Components of a New Roof

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Big Slope Tile Roof with Chimney

Need to Know What Types of Roofs get Insured?

When you install a new roof, you want to make sure that you give attention to the five components that make up a roof. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association:

“All steep-slope roof systems (i.e., roofs with slopes of 25 percent or more) have five basic components

Roof covering:

shingles, tile, slate or metal and underlayment that protect the sheathing from weather.


boards or sheet material that are fastened to roof rafters to cover a house or building.

Roof structure:

rafters and trusses constructed to support the sheathing.


sheet metal or other material installed into a roof system’s various joints and valleys to prevent water seepage.


a roof system’s design features, such as shape, slope and layout that affect its ability to shed water.”

Roof Covering

Your customers usually picks out the roof covering to use on a new roof. Whether they choose shingles, tile, slate or metal roofing products, it’s your job to guide them to the best roofing choice for their price point. Slate is a very heavy, and your client’s roof may not be able to support the weight of slate. Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice, but asphalt shingles don’t always have the esthetic appeal that other roofing materials posses. Tile roofs are abundant in warm climates, so they may not work out in cold climates. Metal roofs require a certain expertise to install. Do you have that expertise?


Sheathing is a major component in a new roof system. It offers protection from strong winds and heavy snow. If sheathing is installed improperly, it creates headaches for you and your customer.

Here are some tips from Pro Builder on how to install sheathing properly.

Roof Structures

Roof structures, which include rafters and trusses, are the backbone of a new roof. Rafters and trusses support the shingles, underlayment and sheathing. If you detect wood that is damaged by moisture or cracking, you may have to replace roof structur. If they are bowed, you can probably get them back into alignment by inserting blocks of wood.


Flashing is a crucial part of a new roof. It acts to waterproof areas of the roof that maybe susceptible to leaks because of seams by objects that protrude or in places where water collects. That would include chimneys, dormers or skylights as well as roof valleys where they might have standing water. Flashing can be made of a variety of materials including aluminum, copper, steel or polyvinylidene fluoride.


Drainage systems are a key component of a new roof. Leaks are a major concern in roofing and proper drainage systems draw the water away from the new roof. There are three basic styles of drainage- gutters, NewCon drains and green roofs. Gutters collect water, which is than transported to a catch basin, where it can be used for other purposes. NewCon drains are inserted in the roof and through a PVC pipe water is removed. Green roofs, which are covered with plants, allow the plants to absorb the excess water on the roofs.

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