Roofing Terms and Definitions


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Roofing Terms and Definitions

Roofing Glossary

Below is a list of terms and their definitions that apply to roofing.  Included in this list are applicable terms related to guttering, insurance as it pertains to roofing.


ACV: (Actual Cash Value) This is calculated by your Replacement cash value(RCV) minus depreciation.

– A person who works for the insurance

Algae discoloration:
A type of roof discoloration caused by algae. Commonly called fungus growth.

American method :
Application of giant individual shingles with the long dimension parallel to the rake. Shingles are applied with a 3/4-inch space between adjacent shingles in a course.

APP: Atactic polypropylene.  A plastic polymer used in modification of asphalt.

ARMA:  The Asphalt Roofing Manufacture Association.  A trade association for North American manufactures of asphalt roofing.

ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials. A voluntary organization concerned with development of consensus standards, testing procedures and specifications.

A bituminous waterproofing agent applied to roofing materials during manufacturing.

Asphalt plastic roofing cement:
An asphalt-based cement used to bond roofing materials. Also known as flashing cement or mastic; should conform to ASTM D-4586. Sometimes know as roofers tar.

The open area above the ceiling and under the roof deck of a steep sloped roof.

Attic Vent:  An opening that allows air, heat, and water vapor to release out from the attic.  This can help prevent damage to the roofing materials caused by over heating.


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

Balanced system: A ventilation system where 50% of the required ventilating area is provided by vents located in the upper portion of the roof with the balance provided by under eave or soffit vents.

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:  The primary ply of roofing material in a roofing system.

Base Sheet:  An asphalt-impregnated, or coated felt used as the first ply in some built-up and modified bitumen roof system.

Battens: 1” x 2” x 4’ wood strips nailed to the roof, upon which a field tile. Metal panel are sometimes hung on battens as well but the battens for metal roofing panels are typically much larger.

Bird Stop: A clay or metal product used at the eave of a profile roof to stop birds from entering below the tile.

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

Blind Nailing:  Nails driven in such a that the nail heads themselves are concealed by the succeeding layer of roofing.

Brands: Airborne burning embers released from a fire.

Bridging: A method of reroofing with metric-sized shingles.

Broken tiles: tiles installed on a roof surface that have broken to a point where they need to be replaced.

Booster Tile: Normally 3”-4” long tile strip used to lift up the cover tile. Sometimes it is used in boosting up field tile to create an authentic looking roof.

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

Built-up roof: A flat or low-sloped roof consisting of multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets.  Also known as BUR (Built Up Roofing)

Bundle: A package of shingles. There are 3, 4 or 5 bundles per square.

Butt edge: The lower edge of the shingle tabs.

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CAN:  This designation in front of a CSA, CCSB, or ULC, represents that it is a Canadian nation Standard.

Cant Strip: A beveled piece of wood, fiberboard, or metal strips used at the junction in the roof where the deck meets a vertical wall used to break a hard right angle.  Primarily used in low sloped roofing to prevent the normal cracking of roofing materials applied up a vertical wall at a 90 degree angle.

Cap Flashing:  flashing that is install on top of a parapet wall used to prevent the flow of water from getting behind the roofing installed on the parapet wall itself.

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

Cement: See Asphalt plastic roofing cement.

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

Class “A”: The highest fire-resistance rating for roofing as per ASTM E-108. Indicates roofing is able to withstand severe exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Class “B”: Fire-resistance rating that indicates roofing materials are able to withstand moderate exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Class “C”: Fire-resistance rating that indicates roofing materials are able to withstand light exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Cathedral Ceiling: is a ceiling that follows the angle of the roof all the way up to the highest point towards to top of the roof. It has straight edges (not curved) unlike a vaulted ceiling. This feature in a room will make the room appear bigger and more open.

Clay tile: Tile made from mostly clay a opposed to concrete or slate tile which is not made from clay. Clay tile is typically referred to as “Spanish Tile”.

Closed cut valley (asphalt shingles): 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 two inches from the valley centerline. The valley flashing is not exposed.

Closed cut valley (tile roofs): Where tile(s) are cut to closely meet at the center of the valley metal.

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.

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. Nails are not exposed to the weather.  AKA Blind nailing.

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

Concrete tile: Roofing tile made from concrete as opposed to clay or slate tile. Also sometimes known as ceramic tile.

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

Counter Battens: Vertical furring strips running beneath and perpendicular to the horizontal tile batten, to allow drainage and air flow beneath the roof tile. Also know as strapping.

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

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; i.e., single coverage, double coverage, etc.

Cracked tiles: Tiles that on installed on roof surface that have developed small, thin cracks (or lines) in the tile itself. If the crack is not to severe the tile may be glue together with a tile adhesive.

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.

CSA:  Canadian Standards Association.  A voluntary organization concerned with the development of standards and testing.

Cupola:  A small structure rising above the main roof.  It is usually ornamental and sometimes used for ventilation or to support a weathervane.

Cupping:  When shingles are improperly installed over an existing roof or are over exposed, they can form a curl or cup.

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

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Damper: An adjustable plate for controlling draft.

Dead / Dead Level:  refers to a deck or roof that is not pitched at all.

Dead Load: A non moving (static) rooftops load, such as mechanical equipment, air-conditioning units, and the roof deck itself.

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

Deductible – The amount of your financial responsibility when a claim has been paid by your insurance company. The amount can be found in your declarations page in your insurance policy.

Dimensional shingle: Most dimensional shingles are two pieces of material laminated together also known as architectural shingles. The thickness of laminating two shingles together makes them look more like slate or wood shakes.

Displaced Tiles: These are tiles that were not originally nailed in place and they have since out of place.

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

Double coverage: Application of asphalt roofing such that the lapped portion is at least two inches wider than the exposed portion, resulting in two layers of roofing material over the deck.

Downspout: A pipe for draining water from roof gutters. Also called a leader.

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

Dry-In:  The process of installing the underlayment in steep sloped roofing in order to make it watertight until the main roofing materials are installed.

Dry Rot:  fungal timber decay occurring in poorly ventilated conditions in buildings, resulting in cracking and powdering of the wood.

Duraridge: Is a class “B” roofing product that is installed on asphalt composition roof at the hips and ridge (peaks). The problem with Duraridge is that it is not a class “A” products and it always wears out much faster than the asphalt composition it is installed on top of. Hopefully you do not have Duraridge installed on your roof. If you do you will need to replace it.

Dutch lap method: Application of giant individual shingles with the long dimension parallel to the eaves. Shingles are applied to overlap adjacent shingles in each course as well as the course below.
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Eaves: The horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.

Eave Board: Is wood boards that are run along the roof edge that extend beyond the exterior walls of the home.

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

Eave Riser: A piece of metal user to elevate the starter course of tile to the appropriate height. It should have weep holes pre-drilled in it to let the water that naturally gets under most tile roof to drain out from under it hopefully into a gutter.

Edging strips: Boards nailed along eaves and rakes after cutting back existing wood shingles to provide secure edges for reroofing with asphalt shingles.

EG (Nails): ELECTROGALVANIZED – This method uses electricity and zinc anodes to put on a beautiful, shiny coating. The problem is that the coating is very then. The thin coating soon oxidizes away and allows rust to start. Many trade associations warn against using these nails in exterior applications.

Ell: An extension of a building at right angles to its length.

Exposed nail method: Application of roll roofing in which all nails are driven into the cemented, overlapping course of roofing. Nails are exposed to the weather.

Exposure:  the portion of the roofing material that is exposed to the weather.

Exposure I grade plywood :Type of plywood approved by the American Plywood Association for exterior use.

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Fascia: A decorative board that conceals the lower ends rafters or the outer sides of a gable. Fascia is usually necessary for installing of gutters.

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 horse feathers.

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

FHA:  The Federal Housing Authority.

Fiber glass mat: An asphalt roofing base material manufactured from glass fibers.

Flange:  Is a reference to a metal pan extending up or down a roof slope around flashing pieces.

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.

Flashing Cement: See asphalt plastic roofing cement.

Flat Tile: is concrete tile made in the flat or “shake” looking profile. It is without curves and very flat looking.

FM: Factory Mutual Research Corp.

Free-tab shingles: Shingles that do not contain factory-applied strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive.

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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 sloping planes of the same pitch on each side of the ridge. Contains 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. Contains a gable at each end.

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

General Contractor – A general contractor is licensed to work on more than one trade, for example roofing and siding or roofing and gutters.

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

Gutter apron – A metal strip that goes under the shingles and either over your eave or into the gutter.

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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: 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.

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

Horse feathers: See feathering strips.

Hot dipped Nails: are immersed in molten zinc – insuring that each nail gets a thick, uniform zinc coating. Hot-dip galvanizing prevents corrosion by coating steel with zinc. The galvanized coating is metallurgically bonded to the underlying steel, forming an impervious barrier between the steel substrate and the corrosive environment.

The hot-dip galvanized coating also preferentially corrodes to protect the fastener’s underlying steel and is able to protect small areas of the fastener’s steel that may become exposed when mechanically damaged. Hot-dip galvanizing is the most effective method for delivering both long-term barrier protection and cathodic protection.

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

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

Ice and Water Shield – A water proof membrane that adheres to the deck of your roof.

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Laminated shingles: Strip shingles containing more than one layer of tabs to create extra thickness. Also known as dimensional and architectural shingles.

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.

Lightweight Roofing Tile: Roof tile of a mass/unit area weight of less than 9lbs per square foot of installed weight excluding all other roofing components.

Low slope application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes between two and four inches per foot.

Louver: A slanted opening for ventilation.

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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. Contains no gables.

Manufacturer warranty – You have a warranty on the product used, this is given by the manufacturer. This guarantees the product against manufacturer defects. Typically, after five years, the manufacturer warranty is pro-rated, even if it has a 50-year warranty. We have rarely seen any manufacturer defects in our experiences.

Masonry primer: An asphalt-based primer used to prepare masonry surfaces for bonding with other asphalt products.

Mastic: See asphalt plastic roofing cement.

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

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

M tile: is concrete tile that has two small humps in the center of it. When the tile it place on its end it resembles the letter “m” hence the name M tile. Also sometimes known as low-rise tile.

Modified Bitumen:  roll roofing membrane made with a polymer modified asphalt.

Mortar: Concrete mixed and made on the jobsite for use with tile roofs. Used very similarly as grout for a tile floor.

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Nailer Board/Stringer: A piece of wood or other material of proper height and length, attached to a roof at a hip or ridge intersection used to allow for proper support and means of attachment for hip and ridge tiles. They can also be used in pan and cover tile for proper support (also known as a vertical stringer)

Natural ventilation: A ventilation system utilizing ventilators installed in openings in the attic and properly positioned to take advantage of natural air flow to draw hot summer or moist winter air out and replace it with fresh outside air.

Nesting: A method of reroofing 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.  Also see bridging.

Net free area: Area unobstructed by screens, louvers or other materials.

Non-cutout shingles: Shingles consisting of a single, solid tab with no cutouts.

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.

Normal slope application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes between 4 inches and 21 inches per foot.

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Open valley (asphalt composition): Method of valley construction in which shingles on both sides of the valley are trimmed along a chalk line snapped on each side of the valley. Shingles do not extend across the valley. Valley flashing is exposed.

Open Valley (Tile Roofs): Where tile(s) are cut away from the center of the valley in order to expose the trough area of the valley metal.

Organic felt: An asphalt roofing base material manufactured from cellulose fibers.

OSB:  Oriented strand board (OSB) is a type of engineered wood similar to particle board, formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands (flakes) in specific orientations.

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

Overlay Overlaying – To put an additional layer of shingles on top of your existing roof.  Also referred to when a roofer wants to simply install a new layer of roofing felt over the old layer of roofing felt.  It is always best to srip the roof down to the deck and NOT overlay any roofing on top of each other.

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

Pan Tile: This refers to a piece of tile used in a 2-piece tile roof system that while consist of tops and pans. Pan tiles catch the water and direct them off the roof and top tiles shed the water off onto the pan tiles. These tiles are typically tapered.

Pitch: The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio of the rise, in feet, to the span, in feet.

Plastic Cement: A compound used to seal flashings and in some cases to seal down shingles as well as for other small waterproofing jobs. Where plastic cement is required for sealing down shingles, use a dab about the size of a quarter unless otherwise specified.

Ply: The number of layers of roofing: i.e. one-ply, two-ply.

Public Adjuster – A person who works for you. Generally, they are involved when you have an extensive amount of damage to your home or property.

PWI – (Payment When Incurred) This is a line item on your insurance adjustment. It usually has to do with tearing off the existing roof. When PWI is in your insurance adjustment, it is an option. The insurance company is telling you how much they will pay for doing a particular type of work.

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Quick-setting cement: An asphalt-based cement used to adhere tabs of strip shingles to the course below. Also used to adhere roll roofing laps applied by the concealed nail method.

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Racking: Roofing application method in which shingle courses are applied vertically up the roof rather than across and up. Not a recommended procedure.

Rafter: The supporting framing member immediately beneath the deck, sloping from the ridge to the wall plate.

Rake: The inclined outer edge of a sloped roof that extends over a wall from the eave up to the ridge.

Rake Tile: A roofing tile accessory used to cover the edge of the roof where the field tile terminates at a rake section of the roof.

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

RCV – (Replacement Cost Value) This is determined by your local prices for construction. Most policies have an endorsement for this, meaning your insurance company will pay for the full replacement cost. Check your policy, it will be on the endorsements page.

Recoverable Depreciation – This is determined by the RCV minus the ACV. Your adjuster will figure how much it costs to repair or replace your property. For example a roof that costs $5,000.00, usually has a life of 25 years.

The roof has been on the house for 10 years. The adjuster will depreciate the roof 40%. So he will pay you an ACV of $3,000.00, holding back $2,000.00 until you get the roof done. If you do not use all of the $2,000.00, the insurance company will keep the difference. If you don’t have the roof replaced, you can keep the $3,000.00, but remember your roof is no longer insured.

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.

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.

Ridge Vent:  An air slot cut into the roof deck at the highest peak on the roof.

Rise: The vertical distance from the eaves line to the ridge.

Roll roofing: Asphalt roofing products manufactured in roll form.

Roof Certification: There is no standard definition for a Roof Certification. You could probably talk to ten different Roofing Contractors about the meaning of a Roof Certification and you will get ten different answers. A Roof Certification is, loosely, a written opinion issued by a Licensed Roofing Contractor to certify that a roof is free of defects and should perform as designed for a certain period of time.

The Roof Certification period is usually for 1 or 2 years and can be up to as many as 5 years. But, be very careful, a Roof Certification is not always a Roof Warranty against future roof leaks. Unless you have done business with a certain Roofing Contractor, you will need to know what their Roof Certification is all about, and what is included in, or excluded from, their Roof Certification.

Roof Inspection: A Roof Inspection is an inspection performed by a professional Roofing Company to determine the current condition of the roof. After a Roof Inspection is performed, a detailed Roof Report is provided which describes any current roofing conditions that need to be corrected and any preventative maintenance to prevent a future roof problem from occurring.

The Roof Report will provide options, from roof cleaning, roof maintenance, simple roof repairs, major roof repairs, roof restoration, or it may even recommend that a complete roof replacement is necessary. A Roofing Contractor is able to charge a fee for a Roof Inspection because they are providing a Roof Report which goes beyond providing a simple Roof Repair Estimate. A Roofing Contractor will typically charge their customers a minimum of up to $250 or more for the completion of a Roof Inspection and the issuance of the Roof Report.

A Roof Inspection and Roof Report are usually obtained when:

  • purchasing a home as part of the buyer inspection process
  • when a seller is listing a property to be made aware of a roof problem that could affect their transaction
  • when a roof certification is required by a lender as a condition of loan funding
  • when a roof certification is required by a home owner insurance policy
  • when a roof certification is required by a buyer, before closing on a property that they are purchasing, to make sure that the roof isn’t going to be a problem after they move into the home.

The Roof Inspection Report should contain an estimate to repair current damage to the roof, preventative maintenance to prevent future damage to the roof.

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. One half the span.

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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.

In warm seasons, the seal will be complete in a matter of days. In colder seasons, sealing time depends on the temperature and amount of direct sunlight hitting the shingles. Hand sealing with plastic cement should be done to ensure sealing in winter.

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 double coverage.

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

Sheathing: Exterior grade boards used as a roof deck material.

Shed roof: A roof containing only one sloping plane. Has no hips, ridges, valleys or gables.

Shiner:  When shingles are fastened below the nailing line.  This exposes the fastener the the weather and a portion or all of the nail head can be seen.  Also is a reference to nails that penetrate all the way through an eave and can be seen from the underside of the eave.  These will typically need to be cut.

Side lap: refers to the end lap in any sort of roll roofing or felt. For instance the side laps for roofing felt should be over lapped a minimum of 12” for composition roofing and 2 feet for tile roofing. In regards to roof repair the side laps in not properly done will leak down the road.

Single coverage: Asphalt roofing that provides one layer of roofing material over the deck.

Skirt Flashing:  a piece of flashing commonly found at the bottom of a dormer or addition.

Slate tile: roofing tiles that are specifically made from real slate rock. You should not mistake concrete or clay tile for slate tile. Slate tile is known for its heavy weight, durability, and high cost.

Slipped tiles: These are tiles that were not originally nailed in place and they have since out of place.

Slope: The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio 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).

Soffit: The finished underside of the eaves.

Soffit Vent:  An under eave opening needed for intake of outside air into an attic space.

Soil stack: A vent pipe that penetrates the roof.

Space Sheeting: Sheeting boards or battens, which a fastened directly to the rafters or framing boards, with gaps or spaces between them and is used in lieu of a solid sheeting.

Span: The horizontal distance from eaves to eaves.

Specialty eaves flashing membrane: A self-adhering, waterproofing shingle underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind driven rain.

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 Weight Roofing Tile: Roof tile with a installed weight of 9lbs per square foot or greater not including all other roofing components.

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.

Starter Tile: The first course of tile that located at the bottom edge of the tile roof. Also known as the first course of cover tile for a two piece clay or mission tile. Usually much shorter than the field tile.

Steep slope application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes greater than 21 inches per foot.

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

S tile: is concrete tile that has a very distinct curve in the middle of the tile. If you stand it on its end it looks like the letter “s” hence the name S tile.

Strip shingles: Asphalt shingles that are approximately three times as long as they are wide.

Sub-contractors – Many times when you use a general contractor they will use sub-contractors to do some of the work. This is typical and most of the time has more to do with paperwork than anything else.

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

Talc: See back surfacing.

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

Thermal Sealant:  sealant that is heat activated.  Usually applied by the manufacture to the back of a shingle.  Once heat activated at about 70 degrees it bonds the shingles together.

Three-dimensional shingles: See laminated shingles.

Three-tab shingle: The most popular type of asphalt shingle usually 12″ x 36″ in size with three tabs.

Tile adhesive: glue specifically made for bonding pieces of roofing tile together. This can be used on pieces of tile with small cracks or lines in them to keep them from coming apart.

Tile Pan Metal: This is a accessory piece of metal used where a tile roof terminates into a vertical side wall. The metal catches the water run-off from the vertical and keeps it from getting under the tile roof and eventually directs the water back on top of the tile roof even though it is installed under the tile. It comes in different widths and a 6” width is better than a 4” wide piece of tile pan.

T-Lock Shingles:  are a type of shingle that was initially made popular in the 1930’s and continued being used regularly on house through much of the 1980’s.  The shingles bare a T-shaped design that allows them to interlock with each other.

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

Tounge and Groove:  wooden planking in which adjacent boards are joined by means of interlocking ridges and grooves down their sides.  Also known as T&G

Tri-Laminate Shingle: is three layer laminated shingle composed of multiple thicknesses of coated and surfaced fiberglass mat, cut and bonded together in different patterns. The weather side is surfaced with mineral roofing granules, and the back side is surfaced with a mineral release agent. They are known be being the thickest shingles on the market and their lifetime warranty. They were first made popular by Certainteed with their Presidential TL shingles. TL standing for Tri-Laminate. Since the popularity of the Presidential TL shingles many other manufactures have copied the idea with their own version of the Presidential TL shingles.

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UL: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

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

Under eave: Underside area of the overhang at the eave of the roof.

Underlayment: A layer of asphalt saturated (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.

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Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes to provide water runoff.

Vapor retarder:
Any material used to prevent the passage of water vapor. Material which, when installed on the high vapor pressure (warm in winter) side of a material, retards the passage of moisture vapor to the lower pressure (cold in winter) side. Note exception: Florida and Gulf Coast. Check local building codes to determine what side the vapor retarder should be placed.

Vaulted ceiling:
is a ceiling that is curved up towards the top of the highest point towards to top of the roof. This feature in a room will make the room appear bigger and more open.

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:
See collar.

Devices that eject stale air and circulates fresh air (i.e., ridge, roof, gable, under eave, foundation or rafter vents and vented soffit panels.)

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Workmanship warranty – This is given by your contractor on the installation of the product. After you have work done you need to check out everything and have any problems fixed immediately. After the first year of exterior home repairs, there are almost no problems that will occur.

Weathering:  a term used to explain the normal changes in color, texture, of effiency due to exposure to the outside elements / weather.

Weathervane:  A Revolving pointer to show the direction of the wind, typically mounted on top of a building.

Woven Valley:
Method of valley construction in which shingles from both sides of the valley extend across the valley and are woven together by overlapping alternate courses as they are applied. The valley flashing is not exposed.




Z-bar: metal used to transition the stucco or siding into an existing roof. This metal is always installed on the vertical side, front, or rear facing wall. The roof flashing is installed under this metal. This metal is critical for waterproofing roof to wall intersections.

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Roofing Terms and Definitions