17 Roofing Terms to Know

Every industry has their own language that often sounds foreign to outsiders. While you may not need to know every roofing term out there as a homeowner, some general idea of what your roofing contractor is talking about could come in handy. Today's blog from your favorite Lake of the Ozarks roofing company discusses some roofing terms to know!

Roofing Terms 


In order to make educated decisions about your roofing needs, it's important that you understand some of the common roofing terminology.

1. Cornice - The portion of the roof projecting out from the side walls of the house is called the cornice.

2. Dormer - A dormer is a small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.

3. Drip Edge - A drip edge is an L-shaped strip (usually metal) that is installed along roof edges to allow water run off to drop clear of the deck, eaves and siding.

4. Eave - The horizontal lower edge of a sloped roof is called the eave.

5. Fascia - Fascia is a wooden board or other flat piece of material such as that covering the ends of rafters.

6. Flashing - Flashing is the name for pieces of metal used to prevent the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys and joints at vertical walls.

7. Louvers - Louvers are slatted devices installed in a gable or soffit (the underside of eaves) to ventilate the space below a roof deck and equalize air temperature and moisture.

8. Penetrations - Vents, pipes, stacks, chimneys and anything else that penetrates a roof deck is referred to as a penetration.

9. Rafters - The supporting framing to which a roof deck is attached is called the rafters.

10. Rake - The rake refers to the inclined edge of a roof over a wall.

11. Ridge - The top edge of two intersecting sloping roof surfaces is known as a ridge.

12. Sheathing - Also known as the roof deck, sheathing is the surface to which roofing materials are applied. Its typically made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) which are fastened to the rafters.

13. Slope - The number of inches of vertical rise in a roof per 12-inches of horizontal distance. Also referred to as pitch.

14. Square - The common measurement for roof area is square (not to be confused with square footage). One square is equal to 100 square feet or 10 by 10 feet.

15. Truss - A truss is an engineered component that supplements rafters in many newer homes and buildings. Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be cut or altered.

16. Underlayment - Also referred to as felt, the underlayment is a sheet of asphalt-saturated material (often called tar paper) used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck.

17. Valley - The angle formed at the intersection of two sloping roofing surfaces is known as a valley.

While there are many more roofing terms out there, learning these common terms is a great start! If you have any questions regarding your Lake of the Ozarks roof, don't hesitate to ask the professionals at Above & Beyond Roofing. We are here for all your roofing needs from inspections and repairs to roof replacement and new construction.

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