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Common Roofing Terms

Dec 14, 2020

If you’re getting your roof repaired or replaced for the first time, it can be difficult to keep track of all the roofing terms. We’ve compiled a list of common roofing terms that you should know if you are doing roof repair or roof replacement in your home.

Asphalt – an organic bituminous mixture used in the production of production shingles.

Asphalt Roofing Cement – used to connect roofing elements, also known as flashing cement or mastic.

Base Flashing – the element of the flashing that joins to the roof deck.

Blend– mixtures of different colored granules on the exterior of shingles.

Blind Nailing – nails pushed until the ends are hidden by succeeding layers of roofing materials.

Blisters – are bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing.

Bridging is a process of replacing parts of the roof where the new shingles match the previous roof’s form.

Butt- is the Shingle’s piece that is revealed to the climate, also known as the “tab” of the Shingle.

Cant Strip – a 45 degree beveled lumber, fiberboard, or metal bands at the junction of the roof and a perpendicular surface used to break a right angle and fundamentally used in low sloped roofing.

Cap Flashing – flashing on a perpendicular cover to stop the flow of water by overlaps the base flashing. This flashing is generally not altered when a roof is replaced.

Caulk – a substance for filling a joint or void.

Cement – a material, when cured, binds to surfaces together.

Class “A” – the most distinguished fire-resistant roofing material as per ASTM E-108. These Shingle withstand exposure to fire compared to other classes of shingles.

Closed Valley – roofing materials that cover the entire Valley. 

Coating – a layer of asphalt used on shingles in which granules are set.

Collars – pre-formed flange set over a vent. 

Counter Flashing – Cap Flashing.

Course – a horizontal section of roofing running the width of the roof.

Cricket – a small peaked saddle built on the tip of the first roof and behind the chimney. Cricket is usually not required.

Cupola – a structure extending above the roof. It is usually used for air-conditioning.

Dead Level – section of the roof that is flat at any angle.

Deck – the material fitted over the framing of a structure on which shingles are installed. 

Double Coverage – a means of applying roof shingles so that two full layers of material are provided.

Dormer – a window unit is extending through the sloped level of the roof.

Drip Edge – metal strip used on eaves and rakes to provide for runoff without harming underlying elements

Drip Course – the first row of shingles that somewhat projects over the edge of the roof.

Eave – the edge of a roof that projects over the outer wall.

Exposure – the side of the Shingle that is exposed to the climate. 

Lap – the overlap of the surface of one roofing material to another.

Laminated Shingles – shingles that include more than one layer of tabs, making them thicker.

Lock Shingles – shingles with a fixed locking characteristic. These are uncommon shingles.

Low Slope Application – the process of implementing shingles on slopes between 2 and four inches per foot.

Mansard Roof – an upright part of the roof.

Mastic – asphalt roof sealant.

Modified Bitumen – Roller roofing layer with a polymer-modified asphalt. The role will usually have a fiberglass or polyester mesh for reinforcement.

Nesting – bridging.

Standard Slope Application – the process of installing shingles with dimensions that are between 4 and 21 inches per foot.

Open Valley – the metal valley where roofing material does not cover the whole valley area as in a Closed Valley.

Saturant – asphalt used to soak felt to ensure that the felt is waterproof and robust.

Seal Down – a factory-applied asphalt band used to bond a shingle to the one above. Produce wind resistance.

Sheathing – Standard beams used for a roof deck.

Skirt Flashing – A large piece flashing, usually located at the base of a dormer or extension.

Slope – the degree of angle of a roof plane.

Soffit – the finished bottom of an eave.

Soffit Vent – An opening used for intake of outside air. These are not part of a standard roof but are sometimes needed for proper attic air-conditioning.

Soil Stack – a vent that is placed on the roof.

Span – the horizontal distance from eave to eave.

Square – a division of roof measurement covering 100 square feet.

Square Butt Shingles – generally three-tab 20-year-laminated shingles.

Starter Course – the first area of shingles installed on your roof. It will be under the first visible row. Often these shingles are 20 years three-tab shingles. To avoid bumps, they are usually heavier layered shingles installed.

Tab – the portion of strip shingles surrounded by cut-outs or slots, so when installed, the material seems to be exclusively applied.

Underlayments – An asphalt-saturated felt fitted over the roof level and below the roofing material. There is a wide range of quality and value in underlayments.

Valley – the junction of roof slopes.

Vent – an opening for air.

Weathering – shifts in color, texture, or efficiency caused by exposure to the daily climate.

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