The Anatomy of an Asphalt Shingle Roofing System

The biggest mistake in purchasing a new roof is not understanding its parts inside out. Everybody’s too focused on shingles, while other components need to work just as hard to ensure peak performance at all times.

The Anatomy of an Asphalt Shingle Roofing System

To be a smart buyer, Kroll Construction wants to explain the basic roles of each part of an asphalt shingle roofing system:

Roof Deck

Made of construction-grade plywood, the roof deck serves as the foundation. It comprises flat panels of timber attached to the rafters to create the base layer for all components.


Installed on the entire exposed side of the roof decking, the underlayment acts as the final layer of defense against water. Made of either rubber membrane or felt paper, the underlayment’s strength and breathability contribute to the long life of the roof.

Ice and Water Shield

Ice and water barriers are affixed on the most vulnerable areas of the roof, including valleys and penetrations. They waterproof the usual leak locations, minimizing the risk of water damage.

Starter Strips

Experienced roofing companies love starter strips because they safeguard your roof against wind-driven rain. Installed on the edges of the roofline, they prevent water intrusion underneath your shingles.


Asphalt shingles are your roof’s primary defense. Unlike before, today’s products are more resilient. They can take the heat, endure snow, and remain secure amid strong winds. Asphalt shingles from leading brands, like Owens Corning, are less susceptible to balding to preserve their attractive appearance, weatherable form, and reflective surface.


Like leak barriers, the flashing waterproofs the weakest parts of the roof. These sealed pieces of metal prevent water intrusion despite high volumes of rain or snow.


Intake and exhaust vents help expel excessive moisture to keep your attic’s climate at an optimal level. Proficient roofing contractors would attest that adequate ventilation prevents heat buildup, which would fry your shingles from the inside. Furthermore, keeping your attic cool prevents condensation, which could suck the life out of your roof decking slowly but surely.

Shingle Cap

Apart from protecting the vents against the detrimental elements, they round out the look of your roofing system. They mimic the style of your regular shingles to create a uniform appearance.

At Kroll Construction, we recommend Owens Corning’s Total Roofing System® to outfit your Michigan home with a reliable crown of beauty and protection. Call us now at (888) 338-6340 to schedule your FREE, in-home consultation to talk about your project at your most convenient day and time.


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