There are a lot of parts of a roof system or simply a roof. There is so much more to your roof than shingles and gutters. There’s a whole system for protecting your home and draining water away from it. Your roof protects your home from the blistering sun, penetrative moisture, and strong winds.

It keeps your home protected from all of these elements while maintaining the beauty of your home. You likely know a few parts of your roof, but without proper education or experience, it’s unlikely you know everything. Knowing the parts of a roof system will help you feel more comfortable when it needs to be replaced or repaired.

Parts of a Roof System

Here are the parts of your roof that you should know the next time you have work performed on it:

Roof Ventilation

The purpose of your roof ventilation is to circulate air and maintain temperatures across the roof. The ventilation is found underneath the decking, where the attic is located. The system is designed to promote air movement through the soffit or eave and is exhausted at the ridge vent. Proper ventilation is necessary to maintain the interior temperature and lower energy costs.

Roof Vents

For your roof to be properly ventilated, roof vents are needed. They are usually made of plastic or metal with a boot at their base. The most effective vents are elevated above the roof to catch the wind.


Above your roof ventilation, you have the decking. Decking is attached to the rafters of your home and acts as the surface for roofing materials to be installed. Essentially, it is the foundation of the shingles or tiles you install on your roof.

Parts of a Roof System Decking


This part of your roof is directly above your decking and beneath the roofing materials. It acts as a second barrier against moisture that may get past your shingles or tiles. Not all areas of your roof require underlayment. It is typically installed in areas the roof meets a vertical wall like a chimney.


When referring to your roof, you think of the actual materials protecting you from the elements. The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. Other types include tile, concrete, wood, metal, and composite materials. This part of your roof takes the brunt of the elements as they repel water, sun, and wind. They also add beauty to your home, making them one of the important parts of a roof system.


Flashing is installed at the seams of your roof. Seams are considered areas where there is a change in elevation, such as your chimney or skylight. Flashing, typically made of metal, is installed at the base of the elevation change. Seams are the weakest points of your roof, so the added layer of protection helps keep water from entering the home.

Parts of a Roof System Flashing

Drip Edge

A drip edge’s job is to direct water away from the fascia and into the gutter. You can find the drip edge at, well, the edge of your roof. They are usually made of metal, but other materials may also be used. Without a drip edge, your roof may suffer from moisture entering underneath your materials at the edge.

Gutters & Downspout

The gutters and downspouts are the most commonly known parts of a roof system. Your gutters and downspout play a large role in protecting you and your roof from the rain. Gutters collect the water while the downspout sends the water away from home. Without a gutter, water will penetrate underneath the roof and collect at the foundation of your home. Downspouts should send the water away from the foundation, so flooding and erosion are prevented.


The fascia or fascia board is the surface behind the gutter. It acts as the siding for the small section of the home and is found all around the building. It closes off the attic and allows you to mount gutters. Your fascia could be made of vinyl, wood, metal, or another material.


The soffit is the bottom of the overhang of your roof. It is the surface the siding meets at the top. As we mentioned earlier, the soffit assists in your roof’s ventilation, which is essential for maintaining internal temperatures. Additionally, aesthetics are another reason. Without a soffit, your home would look unfinished.

Parts of a Roof System Soffit

Know the Parts of a Roof System

Now that you know the parts of a roof system now, you can feel comfortable the next time you need a roofing project completed. We do not recommend tackling your own roof project on your own because you know the many parts of a roof system. Instead, you should hire professionals for the job.

Golden City Remodeling wants to help you complete your roofing project. We know the many parts of a roof system, including those of our manufacturing partners like Owens Corning. We can get the job done with our experienced team of professionals. Give us a call today at (310) 361-0065, or visit our free estimate page to learn more. Our project manager will discuss the details of your roof project and provide an accurate estimate.