Terminology


Our comprehensive list of roofing terms​


ASPHALT
A bituminous waterproofing agent applied to roofing materials during manufacturing.

BACK SURFACING
Fine mineral matter applied to the back side of shingles to keep them from sticking.

BASE FLASHING
That portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.

BATTENS
1"x2"x4' wood strips nailed to the roof, upon which the field tile hangs.

BIRDSTOP
In addition to preventing birds from nesting in the hollows of the tile, this length of formed metal or foam elevates the first course of tile so that it is positioned at the same angle as subsequent courses.

BITUMINOUS
Any of various viscous or solid impure mixtures of hydrocarbons that occur naturally in asphalt, tar, mineral waxes, etc: used as a road surfacing and roofing material.

BLISTERS
Bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing after installation.

BUILT-UP ROOF
A flat or low-sloped roof consisting of multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets.

CHIMNEY BASE FLASHING
A corrosion-resistant sheet metal installed at the base of a chimney to prevent leaks.

COLLAR
Pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof around the vent pipe opening. Also called a vent sleeve.

COMPOSITION SHINGLES
A thin, pressed roofing material made of asphalt impregnated fiberglass or organic mat, covered on one side with colored stone granules. Also called comp.

COUNTER FLASHING
Counter flashing is metal attached to a vertical surface to prevent water from getting behind step flashing.

CRICKET
A cricket is a peaked saddle construction placed at the back of a chimney to deflect water around the chimney.

DORMER
A dormer is a vertical window set into and projecting from the slope of a pitched roof.

DRIP EDGE
A narrow strip of non-corrosive, non-staining, finishing material installed along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction. On eaves where gutters are present, this material is commonly called gutter apron.

EAVE
An eave is the horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.

FASCIA
The vertical board at the eaves, oftentimes covered with vinyl or aluminum.

GABLE EDGE
A gable edge is the inclined, outside edge of a sloped roof plane.

HIP ROOF
A type of roof containing sloping planes of the same pitch on each of four sides. Contains no gables.

INTERLOCKING SHINGLES
Individual shingles that mechanically fasten to each other to provide wind resistance.

LIFE CYCLE COST
The total lifetime cost of a roof. Calculated by adding maintenance costs to the installed price, then deducting the added value the roof provides when the home is resold.

PIPE COLLAR
Pipe collars are flanges placed over vent pipes to seal the roof around a roof penetration.

PITCH
The angle of steepness of a roof.

RAKE
The outer edge of a roof from the eave to the ridge.

RIDGE
The ridge line is the top of the roof formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

RIDGE BEAM
The top support beam between opposite slopes or sides of a roof.

RIDGE SHINGLES
Shingles used to cover the horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

RIDGE VENT
A ridge vent is located on the ridge of a sloped roof to provide air exhaust.

ROOF TRUSS (rafters)
The framework that supports a roof.

SHINGLES
The outermost covering of a roof. Composition shingles are manufacured from materials "composed" of fiberglass, modified asphalt and mineral granules. Wood shingles and shakes (shakes are split rather than sawn) are made from western red cedar. Other roofing options include clay and concrete tiles, slate, metal, mineral roll roofing, and tar and gravel.

SOFFIT
The soffit is the underside area below the eave of a roof.

SOFFIT VENT
Soffit vents are located below the eaves to provide air intake.

STEP FLASHING
A corrosion-resistant sheet metal used to waterproof the angle between a chimney, skylight, dormer, etc. and a sloping roof.

UNDERLAYMENT
An asphalt-impregnated felt laid under most roofing materials as a secondary water barrier. Felt is classified by weight per "square", (100 sq. ft.) usually 15 or 30 pound. Underlayment is also called tar paper or felt.

VALLEY
The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff.

VALLEY FLASHING
Made from aluminum or galvanized steel, this additional water barrier is installed after the roof and valley have been covered with underlayment.

VENT FLASHING

A flat piece of pre-cut sheet metal installed on top of the underlayment to prevent leaks from occurring where roof vents are present.


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