The whole roofing system is essential to a home or business, as it wouldn’t be much of a shelter without it. Homeowners like you should have a basic understanding of the roofing system so that you can catch signs of possible damage or structural issues.

Whether it’s a small leak, aging shingles, or damage from a severe storm, it’s imperative to address these issues promptly to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on roof repairs.

In sloped roofing structures, five essential components must come together to allow the roof to do its job and protect your home from the elements. Use this list from Trinity Exteriors to navigate your way around your roofing system.

1. Drainage

Refers to the design, shape, or layout of the roofing system that determines the ability of the roof to shed water appropriately away from the house—directing water away from your house assists in keeping your roof, siding, and foundation from sustaining water damage.

2. Roof Structure

The roof structure consists of rafters, trusses, and other supporting elements. The roof structure is the skeleton or framework that gives a roof its strength and shape. There are three main types of roofing structures:

  • Hip Design: This type of roof has a slope on all sides.
  • Gable: Two slopes that meet at the roof’s peak to form a ridge.
  • Flat: Low pitch, generally used for businesses.

3. Sheathing

Sheathing, also referred to as decking, are the materials used to cover the roof structure. In the past it was common to use slats or boards measuring 1” x 4”, 1” x 6” or greater as sheathing. Today’s builders, however, typically use plywood particleboard that comes in 8’ x 4’ sheets, as they are quicker to install and provide a surface to fasten the roof covering.

4. Roof Covering

The roof covering consists of both the underlayment, which protects the sheathing from moisture, and the shingles, slate, metal, or tile lying on top of the underlayment that we see as a completed project.

5. Flashing

Flashing are materials such as rolled metal sheeting used around the roof to help protect areas that would be otherwise prone to water intrusion. These prone areas include valleys and hips, where the roof meets siding, and around venting or skylights.

Armed with this knowledge, you can make better decisions when choosing products, looking for the source of a needed repair, or hiring a qualified contractor.

Enlist Trinity Exteriors for Your Roofing Project

When you’re gearing up for a roof installation, repair, or any other exterior project, Trinity has you covered!


Request an estimate online or give us a call at 952-920-9520 today!

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