Glossary of Common Roofing Terms:

Ever curious about what a certain word means when speaking to your roofer? Here is a list of common roofing terms so that you understand the process a little better.

Algae Rooftop fungus that can leave dark stains on roofing.

Angled Fasteners Roofing nails and staples driven into decks at angles not parallel to the deck.

Apron Flashing Metal flashing used at chimney fronts.

Asphalt A bituminous waterproofing agent used in various types of roofing materials.

Blistering Bubbles or pimples in roofing materials. Usually moisture related. In shingles blisters are caused by either moisture under the material or moisture trapped inside the material.

Buckling When a wrinkle or ripple affects shingles or their underlayments.

Counter Flashing The metal or siding material that is installed over roof-top base flashing systems.

Crickets A peaked water diverter installed behind chimneys and other large roof projections. Effectively diverts water around projections.

Cupping When shingles are improperly installed over an existing roof or are over-exposed, they may form a curl or cup. May also be due to a manufacturing defect.

Deck The substrate over which roofing is applied. Usually plywood, wood boards, or planks.

Drip Edge An installed lip that keeps shingles up off the deck at edges, and extends shingles out over eaves and gutters, and prevents

Eaves The roof edge from the fascia to the structure’s outside wall. In general terms, the first three feet across a roof is termed the eave.

Fasteners Nails or staples used to secure roofing to the deck.

Flashing Materials used to waterproof a roof around any projections

Granules Crushed rock that is coated with a ceramic coating and fired, used as top surface on shingles.

Roof Louvers Rooftop rectangular shaped roof vents. Also called box vents, mushroom vents, soldier vents.

Selvage The non exposed area on rolled roofing. Area without granules. Designed for nail placement and sealant.

Soffit Ventilation Intake ventilation installed under the eaves, or at the roof edge.

Starter Strip The first course of roofing installed. Usually trimmed from main roof material.

Tab The bottom portion of traditional shingle separated by the shingle cut-outs.

Tear-Off Removal of existing roofing materials down to the roof deck.

Transitions When a roof plane ties into another roof plane that has a different pitch or slope.

Underdriven Term used to describe a fastener not fully driven flush to the shingles surface.

Underlayments Asphalt-based rolled materials designed to be installed under main roofing material to serve as added protection.

Valleys Area where two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on a roof creating a “V” shaped depression.

Warranty The written promise to the owner of roofing materials for material related problems.

Waterproof Underlayments Modified bitumen based roofing underlayments. Designed to seal to wood decks and waterproof critical leak areas.

Woven Valleys The method of installing valleys by laying one shingle over the other up the valley center.


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