15 Ways Your Roof Protects You: The Foundation Of Roof Structure Plus Design
June 21, 2023

There’s more going on on a roof than what you can see from outside. To protect you from damaging weather, pollution, and extreme temperatures, a roof should have the right structure and design.

The 15 parts of a roofing system

What goes into the roof structure? There are at least 15 parts of the roof structure that contribute to the roof’s ability to shelter you from the elements. Each part performs a specific structural or aesthetic function. Get to know the different components so that you can identify which parts you need or need to fix. 

1. Ridge

This is the highest point of your roof and connects to the rafters.

2. Battens

These run perpendicular to your rafters and are where the roofing material is attached.

3. Joists

These provide internal support for eaves and soffits.  

4. Soffits

These conceal rafters and joists.

5. Fascia

These are a series of sheaths that cover the rafters and connect walls with the rooftop.

6. Rake

The rakes of the roof are the sloped sides of a gabled section.

7. Decking

This is the foundation of your roof and nail bed.

8. Eaves

These are the edges of your roof where gutters are attached.

9. Valley

This is where two slopes meet; valleys direct water flow.

10. Dormer

This is a window that projects from a sloping roof.

11. Vents

These allow hot air to escape and cool air to enter the building.

12. Flashing

These are waterproof strips placed on joints and seams.

13. Drip edge

Metal flashing along the eaves.

14. Gutter and downspouts

These divert water preventing leaks, erosion, and mold.

15. Covering

The external covering of a roof structure or what people usually refer to when they talk about roof.

Roof design basics

Now that you know the different parts of a roof structure, let’s talk about roof design. The design of a roof affects its appearance, functionality, and durability.

Roof designs

Flat roofs

Flat roofs give off a modern vibe, but they require more care in terms of draining rainwater and cleaning. Other roof profiles, like standing seam roofs, also safeguard your home against water leakage.

Single-pitch roofs

Single-pitch roofs are economical. They are usually found in sheds and storage buildings. They traditionally do not provide a lot of insulation and ventilation, but there are now technologies that help keep your home breezy. With Metalink, standing seam and snap-lock roofs can be applied with insulation, such as expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Gabled roofs

Gabled roofs form a triangular shape and are a popular choice. Besides their aesthetic appeal, they are effective in shedding water, promoting ventilation, and offering additional attic space and natural lighting options.

Vaulted roofs 

Vaulted roofs have an elegant arched shape. But due to the complexity and expense of building vaulted roofs, these are usually only used in churches or historical buildings.

Kinds of roof coverings

Aside from the shape of the roof, you can also choose the design and texture of your roof by selecting from a wide variety of coverings.

Rib roofs 

Rib roofs lend an ultramodern design to buildings because of their symmetrical lines. Metal rib roofs with a stone finish are durable as well as beautiful. 

Tile roofs

Tile roofs are a classic choice but can also be made to look modern, depending on the finish. Contemporary tile roofs are available in stone-coated finishes that are highly durable, and in elegant textured gray finishes such as Metalink’s TEKTURA Series. Tile roofs are also available pre-painted in a wide variety of bright colors.

Horizontal roofs

Horizontal roofs exude a stylish Japanese vibe, so if you want your building to stand out, consider installing a horizontal roof.

Curved roofs

Curved roofs are strikingly beautiful. They are usually used in airports, arenas, universities, and stadiums. 

You can also choose bended accessories to use on your roof. These gutters and flashing direct and drain water, increasing the roof’s durability. You can get bended accessories in a wide variety of paint finishes to suit your personal aesthetic. 

Why you need a complete roof structure with compatible materials

The type of roof you choose ultimately affects how your roof performs against moisture seepage or build up, indoor air quality, and the building’s energy efficiency. Likewise, your roof structure and roof materials affect the roof’s structural and aesthetic integrity. So start with good design and use quality materials to help you avoid problems and save money in the long run.