Components of an Residential Asphalt Roof

We know getting your roof done can be a hassle. All the components working together create the perfect roofing system to protect your home. The terms can be a bit confusing when talking with a roofing contractor. Knowing this can help you understand how your roof works and what needs to be done. Here are some essential things to know when getting your roof done.

Ice & Water Shield

Ice & Water Shield is a self-adhering waterproofing underlayment that is used in roofing to help prevent damage caused by ice dams and wind-driven rain. It’s usually applied to the eaves and rakes since these are one of the most vulnerable parts of the roof.


This component protects the roof deck, this is essentially your next defense for your roof deck when your shingles are blown or ripped off by strong winds. This also helps protect against leaks caused by wind-driven rain and ice dams. There are many types of underlayment such as Synthetic, Rubberized Asphalt or Asphalt-Saturated felt. Underlayment will not be visible once the roof is completely installed. Not only does the homeowner benefit from the underlayment but the shingle applicator, which can make the job quicker and easier to finish!

Drip Edge

Drip Edge is a thin metal strip that directs water into the gutters, also known as Eaves Flashing. This is typically installed before the underlayment on the eaves and after on the rake edges. Without drip edge, water might not drain properly and could be absorbed into the wooden decking causing the edge of your roof to rot, which could lead to a much bigger problem.

Starter Shingles

Starter shingles are long, narrow shingles usually made of asphaltic material. These are installed along the edges of the roof after installing the underlayment and before installing the regular shingles, they help with wind resistance. Starter shingles are designed with a pierced line splitting them horizontally so that they can be separated easily. All starter shingles come with a line of adhesive on them. The purpose of the adhesive is to bond with the shingles installed above it and seal them down.

Ridge Vent & Caps

It’s installed at the ridge after all the shingles have been installed. Ridge capping is thicker than regular shingles and pre-bent, so they can form the ridges on a roof. Some roofing contractors use 3-tab asphalt shingles as ridge capping to cut down their costs for an asphalt roof replacement. This will lead to a roof leak because they’re not meant to be used in this way. It’s crucial to use the manufacturer’s ridge capping accessory when getting a dimensional or luxury asphalt roof.


Shingles are known as the star of the show for a roof. This is what people typically see and think of first when a roof comes into mind. They are the main component to protecting your roof from all and any weather conditions: ice, rain, hail, snow, and wind. Durability and Color are things homeowners typically consider when choosing their shingle color. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful and protected roof? Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof residential homes have. There are three types of asphalt shingles: 3-Tab Shingles, Architectural, and Designer shingles.

Now that you know the Components of a Residential Asphalt Roof, you’ll be able to understand our roofing lingo! These aren’t all the things that go into having a healthy roof but one of the most important parts. There’s more to roofing than you think and that’s why we’re here! If you have any Roof-related questions, feel free to contact us! We’ll be more than happy to help you!


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