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11 Roofing Terms You Need To Know

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Roofing Terms You Need To Know

A good roofing contractor will not try to impress you with their extensive knowledge of confusing roofing terms–their highest priority will be your understanding.

However, knowing some of the basic roofing terms will help you communicate and help you maintain your roof.

If you don’t know what flashing is, you’d never notice it. But if you notice something metal hanging off your chimney, you’ll recognize that your flashing needs to be repaired.

If you don’t have Rapid Restore to help you, here are the answers to some likely questions you might have about your roof.

Parts of Your Roof

What is a roof deck or sheathing?

Roof sheathing or deck is the wood surface that your shingles are sitting on.

What is the eave of a roof?

This is the horizontal edge of your roof that’s usually on the bottom of your roof’s slope. Eaves were made to protrude from the side of your house so that water doesn’t drip down your siding.

What is a drip edge?

When your roofer is talking to you about the drip edge on your roof, he’s really talking about this simple product. That L-shaped piece of metal or aluminum does a big job. It keeps extends your shingles over your eaves and gutters to prevent water from gathering under the shingles.

Drip Edge - Roofing Terms

What is a roof ridge?

The ridge of a roof is simply the top. It’s where the slopes intersect. While it’s a simple term to understand, your roofer needs to make sure the correct shingles are installed correctly to make your roof perfectly waterproof.

What is a roof valley?

A roof valley is another term you might already understand. It’s the place where two downward slopes meet. Valleys are another critically important part of the installation process, because a bad roof valley will hold water.

What are roof joints?

Joints on a roof are exactly like the joints in your body–they are anywhere that two surfaces meet.  Just like the ridge and valley, it’s especially important that your roofer knows the most secure way to seal your joints.

What is a roof penetration?

A roof penetration is anything that comes through the surface of your roof. You might not think you have any penetrations, but most roofs have lots of these holes. Roof vents, electrical or utility pipes, satellite dishes, chimneys, skylights are all categorized as roof penetrations.

What is a dormer?

Angie’s List says a dormer is “an addition that comes through the roof.” But you know how the saying goes; a picture of a dormer makes more sense than any description.

Two Dormers - Roofing Terms

Roofing Materials

What is roof underlayment?

Underlayment is waterproof material that goes under your shingles and attaches to your sheathing.

What are roof shingles?

Shingles are simply a roof covering. They come in many different colors and sizes, but are usually made up of small, layered squares.

What is roof flashing?

Flashing is a type of metal used to seal penetrations in your roof.

Did you understand that sentence? Look at you, you’ve mastered the basic roofing terms!

Roofing Terms You’ll Hear In Long Island

Your weather will impact the kind of damage and repairs you’ll need on your roof.  As a Long Islander, you’ll be more likely to hear the terms ice dam and hail damage when Rapid Restore comes to give you your free quote.

Your roof is coldest around the eaves, so sometimes melted snow will freeze along this edge. This is called an ice dam because it can trap pools of water on your roof.  

Hail can damage spots in your shingles, and high winds can even blow pieces of your shingles right off.

Not sure if you need roof repairs? Check out these five signs to look for.

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