Like every trade, the roofing industry has its own terminologies and jargon. If you are planning to have some roofing work done in your home or commercial building, you need to have an understanding of what the contractors are talking about. The following is a list of popular roofing terms accompanied by a brief definition.
Drip Edge: An L shaped piece of metal installed along the edges of a roof to prevent water from dripping in between the shingles and the gutter.
Felt: Asphalt based materials usually installed under the main roofing material to act as a secondary layer of protection.
Flashing: Pieces of corrosion resistant metal designed to waterproof a roof around any intersection or projections like chimneys and vent pipes. Flashing can also be used at a roof wall junction where there is a pipe penetrating the roof system or along a roof edge.
Ice and water shield: Quite similar to roofing felt with the only difference being that it is made from a rubberized compound. The shield has a sticky side which adheres to the roof forming a permanent seal. It is normally used on shallow sloped roofs or along the bottom 3 feet of a roof. Only a few areas of the roofing system require ice and water shield.
‘’L’’ Flashing: A continuous metal flashing that is made up of several feet of metal and is mostly used at horizontal walls. It is bent to resemble an “L”.
Ridge: The top or peak of the roof where the two sloping roof surfaces intersect at the junction. This junction is covered using a special shingle called a ridge cap.
Ridge vent: Attic ventilation that runs through the ridge to allow air from within to escape through the ridge. The ridge is cut back a couple of inches so that the vent is placed at the top of the roofline.
Roof Vents: To prevent leaking, 10” by 10” holes are cut near the top of the roof and then a vent is placed over the holes. These holes facilitate the escape of hot air to attic spaces.
Square: This is the most commonly used term to measure roofs. 1 square is equivalent to 100 square feet (a 10’ by 10’ roof).
Starter Strip: This is the first layer of roofing installed to give the tar on the very first row of shingles a surface to stick to.
Tear-Off: The process of removing the existing roofing materials down to the roof deck.
Valleys: A V-shaped depression that forms when two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on the roof.