Components of a Roof System

Tuesday October 1, 2013

By Christophor Jurin

When you purchase a building or home, new or old, there are some supporting roof components you may not consider until they fail and become a problem. We know we have a roof and most people know about gutters, but there are some other key components of your roof system that you should be familiar with. Knowing what these components are and what their purpose is can assist you in preventing issues before they occur.


Fascia is the vertical finishing edge that is connected to the ends of the rafters, trusses or the area where the gutter is attached to the roof. The primary role of fascia is to cover the ends of the rafters and cover the gaps under the eaves as well as adding to the overall appearance of the roof. Fascia helps protect your building from the elements by ensuring water doesn't enter into the system.

fascia and soffit

Rotted or deteriorated fascia therefore can allow water to enter into your attic or roof system and can be the cause of roof leak issues. Ensure that all fascia is in place and in good condition.


The soffit area is the exposed surface beneath the overhanging section of a roof eave. Soffit provides a beautiful finished appearance to the eaves and overhangs of your home. It also provides the ventilation you need to remove excess heat and humidity from these places, including the attic. Many newer buildings and homes have soffit installed as a matter of course, but older homes are often without. Take a walk around your home and look under your eaves. If you don't see any soffit vents, you should really consider installation.


Flashings are components used to seal roof system edges, perimeters, penetrations, walls, valleys, drains and any other area where the actual roof covering is interrupted or terminated.

pipe flashing

Typically, you'll find flashing around chimneys, vent pipes, walls that square with roofs, and window and door openings. Flashing may be exposed or concealed. For example, sill flashing is concealed under windows and door thresholds to prevent water from entering a wall at those points. Exposed are around any roof penetration and is usually made from stainless steel or copper. The primary function of flashing is to direct water away from the structure and not inside.

Many roof leaks start with a small void in the flashing of a pipe or other roof component. Inspect all of these areas of flashing on your roof to ensure that there are no voids or holes which may allow water to enter your roof system and cause interior damage.

Photo © Jurin Roofing Services, Inc. Fascia and soffit on roof system.

Photo © Jurin Roofing Services, Inc. Roof pipe flashing.


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