5 Important Parts Of A Roofing System And Their Functions

Essential parts of a roofing system and their functions you should know

The roofing system is the most important part of a building. A house wouldn’t be much of a shelter without a proper roofing system. Therefore homeowners need to have an understanding of the basic components of a roof as well as its functions. In this article, we have explained the basic components of a roofing system that come together to protect the home.

Components Of A Roofing System

The five basic components of a roof that allow it to do its job efficiently include roof decking, underlayment, roof flashings, ventilation products, and shingles.

Roof Decking

  • The plywood sheathing that is fastened to the roof rafters is known as roof decking. It is usually made from ½-inch plywood and sits below your roof’s shingles. In the past, slats or boards of specific measurements were used as sheathings. Today, builders use plywood sheets because they are quicker to install and provide a surface to fasten the roof covering.

Roof sheathing is the material used for covering the roof structure. It strengthens the roof structure by providing a nailbed for the shingles. It is crucial to ensure that the roof decking is in a good shape before installing the shingles and underlayment.


  • A sheet of synthetic material is installed over the roof’s plywood deck before the shingles are fastened. This sheet is referred to as roof underlayment. Roof underlayment is an essential part of a roofing system as it protects against water damage. The underlayment provides an added layer of protection that prevents attic leaks and wood rot. This is done by preventing rain and moisture from seeping into the deck.

Underlayment also protects the wood from damaging chemicals in the shingles. In the absence of underlayment, the heat from the sun can cause the shingles to practically melt into the wood.


  • Roof flashing is the most critical component of the roof as it protects the roof against damaging elements. Modern roofs are durable and last many years depending on the material being used. But every roof has some weak points that are vulnerable to leakage. The purpose of roof flashing is to secure joints in places that receive a lot of water.

Flashings effectively direct water away from the vulnerable areas such as valleys between slopes and into the gutters. The main roof flashings include drip metal, rake metal, step flashing, roof-to-wall flashing, chimneys as well as valleys.


  • parts of a roofing systemShingles consist of individual flat and rectangular-shaped elements placed one over the other. Shingles play a significant role in improving the overall appearance of the house. The purpose of shingles in a roofing system is to protect against elements such as rain, sun, hail, and snow. They act as a waterproof barrier to preserve the integrity of the whole structure.

Shingles are designed such that they repel the water and rain thereby, protecting the rooftop from water damage. Asphalt or composite shingles are the most common roofing material used in the United States for a residential roof.


  • The performance and lifespan of a roofing system can be improved by adequate attic ventilation. The ventilation system consists of two parts, intake, and exhaust. Different products are available in the market for both.


  • Undereave vents such as soffit vents, and edge vents are the main products used for intake.


  • Ridge vents and roof louvers are the commonly used products for exhaust.

Proper ventilation is important for the overall performance of a roofing system. Lack of ventilation can have a negative impact on energy bills.

If you are looking for roofing solutions and home improvement services, contact Simple Home Improvements at 866-849-2599. Our dedicated team has years of experience on hand. We are located in New Jersey.

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