Well over 100 terms are typically utilized in the roofing industry. It’s always a good idea to become familiar with basic terms in order to better understand your roofer’s explanations. Here is a list of some of the most common terminology.
Aggregate: Loose surfacing material or ballast for a roof system.
Back surfacing: Fine mineral matter applied to the back side of shingles to keep them from sticking.
Base flashing: The portion of the flashing that directs the flow of water onto the roof covering.
Battens: 1" x 2" x 4' wood strips nailed to the roof.
Bundle: A package of shingles. There are 3 to 5 bundles per square (see square).
Caulk: To fill a joint with mastic or asphalt cement to prevent leaks.
Class "A": The highest fire-resistance rating for roofing
Concealed nail method: Application of roll roofing in which all nails are driven into the underlying course of roofing and covered by a cemented, overlapping course. Nails are not exposed to the weather.
Course: A row of shingles or roll roofing running the length of the roof.
Coverage: Amount of weather protection provided by the roofing material, i.e., single coverage, double coverage, etc.
Deck: The surface installed over the supporting framing members to which the roofing is applied.
Dimensional shingle: a shingle that is textured, overlayed, or laminated and designed to produce a three-dimensional effect.
Fascia: Horizontal trim at the eaves that covers the rafter ends.
Flashing: Pieces of metal or roll roofing used to prevent seepage of water into a building around any intersection or projection in a roof.
Interlocking shingles: Shingles that mechanically fasten to each other to provide wind resistance.
Laminated shingles: Strip shingles containing more than one layer of tabs to create extra thickness.
Life-cycle cost: The total lifetime cost of a roof. Calculated by adding maintenance costs to the installed price, then deducting the added value the roof provides when the home is resold.
Nesting: A method of re-roofing with new asphalt shingles over old shingles.
Non-prorated warranty: A warranty which provides full replacement costs for covered items.
Organic shingle: An asphalt shingle reinforced with organic cellulose fibers.
Pitch: Also known as "slope", pitch is the measure of how "steep" a roof is.
Prorated warranty: A prorated warranty reimburses a percentage of replacement costs, depending on the age of the roof.
Rake: The inclined edge of a sloped roof over a wall from the eave to the ridge.
Ridge: The uppermost, horizontal external angle of the roof
Rise: The vertical distance from the eave line to the ridge.
Soil stack: A vent pipe that penetrates the roof.
Span: The horizontal distance from eaves to eaves.
Square: A unit of roof measure covering 100 square feet. Roofing prices are often provided per square.
Tear off: Removing an existing roof system.
Telegraphing: A shingle distortion that may arise when a new roof is applied over an uneven surface.
Underlayment: A layer of asphalt which is laid down on a bare deck before shingles are installed.
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