Understanding the Roof of Your Home

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Whether you’re about to initiate a DIY roof project, or just examining for  roofing repairs, having essential knowledge about the structure always comes in handy. More so, what you know can make or break it for you when it comes to keeping the structure in good kilter.

Without a stable and solid roof, it is almost impossible to enjoy a peaceful life inside. Of course, how could you when the structure is always leaking, making creaking noises, and have given rise to persistent stench? That said, we have compiled everything you need to know about your roof — the structure, common problems, and their solutions. So, let’s dig in.

Roof’s Anatomy

Starting from the roof’s slope, which is the measure of steepness — the steeper the surface, the more rapidly liquid will flow downward. If it takes time, it means a higher chance of leakage. For optimum drainage, a ¼ inch change per 4 feet is ideal for most roofs.

The shape of the roof, on the other hand, varies greatly, depending on demography. For instance, A-framed roofs are prevalent in areas where it snows, while coastal houses have four-sided structures to withstand high-intensity winds.

As observable in the figure, the ridge is the highest point of the roof, while valleys are the areas where the slopes join. Rakes are the sloping edges, and the bottom area is termed an eave. The materials such as tiles and stands on the frame, which is either wooden or metal, and consist of trusses or rafters.

Common Materials for Roofs

You can cover your roof with a variety of materials such as…

  • Tiles — The market is overabundant with a plethora of tile versions, including thermal plastic, coated metals, panels, ceramic tiles, and many more. It is usually low maintenance, but an expensive material, depending on the type, quality, and fanciness.
  • Slates — it is a classic roofing material that never goes out of fashion. If you seek a vintage look, this is perfect for you.
  • Metal Roofing — You can neither go with copper, steel, aluminum, or other corrosion-resistant materials. The best thing about this type is that it is both impressively sturdy and durable.
  • Asphalt Shingles — These shingles are a great way to keep the weather out. Layered shingles are often used in areas of heavy snow and torrential rain.

Inspecting Common Roof Problems

Some parts of the roof are more fragile than others, which is why they are the hotspot of problems. So, let’s find more about them and come up with useful solutions.


As long as the cracks aren’t deep enough for the water to seep in, they are harmless. Surface cracks may occasionally appear due to extreme weather conditions or accidents, but they aren’t dangerous as much as structural cracks. The latter can put your whole structure at stake.

Solution: For structure cracks, simply use a standard filling material. While reroofing might be the only solution for dangerously deep structural cracks.

Moss Growth

Moss growth is a colossal problem for homeowners that is a real pain to deal with. Not only does it look gross, but it also triggers discoloration, which destroys the overall appearance of your roof. It usually happens when the roof is moist all the time.

Solution: Zinc flashing.


It can occur due to holes or deep cracks. When waters seep in, it weakens the structure from inside out. Therefore, it is critical to treat the problem once and for all.

Solution: Use a sealant to block the leakage or go for reroofing.

Tips for Roof Maintenance

  • Build ice dams if it snows prodigiously.
  • Run frequent inspections to find out problem-signs.
  • Check the drainage to look for clues of deterioration.
  • Whenever it leaks, check the valleys before anything.
  • Follow repairs to increase the lifespan of your structure.
  • Contact professionals if the problem seems to be out of your reach.


Understanding your roof will make it a breeze for you to not only pinpoint the problem but also find the best possible solution in no time — not to mention, you’d be able to pull off DIY projects by learning everything from the roof’s structure, problem hotspots, and common solutions. So, enlighten yourself with our guide and keep your roof up to par.