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. 

Chimney

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.  

Covering

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

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

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

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. 

Eaves.

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.

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.

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. 

Fascia

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. 

Valley

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

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Having used A Wilson Roofing previously we had no hesitation in asking them to quote for a leak to our flat roof. Their representative identified the problem and the quotation given was within our budget.
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