20 Residential Roofing Terms You Need To Know About Your Home

20 Residential Roofing Terms You Need To Know About Your Home

When you need a new roof, one of the first steps is to have a conversation with your roofer. They can listen to your concerns, assess your needs, and recommend the style of roof which is best for you. Roofers are generally happy to answer any questions you have along the way. You’ll have an easier time understanding their answers if you know the following roofing terms.

1. Deck/Sheathing

“Roof deck” and “sheathing” are the same thing. This is the wood found under your shingles. 

When you have a roof replaced, you don’t always need to have the deck replaced. Your roofer will only replace or repair the deck if it’s rotten or damaged.

2. Drip Edge

Drip edge is metal flashing along the edge of your roof and under the shingles. It serves as a moisture barrier, preventing water from seeping up under the edges of the shingles.

3. Eave and Fascia

The eave is the part of the roof hanging over the edges of the building. It is generally covered with fascia, which is a type of metal sheeting. Gutters are then attached to the fascia on the eaves.

4. Felt/Underlayment

The underlayment, sometimes called felt, is material placed on top of the roof deck but under the shingles. It serves as an extra layer of moisture protection should any water leak in between shingles.

5. Flashing

Flashing is thin, metal sheeting usually placed around chimneys and other penetrations. Sometimes it’s also installed in roof valleys to prevent leaks in these areas.

6. Penetrations

A penetration is anything coming through your home’s roof, such as a chimney, sanitary stack, or skylight. Sewer vents are also penetrations. 

7. Asphalt

Asphalt is the material from which most roof shingles are now made. It’s a mixture of petroleum-based binders and crushed rock. Asphalt shingles shed water well, are affordable, and are easy for roofers to install.

8. Tear-Off

The tear-off process is the process by which roofers remove your old roof. They’ll strip off the shingles along with any rotten or damaged roof decking. The tear-off phase usually takes a few hours to a day, depending on the size of your roof. 

9. Ridge

The ridge is where two oppositely sloped sides of your roof come together, forming a raised ledge between them. Some roofs have one ridge, while more complicated roofs have multiple.

10. Slope/Pitch

Slope or pitch refers to how steep your roof is. A roof with a steep slope is harder to re-roof than one with a lower slope and requires different safety protocols.

11. Square

A square is a unit of measurement for roofs. It is an area that measures 10 feet by 10 feet. Most roof companies price their roofs by the square.

12. Soffits

A soffit is any piece of material installed on the underside of your roof’s eave. Soffit vents are part of a healthy roof structure.

13. Truss

The truss is the wooden frame of the roof. It’s an internal structure supporting the roof. You don’t see a truss from the outside of your home, but trusses can usually be seen against your attic ceiling. If your roof trusses crack or begin rotting, they need to be replaced.

14. Valley

A valley is a low spot where two oppositely sloped parts of the roof come together.

15. Vapor Retarder

A vapor retarder is a layer of plastic or similar material used to prevent moisture from passing through your roof. It’s generally applied under the outer roofing material. Vapor retarders are commonly recommended for flat roofs and those with low slopes.

16. Hip

A roof hip is where two slopes meet. It runs from the peak of the roof to the eave at the bottom edge. Hips get special shingles designed specifically for these joints.

17. Vents

Vents allow your attic space to breathe. Some roofs have vents along the ridge, and others have vents in the soffits.

18. Edging Strips

Edging strips are pieces of wood placed along the roof’s edge after the old roof has been removed. They provide a more secure place for the roofer to secure new shingles.

19. Fire Rating

Roofing materials are given a Fire Rating of A, B, or C. Class A roofing materials are the most fire-resistant and include concrete and metal. Most asphalt shingles have a Class B rating. Your roofer will tell you what Fire Rating is necessary for your Indianapolis home.

20. Granules

Granules are the little “pebbles” on the outside of shingles. They help the shingles shed water and start falling off as the shingles age.With this residential roofing terminology in mind, you’re ready to have a conversation about your roof. Contact Moss Roofing to schedule an estimate and learn more about our services in and around Indianapolis.

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