Speak the Language of your Local Roofer
Learning the terminology of the roofing business
As your local roofer we want to be sure that you have plenty to talk about at your neighbor’s next dinner party. That’s why we’d like to use this post as a forum for going over some of the standard roofing terminology that we in the roofing trade employ on a daily basis. Not only will this information allow you to speak the language of roofing fluently with your friends and family, but it will also allow you to better understand what is being talked about the next time your local roofer comes out for an inspection of your roof. So, without further delay, let’s jump into the most prevalent and relevant terminology of the roofing biz.
Roofs of all shapes and sizes
In general, roofs shapes are broken down into two basic categories; gabled roofs and hipped roofs.
- Gabled roof: A gabled roof is characterized by a straight slope which falls from ridge to eave which creates a triangle shape and a peak on the side or front facade of the house. Houses with gabled roofs have rakes on the gable facades and eaves on the non-gabled facades.
- Hipped roof: Houses with this type of roof refrain from having a triangle or peak at the roof elbow by dividing the roof plane along the slope line, which induces the roof to bend or wrap around the house. Houses with hipped roofs maintain an even roof to wall coupling all the way around the house and eaves on all sides.
The building blocks of your roof
- Flashing: These are the metal pieces that are used to facilitate the flow of water from areas of your roof where collection of the water is likely, such as hips and valleys. Flashing can be made from a variety of materials including galvanized flashing, a galvanized alloy, copper, lead coated copper or stainless steel.
- Underlayment: This is the black paper sheet that is laid on top of the plywood sheeting and serves to protect your roof from damaging external elements such as rain, snow, and ice. The use of a membrane is typically required. A waterproof membrane known as a sweat sheet or vapor barrier, with the underlayment paper serving a triple function.
- Shingles or Tiles: These are the components that make up the outermost portion of the roof. These sit on top of the underlayment and are the first line of defense against the elements.