Common Roofing Terms Demystified

RRG Roofing wants to help you understand roofing by common roofing terms demystified. As it occurs in any other industry, the roofing business has its own language. We refer to some common terms that usually manufacturers, material sellers, and roofers employ.

Many roofing contractors take for granted that everybody understands this language. There is nothing farther from the truth! Actually, most of the homeowners don’t tell the frieze from the flashing. Moreover, they don’t have reasons to do that.

However, when you have a problem with your roof, you need to understand what your contractor is telling you! You don’t want to be confused, struggling to comprehend what’s wrong with your roof.

So, at RRG Roofing, we gladly took the time to explain some important concepts belonging to the roofing terminology, beginning with the industry’s lingo. Therefore, below we’ll show you some typical terms necessary to identify roof components and roofing kinds.

Common Roofing Terms Demystified answered by RRG Roofing

Common Roofing Terms

A little note before starting with the list: We opted to sort them in alphabetic order. Thus, if you want to know what underlayment is, you will find it near the bottom of the list. Let’s look at the roofing vocabulary.

• Built-Up Roof:

Built-up roofing is the name for laying roofing felt on a low-slope or flat roof with hot-mopped asphalt. Once the roofer sets the felt and asphalt, he finishes the thing with gravel.

• Cornice:

The cornice is that ornamental stucco placed where the ceiling and walls meet. This term means the portion of the roof that protrudes from your home’s external walls.

• Counter flashing:

Roofers press this sheet metal piece into vertical structures like chimneys or walls to overlap the shingle flashing. So, it protects the space under the slate against water.

• Courses:

The courses are those horizontal rows of shingles that many homes with slanted roofs feature

• Drip:

The drips are those metal borders placed along the roofing eaves or the rakes. The objective of this piece is to protect both the board and fascia from water damage. When raining, the rainwater will slide along the metal. The idea is the rainwater sliding along the drip and falling into the gutters. So, it doesn’t reach the roof’s wooden deck. 

• Eaves:

The eaves are that section of the roof that goes past the house walls. At the extreme of the eave is where the drip is attached.

• Fascia:

The fascia board is that wooden trim placed at the edge of the roof and behind the gutters. This element is especially susceptible to water damage and is one of the things that drips and gutters protect.

• Flashing:

Flashing is that sheet metal strip that runs below the roof tiles on which different planes of the roof meet. This element works similarly to counter flashing and avoids water leaks.

• Felt:

Felt roofing is a paper and asphalt mix that we employ built-up roofing.

• Frieze Board:

This wooden board goes below the roof side edge. Nowadays, friezes even have ornamental purposes. This idea comes from ancient Greece, where the frieze was a marble piece with decorative low-relief in it.

• Gable:

The gable is the triangular section of the wall where two roof planes intersect, forming the ridge.

• Hip:

The roof hip is the outward angle edge where two planes of the roof meet. Hip roofs have a more complex design than gable roofs, which only have two planes meeting at the ridge.

• Joist:

This is the structural support below a flat roof. Joists hold sheathing after we nail it in.

• Rafter:

Rafters in a sloping roof are equivalent to the joists in a flat roof. In essence, they are the wooden boards that support the sheathing.

• Rake:

A rake is a distinct section of a gabled roof, stretching beyond the border of the house walls and sticking out from the side.

• Ridge:

The ridge is the horizontal line that comes from the intersection of two roof planes.

• Sheathing:

The sheathing is extremely important for insulation in the roofing business. Roofers nail these 1 by 6-inch or 1 by 12-inch plywood boards into the rafters. The rest of the roofing materials goes into the sheathing.

• Shingle Flashing:

This metal strip is another kind of flashing used to avoid water damage to the roofs. Contractors install shingle flashing below the shingles, covering a little chimney or walls’ vertical edges.

• Slope:

The slope is the roof inclination. This is the relation of the vertical ascent to the horizontal run, where the run is a part of the roof span. Usually, it is expressed as inches per foot.

• Soffit:

The soffit is that board connecting the roof border and the sidewall of your home.

• Square:

The quantity of the material required to cover 100 square feet of a roof is commonly called roofing square.

• Underlayment:

The roof structure includes a layer of material between the sheathing and the shingles. This material is the underlayment. In the roofing business, contractors tend to use felt as underlayment.

• Valley:

Essentially, roof valleys are the roofing hips’ inverted form. There are less than 180-degree angles between two sloping sections of the roof.

• Valley Flashing:

This type of flashing is the last you need to know. Besides, we can use it as a sort of knowledge test. We have to consider the concepts of valleys and flashing to determine what valley flashing is. 

Common Roofing Terms Demystified Buildup to Drip
Common Roofing Terms Demystified from Eaves to Frieze
Common Roofing Terms Demystified from Gable to Ridge
Common Roofing Terms Demystified from Sheathing to Underlayment
Common Roofing Terms Demystified from Valley to Valley Flashing

We know what valleys are. Also, we remind that flashing is the metallic sheet that avoids water reaching the roofing deck. So, valley flashing is a metal piece that strengthens the shingles on both sides of the valley.

We hope this brief guide on roofing terms makes you feel prepared for your text appointment with your roofer. Anyway, you can call today the RRG Roofing team of roofing specialists for any inquiry. 

You can get a free estimate and schedule your consultation today with RRG Roofing today at 678-325-6949 in Dahlonega, GA, and Murphy, NC!

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