Roofing Anatomy 101: The Parts of a Roof

The folks at Ready2Roof want to teach you a thing or two about how the different parts of a roof and how those parts work together to protect your home.

You don’t have to be an expert on all the terminology, but when it comes to doing routine maintenance, noticing repairs that need to be made or describing damage to insurance adjusters, (and talking with contractors) it helps to know a few basics about the parts of a roof.

Understanding how your roof works also helps you know how to maintain it, detect when minor problems before they become major repairs and allow you to decide which components to include the next time you replace your roof.

The diagram and terms below will help you learn more about the different parts and functions of your roof.



  • Field of Roof: the main area of a roof
  • Ridge: the very top or peak of your roof (aka: the pointy part)
  • Ridge vent: a protected opening on the ridge that allows moisture to escape from the space inside
  • Space inside: the open area between your ceiling and roof decking of a sloped roof; attic
  • Hip: the inclined peak running from the ridge to the eaves
  • Eave: the lower part of the roof extending over the side of your house
  • Soffit: the underside of the eave or cornice that provides ventilation holes for airflow that keeps the underside of the roof dry and cool
  • Fascia: facing board, the vertical edge or face located at the bottom of the roof
  • Rake: the included edge of a roof over a wall
  • Dormer: rooms or windows that extend above the field of roof and therefore have their own small roof
  • Low-profile attic vent: an opening through the roof to allow ventilation
  • Skylight saddles: a component connecting a sloping roof with a skylight
  • Chimney saddles: a component connecting a the roof with a chimney
  • Step flashing: a flat sheet of metal or plastic that seals the cracks between a chimney and the roof, a wall and the roof or in the valley of a roof
  • Valley: the V-shaped joint between two sections of your roof
  • Gutter: trench-shaped channel that carries away rainwater

Ready2Roof’s contractors are fluent in roofing language. Call us today for a no-obligation inspection and estimate. And remember, tornado season is just around the corner, so add our number to the emergency contacts in your phone: 601-573-1160.