The Anatomy of a Residential Roof

Each component of your roof protects the house and the people you love in different ways. Though it may look as if all that makes up a roof are shingles and a few boards, this is far from the truth. By knowing the elements of your roof, you can better understand the importance of investing in a preliminary layer of protection for your home. 


Also known as decking, sheathing functions as the backbone of the roof. Often made of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sheets, the decking offers a firm hold for nails that otherwise wouldn’t have that kind of grip strength. Without proper sheathing, the roof itself would not have structural integrity.


This layer of waterproof felt offers an extra tier of protection against leaking. It lays directly over the sheathing to protect the skeleton of the roof from wind and rain damage. Mostly, the underlayment serves as secondary protection from severe weather and wind-driven rain.


Often the first thing that comes to mind when considering a roof, shingles are actually only the first layer of protection against wind, sunshine, and rain. Though asphalt shingles are most common, they can also be made of metal, clay, wood, slate and a wide variety of other materials.

Gutters and Drip Edges

Both gutters and the drip edges that help guide water into them help proper water flow on the roof. The gutters should be properly cleaned of debris to function correctly.

Fascia and Soffit

The fascia, also known as the eaves and rakes of the roof, do more than help the aesthetics of a house. In fact, they protect the interior of the house from moisture damage. The soffit covers the eaves of the house in order to keep the beams from being fully exposed, serving both an aesthetic and practical purpose. Furthermore, the soffit prevents water from entering the eaves and ventilates the attic.


Often made of copper, aluminum, or steel, the flashing serves to further waterproof the roof. It protects areas susceptible to damage such as chimneys or vents to keep water from seeping underneath the shingles. 

The importance and complexity of a roof are often under appreciated. Now that you know a bit more about its components, you may feel ready to either fix or reroof your home. If this is the case, call (405) 789-4646 today to get in contact with the Elliott Roofing team!