I think I need a new roof… now what? First of all, don’t worry. Owens Corning Roofing is here to help! Our entire Roofing Basics section is designed to give you the information you need.

While replacing a roof can be a big, important decision, it also helps protect your biggest investment – your home – and it gives you the chance to start fresh with a new exterior look. Getting the color and shape of shingle you always wanted is a great way to express your individual personality and add real value. Plus, if you have a leak, ignoring it can only get worse and could result in interior damage or even mold or roof deck rot.

Let’s start with the anatomy of a roof:

Roofing Basics Anatomy numbered diagram
  1. Ridge: An intersection of two roof planes forming a horizontal peak.
  2. Ridge vent: An exhaust vent that runs horizontally along the peak of the roof allowing warm, humid air to escape from the attic.
  3. Flashing: Waterproofing construction used at intersections of different planes or at openings in the roof.
  4. Hip: The intersection of two roof planes that meet to form a sloping ridge running from the peak to the eave.
  5. Deck: The structural base for the roof, usually made of wood or plywood.
  6. Underlayment: A layer of protective material between the deck and the shingles.
  7. Valley: The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff.
  8. Laminated or three-dimensional shingles: Shingles containing more than one layer of tabs to add dimension and durability.
  9. Gable: The triangular section of the outer wall at the peak of the roof. Also a type of roof.
  10. Metal drip edge: A narrow strip of noncorrosive metal used at the rake to facilitate water runoff.
  11. Dormer: A structure containing a window that projects vertically through the slope in the roof.
  12. Ice and water barrier: A self-adhesive waterproofing membrane used along eaves and valleys to protect these sensitive areas against ice damage and wind-driven rain.
  13. Eave: The lower border of the roof that overhangs the wall.
  14. Undereave vent: Intake vents located under the eaves of the roof that help draw cool dry air into the attic.

You’ll notice that a roof is much more than just shingles- it’s a complete system of integrated components and layers all working together to protect the home. Let’s look at more Owens Corning Roofing products that make up the Total Protection Roofing System.

Total Protection Roofing System™ 

Other roofing terms:

  • Off-ridge exhaust vent: Individual exhaust vents usually located on the upper half of the roof that allows warm, humid air to escape from the attic. May be round, square or resemble a pipe or stack.
  • Rake: The outer edge of the roof from the eave to the ridge.
  • Square: One “square” of roofing material equals 100 square feet of roofing area. Many roofing materials are bought by the square.