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Your roof is more than just the shingles you see from the street. It’s a combination of different roofing materials and components that come together to form a complete roof system. Every part of your roof has a crucial job to keep you and your family protected from the elements. For every roof replacement, these materials are always present and should be found every time.


But what are these materials and why are they important to your roof? To help you understand what makes up a roof, we’re going to break it down for you. 


  1. Roof decking 

Decking is the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof. These boards are what your shingles and other components are installed on. 


When you get a roof replacement, you might have to replace your roof’s decking. Your roofing contractor won’t know if it needs to be replaced until after they finish tearing off your old roof.


  1. Roof flashing

Roof flashing is metal placed anywhere your shingles butt up against something, such as a wall, chimney, or in open valleys.


If your flashing isn’t rusted and the integrity of the metal is still strong, then it won’t need to be replaced. However, if it’s damaged, rusted, or if you’re upgrading from a 3-tab to a dimensional asphalt shingle your roof flashing will need to be replaced. 


  1. Underlayment

Underlayment is a felt (15 lb, 30 lb, or synthetic) material used over your decking to provide additional protection. That makes it a crucial component to your roof. Laying down new underlayment must be included in your roof replacement. 


Be aware, your underlayment is your roof system’s last line of defense for your decking. It’s important to invest in the best roofing components possible. 


  1. Drip edge

Drip edge is the metal flashing that’s installed at the edges of the roof to help control the flow of water away from your fascia and other roofing components.


The drip edge has to be replaced when you get a new asphalt roof. It’s actually a code to have it on your roof. If it’s not installed per code, it could cause you to fail a home inspection. 


  1. Ice and Water shield

Your roof valleys are crucial to keeping water flowing in the right direction down your roof. Because of this, they need something to protect them from the constant flow of water every time it rains. Ice and water shield is the waterproof membrane used to protect your roof from ice and water damage.

  1. Asphalt shingles

Your shingles are the top layer of your roof that is visible to the outside world. That’s why when people think of a roof replacement, they normally just think of their shingles. 


This means shingles are definitely included in your roof replacement. Just be aware, it’s absolutely crucial that your shingles are installed using correct roofing techniques. 


  1. Ridge capping 

Ridge capping is the trim installed at the peak where the two slopes of a roof meet. They’re thicker than regular shingles and pre-bent so they can form to the ridges on your roof. 


Ridge capping must be replaced during a roof replacement. Be aware, some roofing contractors try to use 3-tab asphalt shingles as ridge capping to cut down on costs. 

They’re not designed for this and could cause one of the common roof leaks. You should always look over your roofing estimate with your contractor to ensure you’re getting actual ridge capping. 


  1. Roof vents

Without proper attic ventilation, your roof’s life will be drastically cut short from the trapped hot and cold air. Your roof vents are in place to stop this from happening by allowing your attic to breathe properly.


  1. Pipe boots

Your roof pipes need to be covered so water doesn’t run down them into your home. That’s where pipe boots come in handy. 


A pipe boot is a synthetic rubber boot that goes around your roof penetrations to prevent leaks. They must be replaced when you get a new asphalt roof. 


Knowing the process helps you understand what you can expect on the big day. Luckily, we’ve already thought about this and wrote another article to educate you on the most important day in your roof’s life.