Do You Know the Parts of Your Roof?

A grgraphic illustration of residential roof parts with labels

The roof is one of the most important parts of your house. Even though you might not be able to see it from the ground, damage to the roof can quickly lead to damage throughout other parts of the home as well. While a roof looks simple, there are many components that make up the entire structure.  If you need a roofing estimate or roof assessment to repair or replace your roof, it’s helpful to be familiar with some roofing terminology so you’ll better understand your roofer when they explain what may be going on and what they will be doing to get your roof back to doing its job and looking great. Here’s a helpful list of the most common roofing parts that you may run across.

The Parts of a Roof

Your roof is made up of multiple components, all of which serve an important role in safeguarding your roof and home. Understanding these terms will help you be able to more fully understand your quote, ask questions and make a better decision on your roofing project. Some of the most common terms used include:

  • Abutment: An abutment is located where the surface of the roof joins with a wall or any other structural feature.
  • Chimney Flashing: This is flashing that is usually laid in multiple strips underneath the shingles near the chimney. Then, they are bent up toward the chimney.
  • Dormer: A dormer contains a window that projects vertically, away from the rest of the roof. This is used to create an extended window in the roof itself. This is commonly found in loft conversions and is used to increase the amount of natural light in the room.
  • Downspout: The downspout is a channel that is used to transport water from the gutter down to ground-level and away from the house.
  • Drip Edge: The drip edge is a strip of metal that pokes out beyond the eaves. It prevents rainwater from rolling across or around the shingles back to the house.
  • Eave: An eave is the lower edge of a roof. It usually overhangs beyond the edge of the house itself.
  • Fascia: The fascia is the trim board that is located behind the eaves and gutters.
  • Flashing: The flashing is made up of sheet metal or other material. It connects junctions to prevent the roof from leaking.
  • Flat Roof: A flat roof is a section of a roof that has a consistent degree of elevation across its entirety. It does not have any ridges or valleys associated with it.
  • Gable or Rake: This is the slanting edge or a roof that extends beyond the end of the house.
  • Gable End: A gable end is the triangular portion of a wall that closes the end of a ridged roof.
  • Hipped Edge: A hipped edge is at the edge of a hipped roof and is located where the slopes meet the walls themselves.
  • Hip: The hip is the external angle that forms at the junction of two sides of the roof.
  • Rain Gutter: The rain gutter is the part of the roof that collects water and moves it away from the structure.
  • Ridge: The ridge is the horizontal line that is at the top edge where two roof planes come together. It usually has a slightly different texture from the rest of the roof.
  • Sidewall: A sidewall is a place where the roof and the wall intersect. They are sometimes called headwalls.
  • Skylight: A skylight is a window that is installed on either the roof or the ceiling. While it can be used for stargazing, it is usually used to increase the amount of lighting in the room during the day.
  • Soffit (Underside): The soffit is a set of boards that enclose the underside of that specific portion of the roof. The soffit is used to protect this portion of the roof as it extends beyond the house.
  • Valley: The valley is a point of lower elevation (bottom edge) where two sloped roofing sections come together. The valley is the opposite of the ridge.

Understand your Roofing Quote

luxury tile roof home in las vegas

These are a few of the most common terms that architects, general contractors and roofers use in the work of building, repairing or maintaining roofs.  If you have any questions on any aspect of your roofing project quote, or if questions come up as the project is underway, don’t hesitate to ask your roofer to clarify. You want to be happy with your new roof or roof repairs. Understanding a little about how your roof works will help you take better care of it over the years.

Prestige Roofing Las Vegas

At Prestige Roofing in Las Vegas we go out of our way to make sure our clients understand the process that will take place, and we keep you informed along the way. If you need help with your roof in Las Vegas or anywhere in Southern Nevada, give us a call at 702-646-7536 and ask for a free estimate.