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What Will Go Into Your Complete Roof Replacement?

How much of your home’s original roof disappears in a complete roof replacement? A roof is not as simple as most homeowners think; it is an integrated system of components, from the roof deck (those attic rafters) to the ridge vents. If you’ve wondered, “What is a complete roof replacement,” we have the answers.


A typical residential roof has nine layers, starting on the inside and working out:

  1. A roof deck — Your home’s rafters, ridgeboard, hip and valley rafters, and gables seldom need to be replaced unless individual boards have sustained damage or become rotten
  2. Sheathing — Oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood spans the rafters and forms the foundation for the shingles
  3. Underlayment — A felt or synthetic roll material that seals nail and staple holes so water cannot soak into the sheathing
  4. Water and ice shield — A self-adhesive, heavy-duty barrier that prevents water from seeping into your attic
  5. Starter and field shingles — The first line of shingles goes down at your roof’s lower edge, then field shingles cover the rest
  6. Flashing — Thin metal that covers joints between unlike materials, as around chimneys and vents
  7. Ridge vent — Ventilation preserves roofs; air goes in at the soffits and exits at the ridge vent
  8. Other vents — kitchen and bath ventilation, gable vents, and any other roof piercings require special sealing and, often, rubber boots
  9. Drip edge, gutters and downspouts — Water has to run off your roof and move away from your foundation

Replacement Parts

Much like any other highly organized system — a car engine, a computer, a dishwasher — your roof can have parts replaced easily. A complete roof replacement might suggest some kind of giant crane, pulling off your whole roof in a single piece. That’s not how roofs work. Your local, helpful roofer will remove components piece by piece, and determine what needs to be replaced and what can remain.

If shingles are coming off your roof, expect also to see these elements replaced:

  • Underlayment
  • Water and ice shield
  • Ridge vents
  • Rubber boots

If signs of mold or rot are found in your sheathing, expect replacements here:

  • Sheathing
  • Flashing
  • Drip edge

If your roofer discovers rotted fascia boards (the horizontal boards behind your gutters), anticipate recommendations for:

  • Gutter replacement
  • Downspout replacement

Do not dread your reliable, helpful roofer’s words, “You need a complete roof replacement.” Contact O’LYN Roofing today to see how we can make the process painless, pleasant, and perfect.