8 Common Parts of Roofs

Roof of home

Whether you are getting a new roof installed, roof repairs, roof replacement, or something attached to the roof such as a chimney or skylight, you may hear different terms that the contractor uses to refer to certain parts of the roof. Understanding what these particular terms mean can help you understand how the roof functions to protect your home and allow you to better spot potential problems that require immediate solutions.

Roof Deck

The roof deck is the structural foundation of the roof. It is what everything is attached to, such as the shingles, underlayment, flashing, and other roof structures. The roof deck is typically made out of plywood or wood.

Roof Ridge

The roof ridge refers to the ridge where the two roof planes meet. We often think of it as the roof peak of the house as the ridge represents the horizontal line of these two edges.


Flashing is the metal strips used to protect where two different materials meet or where a structure joins onto the roof deck. The metal material is designed to cover the joint openings to prevent water intrusion. Flashing is often seen along where the chimney meets the roof, around vent pipes, and along the side walls.


The dormer may be a window or other structure that is raised from the roof. This raised roof section will project vertically along the roof slope.


The eave is the lower section of the edge of the roof that overhangs the wall of the house. This roof part may extend about three feet.

Roof Underlayment

Roof underlayment is a type of material that is placed between the roof deck and the shingles. The material may be made out of felt or another synthetic material as it provides another layer of moisture protection.

Metal Drip Edge

This noncorrosive strip of metal helps water runoff along the rake and eave of the roof. When there is dripping water present, the metal drip edge prevents the water from rolling underneath the roof edge and penetrating the wall.

Roof Valley

The roof valley refers to the intersection where two sloping walls meet at an angle to form a V-shaped area. The roof valley helps to redirect water runoff.

Knowing what each part of the roof is can help you better communicate with your roofing contractor about roof projects such as repairs, roof replacement, and additions. For more information about roofing services, contact Brandstetter’s KangaRoof.