What are the different components of a roofing system?

Diagram of CertainTeed roofing system components

In the market for a new roof? While it may seem unnecessary, we believe it is critical to learn about the different roofing system components? Why? Because if you do not know what your roof needs, you won’t be able to ensure your contractor is giving you a good roof. Unfortunately, many roofing contractors skip over replacing certain components in order to cut down on their costs. Learn more about the different roofing system components below!

What are the components of a Residential Roofing System?

Residential roofing products include those products necessary to provide a quality roofing system. Roofers use these on homes, garages, and other residential buildings. Generally, manufacturers design these products for steep slope applications. Products can include roofing shingles, underlayments, and accessory products.

Roofing Shingles

CertainTeed manufactures high-quality asphalt roofing shingles in a wide variety of styles and colors. Asphalt roofing shingles are the most commonly used residential roofing product in the market. There are three major categories of roofing shingles. These include 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and premium shingles.


3-tab shingles are the most basic of residential roofing products available in the market. They are single-layered roofing shingles that are generally designed to look like slate. CertainTeed manufactures 3-tab shingles under the product name XT™ 25.

3-tab shingles are phasing out due to the growing popularity and value of architectural shingles. However, some builders still use these shingles on new construction projects to cut down on costs. Additionally, roofers will use them on repair projects or partial roof replacements to match a roof’s current shingles.


Architectural roofing shingles are heavier in weight than 3-tab roofing shingles. These are dual-layered or multi-layered in the case of CertainTeed’s tri-laminate technology. Furthermore, many of them are laminated. Popular architectural shingles include CertainTeed’s Landmark series, Owen’s Corning Oakridge, and GAF’s Timberline.


Premium roofing shingles are usually laminated and provide enhanced aesthetics and an increased design element. CertainTeed manufactures Grand Manor®, Presidential Shake® TL, and Carriage House®.


Roofers install underlayment on residential roof decks as a water-resistant layer beneath roofing shingles. CertainTeed manufactures the utility-grade felt underlayments RoofRunner, DiamondDeck and WinterGuard.

CertainTeed’s WinterGuard acts as an extra thick waterproofing to prevent leaks from ice dams and wind-driven rain in vulnerable areas. Our roofers install this on the more vulnerable areas of a roofing system to add extra security.

Hip and Ridge

Accessory shingles are used to finish the hips and ridges of a residential roof. They carry the same warranty as the main shingles. There are a number of options designed to complement the appearance of shingles while providing the same level of protection and durability.

CertainTeed manufactures hip and ridge accessories under the product names ShadowRidge® and Mountain Ridge®.

Starter Shingles

Starter shingles save application time. These work specifically with different styles of shingles for consistent appearance and performance. CertainTeed manufactures starter shingles under the product names Swiftstart® to be used with the Landmark® series. They also manufacture a High-Performance Starter to go with the Grand Manor®, Highland Slate®, and Hatteras® shingles.

By learning about your roofing system, you are equipping yourself to choose the best materials and contractor for the job! Want to learn more? Schedule a free roofing consult with one of our roofing experts!

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