How a Roof Is Constructed

Canton Roofer protects the inhabitants of a home from weather events. Its construction is determined by how it pierces the attic space and whether or not it is pitched.

A roof has two sloping sides that meet at a peak called the ridge. A dormer can house a window and add to a roof’s roof’s beauty.


The slope of your roof, also referred to as its pitch, dictates many other aspects of your roof’s overall design and construction. It determines which roofing materials will be used, the architectural style, and whether a roof should be shingled or not.

Roof pitch is the ratio of the roof’sroof’s vertical rise to its horizontal run, usually expressed as a fraction with a slash (for example, 6 in 12). It can be measured either vertically or horizontally, depending on how it is determined. The simplest way to find the slope is to use a level against the underside of a rafter, ideally one that is situated directly above the center of your roof’sroof’s peak. Place a 12″” length of scrap wood against the level and mark where it intersects with the line that runs across the top of your roof, known as the ceiling joist. This will give you the roof’sroof’s slope, which is the measurement in inches of vertical rise per foot of run.

If you are concerned about the accuracy of this method, or just want to save time, get yourself a good quality digital level. It will do the same job, and will tell you the slope in both degrees and rise/run ratios, and will automatically convert between them.

Traditionally, slopes are rated as low slope, medium slope and steep slope, although the terms “”slope”” and “”angle”” are frequently used interchangeably. Low-slope roofs are generally a little steeper than flat roofs, but not as steep as conventional or gambrel roofs. Low-slope roofs may be covered with asphalt shingles or other material, but they typically require special application methods to prevent water from seeping under the shingles and leaking into your home.

A medium-slope roof has a ratio between 4:12 and 6:12. This is still a fairly shallow slope, but not nearly as shallow as a flat roof. It can be covered with shingle or other material and is suitable for most traditional homes.

A steep-slope roof has an angle of 45° or greater. It can be clad with almost any material, including shingles, metal, or tile, and is often more energy efficient than a lower-slope roof. It requires more maintenance, though.

The shingles on your roof play an essential role in the insulation of your home. They help regulate temperature inside your house by reflecting the sun’ssun’s rays and daylight. Different shingle materials have varying degrees of heat transfer properties, which is why it is vital to choose the right material for your roof.

Shingles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, making them versatile roofing options for homes and other structures like sheds, garages, gazebos and commercial buildings. The type of shingle you choose for your roof depends on your aesthetic preference, how much maintenance you want to do and your budget.

Some shingle types are more durable than others, while some are more affordable to maintain and repair. Some shingles even come with warranty coverage, giving you peace of mind. The shingle type that is best for your property will depend on the climate of your area, as well as how much sunlight your roof receives.

Wooden shingles are made from various types of wood, including cypress, redwood and western red cedar. They are usually cut by hand splitting, quarter-sawing or plain-sawing. Some are made entirely of heartwood, while others feature a mix of heart and sapwood. They are generally kiln-dried and have a thick butt end to prevent warping.

Other shingle types include fiberglass, asphalt and metal. Fiberglass and asphalt shingles are less expensive than cedar shake shingles, but they don’tdon’t last as long. Metal shingles, on the other hand, are more expensive than wood shingles but offer superior durability and insulation.

Many people choose wood shingles for their attractiveness and natural look. They also provide exceptional insulating qualities and are fire-resistant. These qualities make them a great choice for homes in colder climates, where heating and cooling are more costly.

Another advantage of shingle roofing is their ease of installation and maintenance. Unlike most other roofing materials, shingles don’tdon’t require any special tools to install or replace them. They are also highly aesthetically pleasing and can complement any style of home. Additionally, shingles are easy to recycle.

Often overlooked, roof drip edges play a vital role in your home’shome’s protection from severe weather. They are designed to help your gutter system do its job by directing water away from the fascia and soffit. They prevent water from damaging the edges of shingles, help keep the wood of your fascia protected from moisture, and even keep pests out of tight crevices where they could enter your home.

Despite their importance, many homeowners don’tdon’t have drip edges installed on their homes. And even those who do may not have them installed properly.

Without a proper drip edge, your gutters can overflow and cause damage to the underside of the roof, fascia boards, wood trim, and even your foundation. This is why most local building codes require drip edges to be installed on new roofing projects.

There are several different types of drip edges, each designed to serve a specific purpose and protect your home in its own way. The type of roof and materials used for the shingles will determine what kind of drip edge you need.

Hemmed drip edges, also known as D-metal, have an opened flange that folds back over the bottom edge of the flashing, using capillary action to help keep water flowing downward rather than upward. They are usually made of metal and are commonly used with standing seam or metal roofing. L-style drip edges are typically used on low-incline roofs and fastened with glue to the outer edge of the roof. These drip edges are more effective at preventing gutter overflow than the hemmed drip edge and less expensive than a t-style drip edge.

Gutter aprons are another type of drip edge that works along the gable edges (the angled sides without gutters) of your roof. They are similar to the l-style drip edge but have a longer flange designed to offer more protection against rain that is blown upward by wind. They are often more affordable than t-style drip edges, although the exact amount will depend on the type of roof you have and the material it is constructed of.

Flashing is a protective barrier that redirects water away from areas where the roof deck meets vertical surfaces like walls, chimneys, vent pipes and skylights. This material can be made of either flexible or rigid galvanized steel, aluminum or plastic and can prevent the infiltration of rainwater at these vulnerable points. Flashing is installed around these penetrations, as well as at corners and in valleys (the inward crease where two roof slopes meet) to keep water from leaking into the building.

The type of flashing that is used depends on the specific roofing application and location. For example, chimneys require a special two-part flashing system consisting of base flashing and counter flashing. The base flashing, also known as apron flashing, wraps around the bottom of a chimney. The counter flashing, which is bent opposite of the step flashing, completes the waterproof seal around the chimney.

Other types of flashing include pan flashing and wall flashing. The former is a continuous piece of metal that runs along the sides and ridges of a roof. The latter is placed under shingles near a wall.

In addition to protecting the integrity of a roof, flashing is also important in preventing ice dams, which occur when snow and ice melt at the top of the roof but refreeze as they flow down toward the eaves and gutters. This creates a barrier that prevents further melting and refreezing and keeps water from seeping into the building.

Although flashing is an important part of any roofing system, it can be subject to problems such as rust and leaks. To prevent these issues, homeowners should have their roof flashing inspected and repaired regularly by professional roofing contractors. In addition, it is recommended that homeowners review their homeowner’shomeowner’s policy to understand the extent of the insurance coverage provided for roof damage and other roofing-related issues. This will help them determine the most appropriate course of action should their roof require repair or replacement due to damage or aging. It’sIt’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for signs that flashing may be failing, including cupping shingles, rust stains in vulnerable areas and water stains inside the home.

William Dobbins