials, shapes, and colors, offering different levels of durability and visual appeal. Common types of roof shingles include:

  • Asphalt Shingles: Affordable and versatile, ideal for most residential applications.
  • Metal Roofing: Durable and long-lasting, suitable for areas prone to severe weather conditions.
  • Wood Shingles: Natural and aesthetically pleasing, but require regular maintenance.


The eaves are the edges of the roof that overhang the walls of a building. They play a crucial role in directing water away from the structure and preventing damage to the walls and foundation. Proper eaves maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity of the roof and the building it protects.

Roof Terminology

In addition to the components mentioned above, several key terms are essential for understanding the anatomy of a roof. Let's explore two crucial roofing terminologies:


The ridge is the highest point of the roof where two opposing roof slopes meet. Ridge vents, installed along the ridge line, facilitate air circulation and prevent moisture buildup in the attic space. Proper ridge ventilation is crucial for maintaining a healthy and energy-efficient roofing system.


Flashing is a waterproof material used to seal joints and transitions on a roof, such as chimney intersections and valleys. It prevents water intrusion and ensures a watertight seal at vulnerable areas of the roof. Common types of flashing materials include:

  • Galvanized Steel: Durable and resistant to corrosion.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight and easy to work with.


Understanding the parts and components of a roof is essential for homeowners, contractors, and roofing professionals alike. By familiarizing yourself with the terminology and structures that make up a roof, you can better appreciate the complexity and importance of this integral building element. Whether you're admiring a roof diagram or planning a roofing project with IBEX Roof, the knowledge gained from this exploration will empower you to make informed decisions and ensure the longevity of your roofing system. Embrace the beauty and functionality of roof components, and let your understanding of roofing parts guide you towards a safer and more resilient home.

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