What’s under roofing shingles?

Learning the roofing anatomy can be very important as a homeowner. On the surface, a roof looks like a simple layering of shingles, but it’s actually much more complex than the average homeowner may realize. A well built roof is composed of multiple layers of different materials that work together as a system to protect against wind and weather. Below is a list of  definitions that describe the roofing anatomy of your home or dwelling:

Gable: The vertical triangular end of a building. Also, a type of roof.

Rake: The outer edge of the roof from the eave to the ridge.

Valley: The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff.

Flashing: The waterproofing construction used at intersections of different planes or at openings on a roof.

Hip: The intersection of two roof planes which meet to form a ridge that runs down the roof from the peak to the eave.

Eave: The lower border of a roof that overhangs the wall.

Metal Drip Edge: A narrow strip of no corrodible metal used at the rake and eave to facilitate water runoff.

Exposure: The part of each shingle that is exposed to the weather.

Dormer: The structure containing a window set vertically and projecting through a sloping roof.

Ridge: An intersection of two roof planes forming a peak.

Mansard: A type of roof on which there are two slopes on each side, with the lower slope much steeper than the upper one.

Underlayment: A layer of asphalt saturated felt (sometimes referred to as tar paper) which is laid down on a bare deck before the shingles are installed.

Deck: The structural base for the roof. Made of wood or plywood.

Self-Sealing Shingle: A thermal-sealing cement built into the shingle to firmly cement the shingles together automatically after they have been applied properly and exposed to warm sun temperatures. In warm seasons, the seal will be complete in a matter of days. In colder seasons, sealing time depends on the temperature and amount of direct sunlight hitting the shingles.

Tab: The portion of the shingle set off by the cutouts. Also the part of the shingle that is exposed to the weather.

Architectural / Dimensional Shingle: The most popular type of fiberglass based asphalt shingle usually 12″ x 36″ in size.