Roofing Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W 



Algae Discoloration - Roof discoloration caused by algae growth


Alligatoring - When bitumen cracks on a built-up roof


Aluminum - Metal used in roofing because of its slow rusting time


Ambient Temperature - Temperature of air in a climate


American Method - A process involving the installation of shingles that lie parallel to the rake


Application Rate - Quantity of materials applied divided by unit


Asphalt - Drying agent used during roof material manufacturing


Asphalt Felt - Felt coated in asphalt 


Asphalt Roofing Cement - Flashing cement or mastic 


ASTM - American Society For Testing and Materials 


Attic - Open space above ceiling often used for storage




Back-Nailing - When the back portion of roofing material is covered by a top layer


Ballast - Anchoring material that used gravity to keep members in place


Base Ply - Bottom ply of roofing system


Base Sheet - Coated felt in a multiple-ply roof system


Batten - Cap or cover


Batten Seam - A metal structure built around the wood base 




Camber - A slight rounded curve of an area, for example, a prestressed concrete deck


Canopy - Overhanging roof structure


Cap Sheet - A particle surface covered sheet


CCF - 100 cubic feet


Cement - Substance which binds to surface together


Course - Horizontal unit of roofing





Dead Level - Section of a roof without a pitch


Deck/Sheathing - The surface, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), to which roofing materials are applied.


Deflection - Downward shift of a structural component


Dormer - A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.


Double Coverage - application of two complete layers of roof shingles


Downspout - A pipe that transfers rainwater from a roof to a drain or the ground level


Drip Course - First course of shingles which overhang the edge


Drip Edge - Metal strip used on eaves and takes which allows water runoff





Eave - Lower edges of a sloped roof 


Eave Flashing - Additional layer applied at the eaves, helps prevent damage from weather


Exposure - The portion of the roofing exposed to the weather


Exposure I Grade Plywood - Specific type of plywood for exterior use




Fascia - Flat board that runs along the outer edge of a roof


Felt - Sheet of asphalt material used as an underlayment for a roof deck 


FHA - The Federal Housing Authority 


Fiberglass Mat - Strong mats used in roofing material  


Flashing - Component used to prevent access of water into a building


Flat Roof - A constant leveled roof


FM - Factory Mutual Research Corporation 




Gable - Upper portion of a sidewall which comes to a triangular point


Gable Roof - Traditional styled roof 


Galvanize - Coat with zinc


Galvanized Steel - Steel coated with zinc 


Granule - Granules help keep UV rays off of the shingles asphalt coating, making them more fire resistant


Gutter - A shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof for carrying off rainwater




HEX Shingles - Shingles that appear as hexagons after installed


Hip - External angle formed in the intersection of two roof planes


Hip Legs - Down-sloped ridges on a hip roof


Hip Roof - Roof inclined by planes to form multiple hips 


Hipped End - The triangular faces of a roof



Impact Resistant - A roofing material made to resist damage from falling objects


Insulation - Material used to maintain a specific range of temperature in a building


Interlocking Shingles - Shingles attached to one another providing wind resistance


Internal Pressure - Pressure inside a structure 


IRWC - Institute of Roofing and Waterproofing Consultants





Joint Tape - Specific tape used to seal joints between multiple insulation boards


Joist - Small timers, wood, metal beams parallel from each wall to suppose a roof




Kick-Out Flashing - Type of flashing installed at the edge of a roof which redirects water into the gutter


Knot - surface irregularities in materials 




Lap - Overlap of the surface of multiple roofing materials 


Lap Cement - An asphalt-based roof cement made to stick overlapping piles or asphalt roll roofing


Laminated Shingles - Shingle strips containing multiple layers to create an extra coat of thickness


Low Pitch Areas - A low pitch roof


Low Slopes - Roof that consists of roof pitch less than 4/12 


Low Slope Application - Application method in applying shingles on slopes 




Mansard Roof - Type of roof which contained no gables


Mats - Term used for the base material of shingles and other rolled products


Membrane - Flexible material, with primary function as waterproofing assembly


Mildew - Superficial coating of organic materials generated by fungi 


Mineral-Surfaced Roofing - Granules covered asphalt shingles 


Mopping - Application of hot asphalt using a hand mop or applicator 


Mortar - A mixture of limestone, water, mortar,  and sand used in securing chimney’s bricks





Nailing - Application of nails 


Nail Pop - Not fully driven nail sitting up off the deck


Nesting - Installation of the second layer of shingles to avoid shingle cupping


Normal Slope Application - Method of applying shingles between 4 to 21 inches per foot


No-Cutout Shingles - A single tab of shingles with no cutouts


NRCA -  National Roofing Contractors Association




Offset - Distance between the edge of a shingle course and the next shingle course


Open Valley - A type of roofing style where the steep-slope roofing on either side are trimmed alongside the valley, exposing the valley flash.


Organic Shingle - Organic shingles are created by using an organic mat that is saturated by asphalt to make the shingle waterproof


Over Driven - Overly applying force to roofing material causing it to break 




Parapet Wall - Wall built along the roof, extending above the roof 


Penetrations - Anything that penetrates a roof deck, such as, vents, pipes, chimneys, stacks

Pitch - Roof pitch (or slope) tells you how many inches the roof rises for every 12 inches in depth.


Ply - Roofing layer


Plumbing Vent - Plumbing pipes which project past a roof plane


Prevailing Wind - Common direct of wind


Primer - Asphalt-based primer that will be placed to bond with asphalt sheets or other materials





Quick-Setting Cement - Asphalt-based cement used to bond strip shingles to its course




Rake - Inclining edge of a sloped roof 


Ridge - The highest point of a roof


Ridge Cap - Material applied over the highest point of a roof 


Ridge Course - Top layer of roofing materials covering the ridge 


Ridge Vent - Ventilator on the ridge 


Rise - Vertical distance of the roof 


Roof Assembly - An assembly of roof components


Run - Horizontal distance of the roof




Saddle - Small raised structure assembled to direct surface water to drain 


Shading - Difference in surface color occurring as a result of operations


Slope - The roofs angle of incline 


Soffit - Finished underside of eaves containing holes


Span - Horizontal measurement from one eave to another


Square - Roofing measurement covering 100 square feet 


Static Vent - Vents installed by the ridge of a roof 


Step Flashing - Application method used where the sloping roof plane meets a vertical surface 


Synthetic Underlayments - Water-resistant material installed on a rood





Tab - An exposed portion of shingles defined by cut-outs


Telegraphing - Reflection of the uneven surface beneath shingles


Top Lap - Portion of the roof shielded by the following course after being installed 


Transitions - When roof plane ties into another while having different slopes


Truss - Framework used at regular intervals 




UL - Underwriters Laboratories Inc.


UL Label - Label on the packaging indicating the level of resistance of asphalt roofing


Under Drive - A not fully driven change in color  to shingles  


Underlayment - Synthetic material used to provide protection of roof from the deck 





Valley - Internal angle formed by two sloping roof planes intersecting 


Vapor Retarder - Material used to prevent water vapor passage 


Vent - Outlet for air


Vent Pipe - A pipe over a waste pipe or soil pipe that allows gas to escape from the system





Weathering - Change inefficiency caused by exposure to outside factors


Weep Holes - Tiny openings that allow accumulated water to drain


Wind Uplift - A force of the wind at roof edges or roof peaks that cause a drop in air pressure above the surface of the roof, which causes the membrane to pull away from the deck


Wood Sheathing - A board or panel material used to assemble roofs on residential and commercial construction  


Woven Valley - Installation method for asphalt shingles, where two intersecting roof slopes meet