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Common Roofing Terms
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.