96 Roofing Terms Defined

Just like with any other industry, roofing has a language of it's own! To the average person, some terms can make absolutely no sense. Above & Beyond Roofing is here to help! Below are some common roofing terms you may want to brush up on before starting your roofing project at the Lake of the Ozarks!

Roof Terms

  • Algae Discoloration - a type of roof discoloration caused by algae.  Commonly called fungus growth. 
  • Blisters - bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing after installation. 
  • Built-Up Roof - a flat or low-slope roof consisting of multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets. 
  • Butt Edge - the lower edge of the shingle tabs
  • Coverage - amount of weather protection provided by the roofing material.  Depends on number of layers of material between the exposed surface of the roofing and the deck (shingle coverage, double coverage, etc.)
  • Deck - the surface installed over the supporting framing member to which the roofing is applied. 
  • Eaves - the horizontal, lowest edge of a sloped roof that extends beyond the exterior wall. 
  • Ell - an extension of a building at right angles to its length.
  • Gable - the upper portion of a sidewall that comes to a triangular point at the ridge of a sloping roof. 
  • Gable Roof - a type of roof containing a sloping plane on each side of a single ridge with a gable at each end. 
  • Gambrel Roof - a type of roof containing two sloping planes of different pitch on each side of the ridge. The lower plane has a steeper slope than the upper. Features a gable at each end. 
  • Granules - ceramic-coated colored crushed rock that is applied to the exposed surface of asphalt roofing products. 
  • Hip - the inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. Runs from the ridge to the eaves. 
  • Hip Roof - a type of roof containing sloping planes of the same pitch on each of four sides. Contains no gables. 
  • Ice Dam - condition formed at the lower roof edge by the thawing and refreezing of melted snow on the overhang. Can force water up and under shingles, causing leaks. 
  • Louver - a slanted opening for ventilation.
  • Mansard Roof - a type of roof containing two sloping planes of different pitch on each of four sides. The lower plane has a much steeper pitch than the upper, often approaching vertical. This type of roof has no gables. 
  • Overhang - that portion of the roof that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building. 
  • Pitch - the degree of roof incline expressed as the ration of the rise, in feet, to the span, in feet. 
  • Ply - the number of layers of roofing.
  • Rafter - the supporting framing member immediately beneath the deck, sloping from the ridge to the wall plate. 
  • Rake - the inclined edge of a sloped roof over a wall from the eave to the ridge. 
  • Ridge - the uppermost, horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.  
  • Rise - the vertical distance from the eaves line to the ridge. 
  • Roll Roofing - asphalt roofing products manufactured in roll form.
  • Run - the horizontal distance from the eaves to a point directly under the ridge. One half the span. 
  • Selvage - that portion of roll roofing overlapped by the succeeding course to obtain double coverage.
  • Shed Roof - a roof containing only on sloping plane. It has no hips, ridges, valleys or gables. 
  • Single Coverage - asphalt roofing that provides one layer of roofing material over the deck. 
  • Slope - the degree of roof incline expresses as the ration of the rise, in inches, to the run, in feet. 
  • Smooth-Surfaced Roofing - roll roofing that is covered with ground talc or mica instead of granules (coated). 
  • Span - the horizontal distance from eaves to eaves. 
  • Starter Strip - asphalt roofing applied at the eaves that provides protection by filling in the spaces under the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles. 
  • Tab - the exposed portion of strip shingles defined by cutouts. 
  • Top Lap - that portion of the roofing covered by the succeeding course after installation. 
  • Undereave - underside area of the overhang at the eave of the roof. 
  • Valley - the internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes to provide water runoff.

Shingle Terms

  • Bundle - a package of shingles.  There are 3, 4 or 5 bundles per square.
  • Course - a row of shingles or roll roofing running the length of the roof. 
  • Cutout - The open portions of a strip shingle between the tabs. 
  • Free-Tab Shingles - Shingles that do not contain factory-applied strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive.
  • Head Lap - shortest distance from the butt edge of an overlapping shingle to the upper edge of a shingle in the second course below. The triple coverage portion of the top lap of strip shingles. 
  • HEX Shingles - shingles that have the appearance of a hexagon after installation. 
  • Hip Shingles - shingles used to cover the inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. 
  • Interlocking Shingles - individual 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. Also called dimensional or architectural shingles.
  • Mineral-Surfaced Roofing - asphalt shingles that are covered with granules.
  • Random-Tab Shingles - shingles on which tabs vary in size and exposure. 
  • Ridge Shingles - shingles used to cover the horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.
  • Self-Sealing Shingles - shingles containing factory-applied strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive. 
  • Shading - slight differences in shingle color that may occur as a result of normal manufacturing operations. 
  • Square-Tab Shingles - shingles on which tabs are all the same size and exposure. 
  • Strip Shingles - a single-layer shingle commonly known as a three-tab shingle because it has three tabs. 
  • Telegraphing - a shingle distortion that may arise when a new roof is applied over an uneven surface. 
  • Three-Tab Shingle - a single-layer shingle having three tabs. 

Roofing Materials and Products

  • Asphalt - a bituminous waterproofing agent applied to roofing materials during manufacturing. 
  • Asphalt Roofing Cement - an asphalt-based cement used to bond roofing materials.  Also known as flashing cement or mastic. 
  • Back Surfacing - fine mineral matter applied to the back side of shingles to keep them from sticking. 
  • Base Flashing - that portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering. 
  • Caulk - to fill a joint with mastic or asphalt cement to help prevent leaks. 
  • Chalk Line - a line made on the roof by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk.  Used for alignment purposes. 
  • Coating - a layer of viscous asphalt applied to the base material into which granules or other surfacing is embedded. 
  • Collar - pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof around the vent pipe opening.  Also called a vent sleeve. 
  • Counter Flashing - that portion of the flashing attached to a vertical surface to help prevent water from migrating behind the base flashing. 
  • Cricket - a peaked saddle construction at the back of a chimney to help prevent accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water around the chimney. 
  • Damper - an adjustable plate for controlling draft
  • Dormer - a framed window unit projecting through the sloping pane of a roof. 
  • Downspout - a pipe for draining water from roof gutters.  Also called a leader. 
  • Drip Edge - a noncorrosive, nonstaining material used along the eaves and rakes to allow water runoff to drip clear of underlying construction. 
  • Eaves Flashing - additional layer of roofing material applied at the eaves to help prevent damage from water backup. 
  • Edging Strips - boards nailed along eaves and rakes after cutting back existing wood shingles to provide secure edges for re-roofing with asphalt shingles. 
  • Feathering Strips - tapered wood filler strips placed along the butts of old wood shingles to create a level surface when reroofing over existing wood shingle roofs. Also called horsefeathers. 
  • Felt - fibrous material saturated with asphalt and used as an underlayment or sheathing paper. 
  • Fiberglass Mat - an asphalt roofing base material manufactured from glass fibers. 
  • Flashing - pieces of metal or roll roofing used to prevent seepage of water into a building around any intersection or projection in a roof such as vent pipes, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers and valleys. Galvanized metal flashing should be minimum 26-gauge. 
  • Gutter - the trough that channels water from the eaves to the downspouts. 
  • Lap - to cover the surface of one shingle or roll with another. 
  • Masonry Primer - an asphalt-based primer used to prepare masonry surfaces for bonding with other asphalt products. 
  • Mineral Stabalizers - finely ground limestone, slate, taprock or other inert materials added to asphalt coatings for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering. 
  • Non-Veneer Panel - any wood-based panel that does not contain veneer and carries an APA span rating, such as wafer board or oriented strand board. 
  • Organic Felt - an asphalt roofing base material manufactured from cellulose fibers. 
  • Quick-Setting Cement - an asphalt-based cement used to adhere tabs of strip shingles to the course below. Also used to adhere rolling roofing laps applied by the concealed nail method. 
  • Release Tape - a plastic or paper strip that is applied to the back of self-sealing shingles. This strip prevents the shingles from sticking together in the bundles and need not be removed for application.  
  • Roofing Cement - a compound used to seal flashings, seal down shingles and for other small waterproofing jobs.
  • Roofing Tape - an asphalt-saturated tape used with asphalt cements for flashing and patching asphalt roofing. 
  • Saturant - asphalt used to impregnate an organic felt base material. 
  • Saturated Felt - an asphalt-impregnated felt used as an underlayment between the deck and the roofing material. 
  • Self-Sealing Cement - a thermal-sealing tab cement built into the shingle to firmly cement the shingles together automatically after they have been applied properly and exposed to warm sun temperatures. 
  • Sheathing - exterior-grade boards used as a roof deck material. 
  • Soffit - the finished underside of the eaves. 
  • Soil Stack - a vent pipe that penetrates the roof. 
  • Specialty Eaves Flashing Membrane - a self-adhering, waterproofing shingle underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind-driven rain
  • Underlayment - a layer of asphalt-saturated felt (sometimes referred to as tar paper) which is laid down on a bare deck before shingles are installed to provide additional protection for the deck. 
  • Vapor Retarder - any material used to prevent the passage of water vapor. 
  • Vent - any outlet for air that protrudes through the roof deck, such as a pipe or stack. 
  • Ventilators - devices that eject stale air and circulate fresh air. 

Don't worry about learning ALL the roofing terms, there's too many; you can leave that to the professionals. We can help you understand everything you need to know about your new roof at the Lake of the Ozarks. For all of your Lake of the Ozarks roofing needs, contact Above & Beyond Roofing at 573-302-0354!
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Osage Beach, MO 65065
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