The Anatomy of a Roof

The roofing basics are much more than the composite shingles that you see on the outside. A well-structured roof is an integrated system of several components working together to protect the entire property. Understanding this anatomy can be crucial for you, as a homeowner. What looks to you as a single surface is more than a few complex layers. These aspects are so overlooked that you would hardly find a dedicated blog listing the essentials. So, here we briefly put together the roofing anatomy along with what’s what:


The two sloping planes that create a horizontal peak is a ridge.

Ridge Vent

The ridge vent is an exhaust vent that usually benefits the attic. It allows the warm and humid air to escape in order to maintain the right temperature.


It is the base material installed between the roof’s covering and the deck. Basically, it helps repel water and fire backing up the primary roofing.


This is a flat structural base made up of plywood or wood that allows you to walk.


Gable roof is the most classic shape that primarily makes up the peak – it is characterized by the triangular section between the edges of the intersecting roof.

Drip Edge

The metallic drip edge is non-corrosive in nature and facilitates a water runoff from the rake.

Rake Edge

This is the slanting edge of a gable roof right at the end of the property’s wall.


This is a sheet metal used to link different planes on a roof. Besides, it prevents leakages.


It is the section where two sloping roofs intersect. Valley is set at such an angle that it adequately provides a water runoff.


Two intersecting planes create a ridge and take it from the peak to Eave, forming the hip of the roof.


This is the lower border of the roof that extends outwards on the wall.

Undereave Vent

As the name suggests, this is a ventilation system present under the Eave to help draw fresh and cool air into the attic.


Fascia is a vertical band that protects the structure of the roof as well as the property.

Laminated Shingles

Also called the three-dimensional shingles, these are layers which contain multiple tabs to add the needed dimension and resistance to the roof.

Waterproof Underlayment

It is a self-adhesive membrane that helps in protecting the sensitive areas against water and ice damage. It provides far better protection than felt.


We hope you find this information useful and it would help you understand the anatomy of a roof in a much better manner. If you need expert advice on how to choose the right type of shingles, how to replace any of the components, or with regards to repair – you can contact us for a free consultation. We are happy to help!


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