Glossary of Roofing Terms

Glossary of Roofing Terms

Roof Deck – the substrate to which your new roof will be secured. Eg. Plywood, OSB, Barn Board

Ice & Water Shield – applied to protect the bottom of your roof and valleys, where ice damming is most likely to occur, from ice and water damage.

Drip Edge – The strip of specially designed metal to increase water runoff at the bottom of your roof and direct water into the eavestrough system.

Starter Shingle – The first layer of shingles applied over the ice and water shield with adhesive strip to create a straight line and protect seams from leaks.

Valley – The point where two sloped faces meet, protected by metal with an open or closed style.

Slope – term used to describe the number of inches a roof rises for every foot of horizontal distance. Ex. an 8/12 roof rises 8” vertically for every 12”

Ridge – The top edge of two connecting sloped faces.

Square – A “square” is the term used to describe a certain sized area of roof. One square is 100 square feet. (10ftby10ft)

Dormer – Small raised area of the roof with two sloping sides usually with a window

Counter flashing – formed metal sheeting secured on or into a wall, curb, pipe, rooftop unit, or other surface, to cover and protect the upper edge of a membrane’s base flashing, the underlying metal flashing, as well as associated fasteners from exposure to the weather.

Ice Dam – A mass of ice formed when melting run off water is unable to reach the eavestrough system and begins to refreeze on top of the roof. Once that ice is frozen to the roof it creates a dam, and as more water hits the newly formed dam it will backup behind the shingles.

Membrane – a flexible or semi-flexible material, which functions as the waterproofing component in a roofing or waterproofing assembly, and whose primary function is the exclusion of water.

Ponding – the excessive accumulation of water at low-lying areas on a roof.

Standing Seam – a metal roof system that consists of an overlapping or interlocking seam that occurs at an upturned rib. The standing seam may be made by turning up the edges of two adjacent metal panels and overlapping them, then folding or interlocking them in a variety of ways.

Deadwall – area where a sloped face runs into a dormer or siding.

Gable – vertical, triangular end of a building where two slopes meet

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