Different Parts of the Roof

If you’re unsure of the correct roofing terminology to use, then here is everything you ever wanted to know about what all those things are called and what purpose they serve. Let’s get started:


Battens are attachment points for tiles and they also hold down felt. They need to be evenly spaced apart so there is the right overlap between the rows of roof tiles. The spacing is dependent upon roof type, tile type, climate and type of fastening. If a roof is covered with asphalt shingles, then you won’t find battens.


With a standard roof, you’ll find a roof truss which is covered with sheathing, underlay and then a roof covering on top of that. These different layers will overlap to ensure the roof is completely waterproof.

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It’s common for most roofs to be covered with a layer of shingle or tiling which helps contribute towards the waterproofing the roof.


The boards that you see lying on top of rafters are called sheathing. It helps to give the roof frame more rigidity and is somewhere for nails to be fastened to. Common materials for sheathing include plywood or particleboard.


Felt is often laid below tiles or shingles which adds another layer of waterproofing to the structure. It is a requirement now, but older homes might not have it installed. It is laid in horizontal strips over the sheathing.


Fascia boards are visible from the exterior of a property. They are mounted where the roof meets the walls and are the boards that carry the guttering and run along the lower edge of the roof. A fascia board is attached to the lower part of the roof truss. For replacement UPVC Fascia Boards, visit https://www.absolutebuildingplastics.co.uk

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The soffit board is found tucked in under the fascia. You can see most of the soffit board from street level. Often it will be ventilated to provide a good of air into the roof space.


This is the name given to the material used to seal joints in the roof. Lead is often found as the material used to provide flashing. The problem with lead is that it contracts and expands in different temperatures which can lead to mortar cracks. Rain can then penetrate behind the flashing causing damp issues inside the house.

Ridge Tiles

These are the tiles that run along the very top of the roof (the ridge). Their purpose is to seal the join between the two sections roofing. They are normally stuck in place with a mortar or concrete base. This bed is used to seal the joins between each ridge tile and hold them in place on the ridge. They will naturally erode over time which can leave gaps in the pointing. If this is left unrepaired then damp will penetrate the roof space. Be aware of any damage caused by high winds as well as ridge tiles are often blown off, causing damage to other tiles on the roof in the process.