Roofing Glossary

Refer to Montclair Roofing glossary to help you better understand words and phrases you may hear during your new or repair roofing project.

Roofing Terminology

2021 06 28

You may hear Montclair Roofers use industry-specific terms related to your roofing project in Montclair and surround areas when working with your roofing contractor Gikas.

Always ask them to clarify anything unfamiliar for you. However, it would be helpful to have a handy reference guide.

Browse our roofing glossary to familiarize yourself with the meanings of commonly used residential roofing construction terminology.

A

Algae Discoloration: A roofing discoloration caused by algae.

ARMA: The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

ASTM International: A voluntary organization concerned with development of consensus standards, testing procedures and specifications.

Asphalt: A bituminous waterproofing material applied to roofing materials during manufacture.

Asphalt Primer: A thin liquid bitumen applied to a surface to improve the adhesion of self-adhering membranes and to absorb dust.

Asphalt Roof Cement: An asphalt-based cement used to bond roofing materials.

Architectural Shingles: Refer to Laminated Shingles.

B

Back Surfacing: Fine mineral matter applied to the back side of shingles to keep them from sticking together.

Base Flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.

Base-ply sheet: A product intended to be the base or middle ply in a residential self-adhering roll roofing system.

Base Sheet: A product intended to be used as a base ply in a self-adhering roll roofing system.

Blisters: Bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing after installation.

Bridging: A method of roofing reconstruction with metric-size shingles.

Built-Up Roof: A flat or low-sloped roof consisting of multiple layers of ply sheets embedded in hot asphalt.

Bundle: A package of shingles.

Butt edge: The lower edge of the shingle tabs.

C

Cap Sheet: A mineral surfaced material that is used by itself or as the top layer of multi-layer rolled roof covering system.

Caulk: To fill a joint with mastic or asphalt cement to prevent leaks.

Cement: Refer to Asphalt Roof Cement.

Chalk Line: A line made on the roof by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk (for alignment purposes).

Class “A” Fire Resistance: The highest fire test classification for roofing.

Class “B” Fire Resistance: Fire test classification that indicates roofing material is able to withstand moderate exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Class “C” Fire Resistance: Fire test classification that indicates roofing material is able to withstand light exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Class 4 Impact Resistance: The highest impact resistance classification that shingles are more resistant to impacts resulting from hail storms.

Closed Cut Valley: A method of valley treatment in which shingles from one side of the valley extend across the valley while shingles from the other side are trimmed from the valley centerline. The valley flashing is not exposed.

Collar: Pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof around the vent pipe opening (also called as vent sleeve).

Concealed Nail Method: Application of roll roofing in which all nails are driven into the underlying course of roofing and covered by a cemented, overlapping course.

Condensation: The change of water from vapor to liquid when warm, moisture-laden air comes in contact with a cold surface.

Counter Flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to a vertical surface to prevent water from migrating behind the base flashing.

Course: A row of shingles or roll roofing running the length of the roof.

Coverage: The number of layers of material between the exposed surface of the roofing and the deck.

Cricket: A peaked saddle construction at the back of a chimney to prevent accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water around the chimney.

Cutout: The open portions of a strip shingle between the tabs.

D

Deck: The surface, installed over the supporting framing members, to which the roofing is applied.

Dormer: A framed window unit projecting through the sloping plane of a roof.

Double Coverage: Application of asphalt roofing resulting in two layers of roofing material over the deck.

Downspout: A pipe for draining water from roof gutters (also called leader).

Drip Edge: A corrosion-resistant, non-staining material used along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction.

E

Eave: The horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.

Eave Flashing: Additional layer of roofing material applied at the eaves to help prevent damage from water back-up.

Exposed Nail Method: Application of roll roofing in which all nails are driven into the cemented, overlapping course of roofing.

Exposure: That portion of the roofing exposed to the weather after installation.

F

Felt: Fibrous material saturated with asphalt and used as an sheathing paper.

Fiberglass Mat: The core material in an asphalt roofing shingle manufactured from glass fibers.

Flashing: Pieces of metal 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.

Flashing cement: Refer to Asphalt Roof Cement.

G

Gable: The upper triangular portion of a sidewall that comes to a point at the ridge of a double sloping roof.

Gable Roof: A simple two-sided roof above a gable.

Gambrel Roof: A roofing type that contains two sloping planes of different pitch on each side of the ridge.

Granules: Typically ceramic-coated colored crushed rock that is applied to the exposed surface of asphalt roofing products.

Gutter: The trough that channels water from the eaves to the downspouts.

H

Head Lap: Shortest distance from the butt edge of an overlapping shingle to the upper edge of a shingle.

Hexagonal Shingles: Shingles that have the appearance of a hexagon after installation.

Hip: The inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Hip Roof: A roofing type that contains sloping planes on each of four sides.

Hip Shingles: Shingles used to cover the inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

I

Ice Dam: Condition formed at the lower roof edge by the thawing and re-freezing of melted snow on the overhang. Can force ponded water up and under shingles, causing leaks.

Ice Dam Protection: One or more courses of self-adhering underlayment installed at the eaves of a building to prevent damage from water back-up due to an ice dam.

Impact Resistant Shingles: Shingles that are designed to be more resistant to impacts resulting from hail storms.

Interlocking Shingles: Individual shingles that mechanically fasten to each other to provide wind resistance.

L

Laminated Shingles: Shingles containing more than one layer to create extra thickness.

Lap: To cover the surface of one shingle or roll with another.

Lap Cement: An asphalt-based cement used to adhere overlapping plies of roll roofing.

Low Slope Application: Method of installing asphalt shingles and underlayment on roof slopes.

M

Mansard Roof: A roofing type that contains two sloping planes of different pitch on each of four sides.

Mastic: Refer to Asphalt Roof Cement.

Mid-ply Sheet: Refer to Base-ply sheet.

Mineral Stabilizers: Finely ground limestone, slate, trap rock or other inert materials added to asphalt in shingles for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering.

Mineral-Surfaced Roofing: Asphalt shingles and roll roofing that are covered with granules.

N

Nesting: A method of roof reconstruction with new asphalt shingles over old shingles in which the top edge of the new shingle is butted against the bottom edge of the existing shingle tab.

No-Cutout Shingles: Shingles consisting of a single, solid tab with no cutouts.

Non-Veneer Panel: Any wood-based panel that does not contain a laminated veneer and carries an APA span rating.

O

Open Valley: A construction in which shingles on both sides of the valley are trimmed along a chalk line snapped on each side of the valley.

Organic Felt: An asphalt roofing base

Overhang: That portion of the roof structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building.

P

Pallets: Wooden platforms used for storing and shipping bundles of shingles.

Ply: A layer of roofing.

Ponding: The accumulation of water after rainfall at low-lying areas on a roof that remains wet when other parts of the roof have dried.

Primer: An asphalt-based primer used to prepare surfaces for bonding with self-adhering asphalt sheets.

R

Racking: Roofing application method in which shingle courses are applied vertically up the roof.

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.

Random-Tab Shingles: Shingles on which tabs vary in size and exposure.

Recovering: The process of adding an additional layer of roofing over an existing layer.

Release Tape: A plastic strip that is applied to the back of self-sealing shingles.

Reroofing: The process of removing existing roof coverings and replacing with a new roofing system.

Ridge: The uppermost, horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Ridge Shingles: Shingles used to cover the 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.

Roofing Tape: An asphalt-saturated tape used with asphalt cements for flashing and patching asphalt roofing.

Run: The horizontal distance from the eaves to a point directly under the ridge.

S

Saturated Felt: An asphalt-impregnated felt used as an underlayment between the deck and the roofing material.

SBS: Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene.

Self-Adhering Shingle Underlayment: A self-adhering waterproofing underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind driven rain.

Self-Sealing Shingles: Shingles containing factory-applied strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive.

Self-Sealing Strip or Spot: Factory-applied adhesive that bonds shingle courses together when exposed to the heat of the sun after application.

Selvage: That portion of roll roofing overlapped by the succeeding course to obtain single or double coverage at the lap.

Shading: Slight differences in shingle color that may occur as a result of normal manufacturing operations.

Sheathing: Refer to Deck.

Shed Roof: A roof containing only one sloping plane. Without 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.

Smooth-Surfaced Roofing: Roll roofing that is covered with ground talc or mica instead of granules.

Soffit: The finished underside of the eaves.

Soil Stack: A vent pipe that penetrates the roof.

Span: The horizontal distance from eave to eave.

Square: A unit of roof measure covering 100 square feet.

Square-Tab Shingles: Shingles on which tabs are all the same size and exposure.

Standard Slope Application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes.

Starter Strip: Asphalt roofing applied at the eave that provides protection by an additional layer of material under the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles.

Steep Slope Application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on steep roof slopes.

Step Flashing: Base flashing application method used where a vertical surface meets a sloping roof plane.

Strip Shingles: Asphalt shingles made from a single layer that are approximately three times as long as they are wide.

Synthetic Underlayment: An underlayment product that is typically manufactured using polypropylene.

T

Tab: The exposed portion of strip shingles defined by cutouts.

Talc: Refer to Back Surfacing.

Tear Off: To remove an existing roofing system down to the structural deck.

Telegraphing: A shingle distortion that may arise when a new roof is applied over an uneven surface.

Three-Dimensional Shingles: Refer to Laminated Shingles.

Top Lap: That portion of the roofing covered by the succeeding course after installation.

U

UL: Underwriters Laboratories, LLC

UL Label: Label displayed on packaging to indicate the level of fire and/or wind resistance of asphalt roofing.

Underlayment: Asphalt saturated felt or specially engineered synthetic material indicating additional protection for the deck.

V

Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

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. Any device installed on the roof, gable or soffit for the purpose of ventilating the underside of the roof deck.

Vent Sleeve: Refer to Collar.

W

Woven Valley: Method of valley construction in which shingles from both sides of the valley extend across the valley and are woven together.

Familiarizing yourself with this list of roofing terms may help you communicate a little better with your Gikas roofing contractor.

If you’re looking for a qualified roofing contractor to assist you with your roofing replacement project, contact Montclair Roofers in your area.

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