The Four Components of a Roof

What You Need to Know About Your Roofing System

Rick Gelatka, Director of Marketing Services
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Roofs. Until it's time to repair or replace one, we don't think much about them. But did you know that the roof over your head is actually part of a system?

A roofing system is made up of individual components designed to work together to cover and protect a home from the outside elements. The four components that make up a roofing system are shingles, underlayment, starter shingles and hip and ridge shingles.

4 Components = 1 Roofing System

Shingles are familiar to most people, since they are the component of the system that's the most visible. However, the remaining three components are also important and play key roles.

Underlayment protects the roof deck from Mother Nature during installation. Underlayment is also the next line of defense if any shingles are ever blown or ripped off during high winds.

The remaining two components are starter shingles and hip and ridge shingles, both of which are specialty shingle products designed to start and finish off the roof, protecting the top of the roof deck and providing a finished look — similar to the effect of crown molding and baseboards for interior walls.

For the most efficient roofing systems, roofing contractors should use complementary components from one manufacturer that are designed to work together for maximum performance and warranty value — although, that isn't always the case.

Why Complementary Components Make More Sense

When it comes to having a new roof installed, you have to protect yourself. Roofing contractors will often grab underlayment from one manufacturer and roofing shingles from another manufacturer. They mix and match manufacturer products based on convenience and personal savings. But when problems occur and you need your roof repaired, it is up to you to track down each individual manufacturer and warranty plan just to get some work done. Oftentimes in these situations, each manufacturer blames the other, making it very difficult for you to get a resolution.

By using one manufacturer for the entire system, you can save time and avoid dealing with multiple manufacturers passing blame. Additionally, using one manufacturer often leads to better warranties. When manufacturers know every part of the roofing system is theirs, they often will reward you with an extended premium protection warranty period as a sign of confidence in the roof’s stability. By having just one manufacturer to work with, you get the support you truly need during the most stressful and tumultuous times.

One System, Multiple Advantages

Atlas Roofing has developed its Signature Select® Roofing System to maximize the performance of your roof. With all Atlas-manufactured products, the Signature Select system ensures each individual roofing component works with the others to provide the best protection. It also provides the most comprehensive warranty protection available in the industry.

With one manufacturer standing behind a roofing system built with quality and performance in mind, you get the peace of mind you deserve when purchasing a new roof.

For more information about Atlas Roofing products, visit