FAQs – roof anatomy

Freequently Asked Questions

Parts of the Roof

Roof AnatomyThere are many parts contributing to the health of the entire roof. Quality materials as used by Gold Star Roofing and the correct and complete installation of those components are key for your roof to last as long, or longer, than intended. 

Some of you might have questions to why these components are needed and what the differences in installed materials might be. This page is intended to explain the majority of those questions to also give you more insight as to which questions you should ask the roofing company you intend to hire, and to understand why there might be price differences (buying Nike instead of Walmart). Although, price differences might not always be a sign of materials used as you will see when you call Gold Star Roofing for your estimate!

Asphalt Shingles and their differences

Asphalt shingles have been the most common choice for the past 100 years and come in many styles and colours as you well know.

Asphalt shingles can be installed on most roofs that have a minimum 12/2 slope, the shingles protect from water through overlapping and water running off, the lower the slope, the less effective. Watch this video for a detailed explanation.

Most often a home owner will choose shingles by price, life expectency, wind resistance and style/colour. But what about the quality? Shingles also have their own anatomy, layers of material and special strips for nailing plus adhesion strips (bonding area).

shingle anatomy

These parts of a shingle vary by manufacturer, the most commonly used shingles unfortunately are not the highest quality. Higher quality shingles are usually thicker, have a wider and reinforced nail strip and wider or more bonding areas to ensure the longest life span and highest wind resistance on the market. Watch this short video by the manufacturer of our shingles of choice, Owens Corning.

Ice & Water Shield, what does it do?

Ice and water (or snow) shield is a rubberized asphalt membrane typically installed under shingles on roof overhangs and valleys. It is waterproof and protects your building from water damage caused by ice dams or wind-driven rain and of special importance therefore in cold climats. Gold Star Roofing always installs 3′ of ice and water shield on each new roof installation or complete roof replacement.


Underlayment is your ‘last defence’ when shingles fail. For many years, felt underlayment was used in the industry but should be or in many cases have been replaced by synthetic underlayment. Gold Star Roofing uses only synthetic, breathable and waterproof underlayment.

In case of blown off shingles during a storm, the underlayment will protect your roof’s structure from moisture penetration until the shingles can be replaced.

It is important for the underlayment to be breathable so the ventilation of the attic is not interrupted.

Roof Ventilation

Roof vents are very important to keep your roof healthy and a factor to keep the homes climate even, saving you money when heating or cooling. There are 2 parts to attic ventilation, the intake air, typically ventilation slots in the soffits which depend by distance and amount of the specific building type. And the roof vents that are important for the exhaust of hot air.  Watch this short video that explains the ventilation of a roof in detail.


Although we do not neccessarily recommend skylights as they can be a failing source due to leaks for roof and increase heating/cooling costs even compared to windows (heat rises). They are a good source of natural light for darker spaces.

We fix flashing around skylights (replace with metal flashing which is much more durable). Plus we also install skylights, our supplier of choice is VELUX click for short video.

Choices of skylights are limited to the nature of the roof pitch and exposure as well as the home itself. Contact a specialist like Gold Star Roofing before purchasing a skylight for best suggestions and cost estimate.

For more information, visit our Skylight page.

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