Your roof is more than just the shingles you see from the street. It's a combination of different roofing materials and components that come together to form a complete roof system. 

But what are these materials and why are they important to your roof? To help you understand what makes up a roof, we're going to break it down for you. 

Bill Ragan Roofing has helped educate homeowners in the Nashville area about every aspect of the roofing industry since 1990. Now, we're going to do the same for you. 

Every part of your roof has a crucial job to keep you and your family protected from the elements. There are things that won’t necessarily need to be replaced like your decking and flashing.

But when you get a new roof, pretty much all your roofing components and accessories are replaced. 

By the end of this article, you'll know all the roofing materials that are included in your roof replacement. And if you're looking for a roof contractor, stick around until the very end to get your checklist of the questions you need to ask them. 

1. Roof decking 

Decking is the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof. These boards are what your shingles and other components are installed on. 

roof decking

When you get a roof replacement, you might have to replace your roof’s decking. Your roofing contractor won’t know if it needs to be replaced until after they finish tearing off your old roof.

If they find rotten boards, then your roofing contractor will definitely have to replace it before they can begin installing your roofing components. However, if your contractor finds your decking’s integrity to be sound, then it can handle your new asphalt roof. 

2. Roof flashing

Roof flashing is metal placed anywhere your shingles butt up against something, such as a wall, chimney, or in open valleys.

roof flashing

Your flashing might not need to be replaced when you get a new asphalt roof

If your flashing isn’t rusted and the integrity of the metal is still strong, then it won’t need to be replaced. However, if it’s damaged, rusted, or if you’re upgrading from a 3-tab to a dimensional asphalt shingle your roof flashing will need to be replaced. 

3. Underlayment

Underlayment is a felt (15 lb, 30 lb, or synthetic) material used over your decking to provide additional protection.

underlayment

That makes it a crucial component to your roof. Laying down new underlayment must be included in your roof replacement

Be aware, your underlayment is your roof system’s last line of defense for your decking. It’s important to invest in the best roofing components possible. 

To learn more about why you should invest in a manufacturer’s components, read this article on how cheap a roof system costs more in the long run

4. Drip edge

Drip edge is the metal flashing that’s installed at the edges of the roof to help control the flow of water away from your fascia and other roofing components.

drip edge

The drip edge has to be replaced when you get a new asphalt roof. It’s actually a code to have it on your roof. If it’s not installed per code, it could cause you to fail a home inspection. 

For example, if you hire a contractor that cuts corners and doesn’t install your drip edge, you’ll have to fix it before you can even put your home on the market. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, read this article on why it’s important to hire a local roofing contractor.  

5. Ice and water shield

Your roof valleys are crucial to keeping water flowing in the right direction down your roof. Because of this, they need something to protect them from the constant flow of water every time it rains. 

Ice and water shield is the waterproof membrane used to protect your roof from ice and water damage.

ice and water shield

When you get a roof replacement, new ice and water will need to be installed around your roof penetrations and in your roof valleys. It’s also important to keep your valleys clear of any debris through roof maintenance.

If you don’t, then water will run across your shingles or saturate through the shield down to the decking causing leaks. To learn more about why it’s important to keep your valleys clear, read this article on the importance of regular roof maintenance

6. Asphalt shingles

Your shingles are the top layer of your roof that is visible to the outside world. That’s why when people think of a roof replacement, they normally just think of their shingles. 

asphalt roof shingles

This means shingles are definitely included in your roof replacement. Just be aware, it’s absolutely crucial that your shingles are installed using correct roofing techniques. 

To learn more about how proper roofing techniques affect your roof, read this article on the importance of proper roof installation

7. Ridge capping 

Ridge capping is the trim installed at the peak where the two slopes of a roof meet. They’re thicker than regular shingles and pre-bent so they can form to the ridges on your roof. 

ridge capping

Ridge capping must be replaced during a roof replacement. Be aware, some roofing contractors try to use 3-tab asphalt shingles as ridge capping to cut down on costs. 

They’re not designed for this and could cause one of the common roof leaks. You should always look over your roofing estimate with your contractor to ensure you’re getting actual ridge capping. 

8. Roof vents

Without proper attic ventilation, your roof’s life will be drastically cut short from the trapped hot and cold air. Your roof vents are in place to stop this from happening by allowing your attic to breathe properly.

turbine vent

That means your roof vents are included in your roof replacement. It’s up to you if you want to keep using the same kind of vents or if you want to get a new type. 

To learn more about your vent options and how adequate attic ventilation affects your roof, read this article on the importance of proper attic ventilation

9. Pipe boots

Your roof pipes need to be covered so water doesn’t run down them into your home. That’s where pipe boots come in handy. 

A pipe boot is a synthetic rubber boot that goes around your roof penetrations to prevent leaks. They must be replaced when you get a new asphalt roof. 

pipe boots

Be warned, cracked pipe boots are one of the most common leaks a roofing contractor sees. So, it’s crucial to have your pipe boots inspected regularly through roof maintenance. 

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor

What does the roof replacement process look like? 

Most of your roof system’s components and accessories will be replaced when you get an asphalt roof replacement. But remember your decking and flashing might be left alone if they’re still in good condition. 

Now you know the roofing materials included in your roof replacement. But aren't you curious about the actual process to replace your roof? 

Knowing the process helps you understand what you can expect on the big day. Luckily, we've already thought about this and wrote another article to educate you on the most important day in your roof's life. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been providing the highest-quality roof replacement to the residents of Nashville since 1990. Our attention to detail and workmanship will maximize the life of your roof. That's why we're proud to offer you a lifetime warranty. 

In order to know what to expect on the day of your roof replacement, check out this article on the 8-Step Process to Replace Your Roof.