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The Anatomy of A Roof

Service area in the GTA

Your home’s roof seems fairly simple, doesn’t it? It’s basically shingles nailed onto wood.

It’s usually not until your roof has to be replaced that you discover the many of the other important parts and how they all work together to protect your home. When you get a quote for replacing your roof, suddenly you’re made aware of things you might never have heard of; like “underlayment”.

If your roof needs to be replaced in the foreseeable future, it will help to learn more about the parts of the roof so that you can make more informed decisions about how best to replace it.

  1. Roof Deck

    No, we’re not talking about a funky place to hang out on your roof. The roof deck is the plywood sheathing onto which your shingles are fastened.

  1. Underlayment

    The underlayment is made of sheets of felt or other synthetics that help prevent water penetration through to the deck and into the home

  2. Shingles

    Probably the best known part of a roof, the shingles are the main protective layer of a roof. While asphalt shingles are used on more than two-thirds of homes in Toronto, you can also choose clay, cedar, aluminum and slate shingles, among others.

  3. Eavestrough

    The “gutter” that runs along the outside edge of your roof is the eavestrough, which carries the water that rolls off the roof to your downspouts and away from your home.

  4. Vents

    While not every roof has vents, they are an important part of the roofing system. Vents help circulate air under the roof to reduce moisture build-up inside your home.

  5. Ridge

    Ridges are the peaks of your roof. They are considered a different part of the roof because shingles are applied in a certain way along ridges to stop water from getting into your home.

  6. Valley

    A roof valley appears at the intersection of two separate segments of the roof. A long, continuous piece of metal is usually fitted into the valley, before shingles are applied to the rest of the roof.

  7. Flashing

    Usually made of metal or plastic, flashing is installed around the base of roof protuberances, like vents and the chimney, to keep water from seeping under the roof where the protuberance goes through the roof.

You may hear your roofer use terms that are not listed here. But, with this basic knowledge of the parts of a roof, you’ll be better equipped to understand and negotiate your next roof replacement.

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