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The Four Major Parts of the Roof

Most homeowners see the roof as just one structure, unaware that it’s actually composed of different parts and components all playing different roles that contribute to the safety and stability of the structure as a whole.

The Four Major Parts of the Roof

John Peters Roofing, your local roofing contractor, discusses the four major parts of the roof.

The Roof Deck

This is the very foundation upon which every other roofing component is laid and installed. It’s what most people refer to as the “roofing structure” because of this. While the material varies, it’s often made from strand board, plywood and even metal. In more modern homes, the deck is usually made from concrete and polystyrene.


This is the underside of the shingles and sits directly above the deck. It’s the roof’s last line of defense against the leaks in the event it manages to penetrate the surface. During roof repair, we urge homeowners to have the underlayment looked at, especially if it has experienced a leak. More often than not, the leak may have already gone through the underlayment and is already spreading moisture throughout the structure.


These are the thin metal strips that protect the most vulnerable parts of the roof from water intrusion. They are often made of steel or aluminum and reinforced with tar or an asphalt mixture. You’ll see these on the valleys, slope and joints, and the base of the chimney.

While flashings are responsible for protecting the roof from water damage, they are susceptible to getting worn down by it, too. When you’re doing preventive roofing repair, it’s always a good idea to check the flashings and repair or replace them when they are starting to show signs of disrepair.


The shingles are the surface of the roof and can be made from different materials, the most common are wood, metal and asphalt. As the most visible part of your home, they also play a key role in establishing the look of your property. With proper care and maintenance, the shingles should stay on the roof  and will look good for a long time.

John Peters Roofing is ready to assist you with your roofing concerns. Call us today at (317) 981-6300 to learn more about our services. We are a local roofing contractor in Indianapolis.