I Know What a Roof Is, So What is The Roofline?
The roofline protects a property and, as home-owners, we know intuitively just how important a watertight roof is when buying a property. A thorough building roof report should confirm that a tiled roof has enough structural support & that the purlins & rafters are coping with the load imposed on them without sagging. The report should also confirm that there is no water penetration coming inside the rooms & there is adequate ventilation in roof spaces to prevent condensation.
So where does the roofline fit in?
“Roofline” is a generic term that refers to the area between the first tile on a pitched (sloping) roof and the back of a building’s wall cavity. The confusion exists because the elements that comprise the Roofline are used interchangeably. The three components are:
- fascias and soffits
- barge boards
Here is a brief description of each element & the role it performs
The fascia is the outward-facing board that runs along under the bottom of the tiles, to which the gutter is fixed.
Soffits bridge the gap between the wall and the projecting edge of the roofline, often known as the eaves.
Barge boards are the boards fastened to the projecting gables of a roof, running up to the apex of the gable
Gutters catch rainwater running off the pitched roof and convey it, by means of downpipes, to underground cavities called soakaways, where it disperses.
So where is the confusion?
Barge boards for instance often get referred to as gable ends, or apexes. Similarly you would use the same product to install Fascias & bargeboards, the difference being in the elevation only. A bargeboard is generally, (but not always) positioned on the side of the property, the fascias running along the bottom of the tile on the front and back of property’s.
Why is the roofline important?
Ensuring that the roofline area between the first baton & the building wall’s cavity is watertight and sealed can save many potential problems downstream.
This area is exposed to the full force of wind, rain and snow, and needs to be kept securely sealed.
By keeping this area sealed, the roofline protects the roof space, timbers and interior from water damage, helping to prevent dry rot and wet rot. These problems can be extremely serious if left untreated, threatening the structural integrity of the roof timbers. Damp in the lower part of the roof often manifests itself in the form of plaster damage to upstairs ceilings, which is unsightly and has to be addressed.
By conveying water away from the roof and walls, gutters help to keep damp away from the walls and foundations of a building.