Different parts of a roof explained – Roof Components

Though it may not initially be visually apparent the roof of your home or commercial property is actually made up of many different components – which work together to keep your home clean, safe, and dry. An issue with any of these components will compromise the integrity of the roof. Understanding the different parts of your roof (and their functions) can help you to keep your roof in good working order and will give you a bit of background knowledge should you be quoted for repairs in the future. 

Roof Truss

Trusses are the structural framework of your roof and are made up of several different components, such as rafters. To put it simply, they provide strength and support to all areas of your roof, such as the covering, underlay, sheathing, and chimney. Without trusses, your roof would struggle to maintain its shape and structural intensity. 


You’ll know this one – chimneys are designed to keep your property safe by directing smoke away from the house. They may not be present in every house but are often a key consideration with roof construction.  


As the name suggests – the ‘covering’ refers to the items that ‘cover’ the exterior of your roof – i.e. the part of the roof that is visible from the outside of the property. They are often made with durable, lightweight, and weather-resistant materials such as tiles, slate, terracotta, and concrete – so that they can stand the test of time. 


Battens are used to hold the roof tiles or covering in place. They are typically made from strong timber, which allows them to hold the weight of both the tiles and stand strong against adverse weather conditions such as snow and wind. Without battens, tiles may not always stay in place and are more prone to damage. 


Rafters are designed to offer base  & structural support to other parts of your roof, such as roof coverings. They are typically made from wood and run from one side of the roof to the other.

Ceiling ties

Ceiling ties are sometimes referred to as ceiling joists and are designed to improve the strength of the rafters. They are usually placed horizontally, while rafters form the actual shape of the roof. Though they are usually made from wood, they can be made from a wide range of materials. 


Sheathing is applied over the rafters and provides even more structural support to your roof. It is made from materials such as timber or plywood, and comes in the shape of a board. They are sometimes referred to as roof decking. 

Underlay felt

Underlay felt is a breathable membrane that allows air to flow whilst still protecting from water ingress. It’s a key part of a modern roof and highly recommended. 

Ridge & Ridge Tile.

The ridge is the highest point of the roof or the ‘point’ where the rafters meet in the centre. Here, a different form of covering needs to be applied due to the unique shape of the ridge. They are typically referred to as Ridge Tiles and are designed to ensure that no gaps are left in the tiling, which would allow wind or rain into your attic. 


In many ways, the eaves are the opposite of your ridge. For example, they are the lowest point of your roof – where the rain will drip off. As a result, your drain is usually attached to this area. Eaves are often considered in planning permission or building regulation discussions (i.e. the max height at the rafters) so it’s important to know where these are. 


Downspout refers to a pipe that runs vertically along your house – and ensures that water does not gather in your pipes or along your roof. They help protect your property and garden from long term weather damage. 


Soffits are placed underneath the eave of your home to seal the space and ensure that there are no gaps in between the walls and your roof. Without soffits, it would be easier for outside elements to enter your home. They are typically made from wood, aluminum or steel. 


Fascias are placed along the edge of your roof. While they sometimes offer support to your gutters and pipes, they are typically applied for aesthetic purposes and come in a range of stylised designs. They also prevent moisture from building up in your home. 


Valleys are not present in every home, and are placed in the section of a roof where two slopes meet. They create a way for water to escape, by gathering water and trickling it down into the gutter. Without them, water could build up in this area and cause long-term damage to your home. Do you have any questions about your roof? Or are you looking to replace your roof in Surrey? Get in touch with A Wilson Roofing today! We serve all areas in Surrey from Addlestone and Guildford to Walton on Thames and Weybridge

Happy Customers

Michal SprzonczakMichal Sprzonczak
13:07 25 Apr 24
This is not the first time we have used AWilson' Roofing services. As usual, the project was completed on time, the employees were very helpful and friendly and Cristian, with whom I usually cooperate, always offers good advice. I will definitely use AWilson Roofing for my next project.
mark millaismark millais
22:35 12 Mar 24
Really impressed with the quality of the work and the professionalism efficiency and politeness of the tradesmen
Penny MelrosePenny Melrose
14:13 07 Dec 22
This is at least the third time I’ve used A Wilson Roofing and, yet again, they did an excellent job. This time the work was to replace a skylight in a loft and since the property was mid terrace, everything had to be carried through the house (including the needed scaffolding). The work was prioritised because the old skylight was leaking and the carrying through of scaffolding and gear, and all the work went smoothly. This was much appreciated as this is a tenanted property, and my tenants are good people.I asked A Wilson to do this work not only because they do a good job – but also because they have skilled sensible people managing their teams of roofers and scaffolders. This makes it easy to have realistic conversations about the work and expectations and I don’t end up trying/failing to micromanage the actual workers. That means a lot to me.
sps fbsps fb
12:31 07 Dec 22
We had a newly built pitched roof over our small front extension / garage conversion back in September. The team from A Wilson (Cristian in particular) were incredibly flexible and helped guide and advise us to ensure we got what we wanted. They were reliable and I would recommend them to anyone considering roof or small building works.
Jo KitsonJo Kitson
15:12 02 Dec 22
New roof for swimming pool completed efficiently and area left very tidy. Great comms too.
Paul WellsPaul Wells
17:51 12 Oct 22
The A Wilson Roofing replaced the lead valleys on the apex to the front our house after an ongoing leak we were experiencing.The whole team were a great to deal with from Kylie in the office, the estimator, installation team and even their scaffolders were nice guys.They produced a quotation, put up scaffold, carried out the repairs and off hired the scaffolding in a week and a half, thats pretty impressive work!These will be our go to roofers from now on.
Amy TyneAmy Tyne
16:02 23 Jun 22
Really happy with the work, A Wilson Roofing did a brilliant roof renewal. Amazing and professional team, couldn’t recommend them more.
Tracy KopickiTracy Kopicki
08:38 15 Jun 22
Super efficient, friendly team, keeping us well informed as the work progressed. Extremely tidy too !!
Jerry WinderJerry Winder
20:46 16 May 22
Good Professional service, even took away rubbish!
John WhitewickJohn Whitewick
16:52 17 Mar 22
Very professional, thorough and friendly. Kept informed through the journey from inspection, quotation and work carried out. The workmen were very tidy and informative of the actions they were taking. I have no problem in recommending A. Wilson Services.
William RhodesWilliam Rhodes
14:30 17 Mar 22
I was recommended to this company and was not disappointed. From the prompt inspection of the roof damage to sending me the quote (the following day) they were extremely professional, informative and friendly. The work carried out was of a very high standard and was completed within the timeframe they had quoted.I would definitely use them again and would have no hesitation in recommending them.
Vana ParkerVana Parker
11:48 03 Feb 22
We were so pleased with the repair to our 100 year old roof. Super professional team producing high quality work. Highly recommended.
We've Got it Covered

Full Public And Employers Liability - Get a quote!

Your house is usually your biggest investment in life – so why risk it! A Wilson Roofing, Surrey hold full Public Liability and full Employers Liability insurance on all contracts, large or small. This is a very important point to consider when deciding which roofing contractor to use and we are happy to provide copies of our current certificate.

If you’re looking for a quality roofer in Surrey, get in contact with us today.

Contact A Wilson Roofing