When people think about their roofs, they think about the shingles, gutters, and maybe the flashing, but there is so much more to your roof. Your roofing system is made up of over a dozen different pieces that all work together to protect your home and loved ones from the elements. Some parts of your roof like gutters and flashing protect your home from water, other parts like ceiling joists are the structure of your roof, and the shingles cover your roof, but what do the other parts do? Keep reading to find out what each part of your roof is and what it does to protect you, your home, and your loved ones.


These are the skeletal system of your roof and provide the overall shape and frame of your roof. These are support beams that run from one end of the roof to the other.

Decking or Sheathing

This is the foundation of your roof and provides cover and a nail bed for roofing materials, as well as reinforces your roof.


This is an extra barrier to protect your decking and creates a moisture barrier between your home and outside. This isn’t always included, but when it is it provides an extra layer of protection


This isn’t just for storing your decorations. Your attic is a vital part of your roofing system. It allows your roof to breathe through ventilation and protects your roof from the summer heat, and moisture in the winter.


There are a variety of vents on your roof, and they all serve different purposes.

  • Plumbing Vents – These keep the pressure in your home’s plumbing regulated.
  • Soffit Vents – These help bring fresh air into your attic and are installed under the eaves.
  • Ridge Vents – These allow humid air to escape your attic and are installed at the peak of your sloped roof.
  • Gable Vents – These are installed at both ends of your roof’s gables and provides passive attic ventilation.


This is part of your home’s weather-resistant barrier system. Flashing is metal pieces placed along the joints and seams of your roof and is also used around your chimney, vents, skylights, and vent pipes.

Gutters and Downspouts

While these are an external roof future, they help direct water away from your home, and are an essential part of keeping your home’s foundation and outer walls protected.


These are a finishing material that offers both curb appeal and functional qualities. They cover the underside of your roof’s overhangs and conceal rafters and joists.


Another internal component of your roofing system, these provide extra support for soffits, eaves, and balconies.


This is your home’s protection from the elements. Your covering can be various types of shingles, tile, slate, and more. This is also what can give your home curb appeal.

While there are other parts of your roofing system, we covered the most important ones. You don’t have to know everything about your roof, but if you are looking at getting your roof repaired or replaced, this will help you understand what your insurance agent, inspector, or roofing expert is talking about when discussing your roof. If you are looking for a local roofing expert, give Farha a call today! We offer free inspections, work with your insurance adjuster, and most importantly we’re there for you every step of the way on your roofing journey.

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