There’s much more to a roof than just shingles.  Let’s take a look at a roof from the bottom up!


Your roof structure begins with the roof frame.  The frame determines the shape and slope of your roof and also acts as a support to the whole system.


Insulation keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by providing a barrier between the inside and outside temperatures.

Roof Deck:

The roof deck is typically made up of sheets of plywood or OSB (oriented strand board).  It is a base layer that essentially supports the rest of the roof system—it provides a layer for your shingles and barriers to adhere to.

It is important to note that generally when you get a new roof your roof deck is not completely replaced.  Typically, after tearing off the shingles and underlayment, a roofing company will be able to see the deck, and determine if any pieces are compromised or damaged (mold, rot, water damage, etc).  They will then replace only the damaged pieces. 

Drip Edge:

The drip edge is usually made out of aluminum or galvanized metal, and it is placed at the end of the roof deck to extend past the base layer.  The drip edge not only provides a finished look to the roof, but it adds waterproofing and guards against movement between the roof deck and fascia.

Leak Barrier:

Leak barrier is applied to areas of the roof that may be vulnerable to leaks—roof to wall transitions, chimneys, drip edge, seams, around pipes, etc. 


The underlayment begins at the leak barrier, and covers the rest of the roof.  This layer protects the roof deck, while allowing any condensation to evaporate—reducing water damage and deck rot.


Shingles are the barrier that protect your roof from ice, rain, and snow.  There are many different styles, colors, materials, etc to choose from.  It is important to note that shingles (and your entire roofing system) are designed to allow water to flow off of the shingles and into the gutter.  Water is not meant to sit on your roof shingles for extended periods of time.

Of course, there are many other elements that go into your roofing system, including ventilation, fascia, soffits, and much more!

If you are thinking about a new roof, let us help!  Estimates and evaluations are always free to residential customers.  Contact us at 585-400-7663 or