A roof is something many people take for granted and very rarely think about – but when you own your home, maintaining and caring for your roof means you’re suddenly introduced to a whole new vocabulary. If you need some repairs or work done it’s important that you understand what is what, so you can get the best result from the project and be sure you know what work has been completed where.

 your roof explained graphic

 Here’s a quick guide to a traditional roof so you can find your way around:


Where two sloping roof surfaces meet, they create the valley and this channels rainwater down your roof to the guttering. If these aren’t maintained well, they can leak during heavy rainfall.


The ridge is where two roof surfaces meet – opposite to a valley, this is the highest point at which those surfaces converge and run together. Ridges often have specialist tiles – curved or angled to cover any gap at the meeting and protect both surfaces from damage or leaks.

Gable end

Where two sloped roof surfaces meet there is a flat triangle topping the wall; this gable end is often made into a decorative feature.


Whereas a gabled roof has a flat wall, hip roofing has sloped sides on all the surfaces – generally a gentle slope, and this means there is no gable or vertical sides.

Lead flashing

Where two surfaces meet, lead flashing is used at the joint to add another layer of protection so that weather doesn’t infiltrate – a flexible, reliable waterproofing method for the ridge or valley. 


Where a pitched (or sloped) roof ends at a gable there will be a verge slightly overhanging the wall – this has to be securely mortared and sealed to ensure that wind and rain don’t lift the tiles and damage the roof.

Need to know more about your roof or want to discuss your requirements? Call the MJO Roofing team on 020 8953 2306.