When you think of a roof, you are likely picturing the slopes and the shingles that you commonly see on houses. While the shape and look of a roof is what you may be thinking of as the roof itself, a roof actually has multiple parts that all come together to make the roof work for its intended purpose.

The different parts of the roof are what really make up the entire roof. Without each section, the rest of the roof can’t perform its purpose efficiently. What is beneath the shingles is just as important as the shingles themselves. Understanding how a roof works is important for a homeowner to know to ensure their attic and roof is properly maintained.

The Main Parts Of A Roof

The shingles, or whichever roofing material you choose for your roof, is one of the more obvious parts of the roof. If you look at the bigger picture, though, you’ll find that the shingles are really just one component to a major part of the roof: the roof plane. In this context, the roof plane refers to the flat surface of the roof. But what exactly makes up the roof plane?

how does a roof work
  1. Decking – This is the very first layer of the roof and basically forms the foundation for the rest of the plane. The decking itself is built on the roofing frame, which consists of joists, trusses, and rafters to support the shape and weight of the roof.
  2. Underlayment – Also referred to as the first barrier layer of the roof, the underlayment is built on top of the decking. This layer of the roof is one of the last lines of defense against water leaking into your attic.
  3. Flashing – An essential part of the roof, but it is only placed in areas that really need it. Flashing is usually installed in areas on the roof that are more likely to collect a lot of water. One of the most common areas where you will find flashing is around a chimney that protrudes out of the top of the roof. The flashing prevents water from accumulating and seeping into the space between the actual chimney and the roof.
  4. Shingles – The final piece to the roof, the shingles. This part of the roof can greatly depend on the structural support of the frame. Heavier roofing materials, like slate shingles, are substantially heavier than asphalt shingles and would require more framing to support the weight.

These are just the main parts of the roof. Styles of roofs, the shape of the roof, and materials used all factor into whether there are additional roofing parts.

Should My Roof Be Vented?

The roof has one primary job: protect the rest of the house from extreme temperature and weather, rain, and other weather hazards. Depending on the architectural style of your home, as well as the shape and design of your roof, you’ll have some form of ventilation. Having proper ventilation built into your roof is important to regulate the temperature and moisture level of your attic. This is even more important in hotter environments like North Texas summers.

Without enough ventilation, especially in the summer, your attic can get really hot. Not only could this affect the rest of your home, but the heat can even damage your roof from the inside out. Combine the high heat with moisture, and you may find many problems develop within your attic and roof that will require professional roof repair to prevent further damage. Depending on what your roof needs, there are generally three types of ventilation options:

  • Static Vents – this type of ventilation is the most common by using what are called ridge vents. These are easily installed at the peak, or top, of the roof where two roof planes meet.
  • Powered Vents – these exhaust vents utilize electric power and are used to move large amounts of air out of the attic. Because of this, you generally won’t see these in most homes as a static vent is likely to be more than enough.
  • Mechanical Vents – a mechanical exhaust vent typically requires some kind of wind turbine to remove heat and moisture from the attic. Because this type of vent requires more consistent wind, you won’t find them in North Texas.

Fort Worth Roofing Contractors utilizes the best tools and technologies to perform thorough, obligation-free roof inspections. We can help determine if any part of your roof needs repair or replacement at an honest, affordable price that doesn’t have hidden fees. Call us today to schedule your free roof inspection.