Parts of roof and their functions

We have reached the time of year when it is wise to assess your home and make a list of any items that need to be organised before the upcoming winter. One of these is inspecting your roof, but what are the various parts of a roof that are exposed to the elements called?

The roof comprises various parts that come together to shelter the occupants within a building. A broken or missing component could jeopardise the entire roof. Although the sections may differ from various types of roof, the parts mentioned below are evident in all types of roofs.

Read through this article where we share 13 different parts of a roof including their names, a small definition of what they are and the signs you should watch out for as they prepare for colder weather.

Parts of a roof coming together

Different parts of a roof

1. The eaves

The edges of the roof that extend over a vertical external wall are known as the eaves, and they typically protrude over the side of a building to create an overhang so that rainwater can drain away from the walls.

Inspect the eaves for rot or dampness because if this occurs, water may enter the loft space and cause damage to the exterior walls.

It’s the lowest point of a pitched roof, such as a mansard, gambrel, gable, or other type of roofing. Furthermore, it’s where the gutter is attached to the roof.

2. The gable

This is the top portion of a side wall (also known as a flank wall), which is typically triangular in shape and terminates at the ridge of a sloping roof. It is the triangle formed by the intersection of two eaves on a wall. If a building is long, gable ends may be located at the front and back or on the sides (if you have a wide building).

3. Flashing

Flashing serves as a barrier to prevent water from entering between roofing joints. For instance, if your home has a chimney on the roof, flashing is typically installed around the chimney’s base to prevent water from entering.

For a long time now, flashing has typically been made of lead. You have a weak spot for water entry if the flashing on your home deteriorates, which could cause wall and loft damage.

4. The hip

A hipped roof is one without gables. It has four slopes, which combine to form a ridge at the top. Compared to a gable roof, it has a more contemporary design, and the four-way slope facilitates water runoff.

5. The ridge

The top portion of a roof known as the ridge is where the sides or gable meet. Typically, it spans the entire roof. The head of the spars are placed there because it is the highest point of a pitched roof. (also called rafters or common rafters – see below).

This can be seen on a variety of roof types, including pitched, gambrel, gable, and mansard. It connects the two sides of the roof and is its highest point (imagine the letter “V” reversed).

6. The fascia board

The board that rests just beneath the roof is known as a fascia board and is usually made of wood. It supports the lowest point of the roof. Regular inspections are advised because once the wood is rotten, it may be easy for animals and birds to enter the area.

If you are unsure of the material used, it might be worthwhile to get an asbestos survey done since some of these are also made of asbestos.

It may also support the gutter and is fastened to the rafters. The addition also contributes to the property’s value and beauty.

7. The rafters

Along with purlins and joists, a rafter is a crucial component of a roof. They combine to form the roof’s framework. The rafters are the vertically sloping pieces of wood that extend from the roof’s peak to the eaves when you picture your roof without any tiles or other covering.

Rafters are typically arranged in pairs. Although they are typically made of wood, you may also find metal versions. The framework is made up of them as they extend from one end of the roof to the other.

Along with connecting the ceiling joists, it provides support for the covering, insulation, and sheeting. These inclined lengths of timber, which are also known as common rafters or spars, extend from the roof’s eaves at the base to the ridge’s peak.

8. The battens

The purpose of battens is to give roof tiles or other coverings a place to be fixed to the roof. One reason to fix a slipped tile quickly rather than later is that the gap will allow water to enter, which could cause some of the battens to rot.

9. The gutter

This is the pipe that collects rainwater from the roof’s eaves and directs it to a down pipe so that it can be removed from the structure. You will notice water dripping or occasionally gushing off the roof if your guttering is blocked or has a gap in it.

If the problem isn’t fixed, it might cause damage to an exterior wall or another component of your building, depending on where the water ends up splashing.

10. The downpipe or downspout

The purpose of the down pipe, which is the guttering that descends vertically from a building’s roof to a drain, is to remove water from the home and prevent it from accumulating in cracks or openings.

11. The Valley

This creates a right angle when two pitched or sloped roofs are connected (90 degrees). A valley rafter, on the other hand is underneath the valley, which supports a thin piece that resembles a gutter and allows water and other debris to trickle down into the gutter.

12. Soffits

By necessity, your roof will frequently overhang your home’s walls. The eaves of your house or the rafters of your roof are two names for this overhang.

When this overhang is finished, the underside is referred to as the soffit, which literally translates to “something fixed underneath”. It hides the rafters and ceiling joists and is located between the wall and fascia or eaves.

13. Truss

This is the structural support for the entire roof section. It’s a structural framework of timbers that’s designed to provide support for a roof. Additionally, they are employed to span the area above a room. They are typically spaced out regularly and are connected by horizontal beams called purlins.

It has numerous components, including rafters and ridge rafters, and it supports the insulation, sheathing, covering, and underlayment.

If you’re still in doubt and require more details about the various roof components and their functions, or if you’re looking for any roofing related services, you should speak with our expert roofing team at SPS Roofing.

Residents of Taunton and the surrounding areas can use our company’s services for new installation, repair, and maintenance. We rely on experts who will do everything in their power to ensure that your roof is in excellent condition. You can call, email, or visit the company website to learn more about the roofer and its offerings.

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SPS Roofing Ltd is a highly rated roofing company based in Exeter operating across Devon and South West England including Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset.