Roofing Glossary

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A

ASPHALT ROOFING CEMENT

A cement derived from asphalt, employed to bond roofing materials; also recognized as flashing cement or mastic. It should comply with either ASTM D 4586 (Asbestos Free) or ASTM D 2822 (Asbestos Containing).

ASPHALT

A solid or semisolid brownish-black mixture of bitumens acquired from native deposits or petroleum byproducts, utilized in paving, roofing, and waterproofing.

B

BACK SURFACING

Fine mineral matter applied to the backside of shingles to prevent adherence.

BASE FLASHING

The part of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck, guiding water flow onto the roof covering.

BLISTERS

Air bubbles that may surface on asphalt roofing post-installation.

BRANDS

Airborne burning embers released from a fire.

BRIDGING

A re-roofing technique using metric-sized shingles.

BUILT-UP ROOF

A flat or low-sloped roof comprised of multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets.

BUNDLE

A collection of shingles, typically 3, 4, or 5 bundles per square, held together for packaging.

BUTT EDGE

The lower edge of shingle tabs.

C

CANT STRIP

A beveled strip positioned in the angle between a roof and a wall to prevent sharp bends in the roofing material.

CAP SHEET

Surface sheet in most built-up roof systems, made of organic or modified asphalt products.

CAULK

To seal a joint with mastic or asphalt cement to prevent leaks.

CEMENT

Synonymous with Asphalt Roofing Cement.

CHALK LINE

A marked line on the roof, made with a taut string dusted with chalk, used for alignment.

CLASS “A,” “B,” “C”

Fire-resistance ratings indicating the ability to withstand varying levels of fire exposure.

CLOSED CUT VALLEY

A valley treatment method where one side’s shingles extend across while the other side is trimmed 2 inches from the valley centerline.

COATED SHEET

A sheet with an asphalt and sand finish to prevent seepage.

COATING

A layer of viscous asphalt applied to the base material, embedding granules or surfacing.

COLLAR

A pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof around the opening, also known as a vent sleeve.

CONCEALED NAIL METHOD

Roll roofing application where all nails are driven beneath the overlapping course and covered, avoiding exposure to weather.

CONDENSATION

The transformation of water vapor into liquid on contact with a cold surface due to warm, moisture-laden air.

COUNTER FLASHING

The flashing part attached to a vertical surface to prevent water from reaching behind the base flashing.

COURSE

A row of shingles or roll roofing running along the roof’s length.

COVERAGE

The weather protection amount by roofing material, depending on layers between the exposed surface and deck.

CRICKET

A peaked saddle construction at the chimney back to prevent snow accumulation and deflect water.

CUTOUT

The open portions between strip shingle tabs.

D

DECK

The roof surface applied over supporting framing members.

DECKING

The structural roof “skin” over which roofing is applied.

DORMER

A framed window unit projecting through the roof’s sloping plane.

DOUBLE COVERAGE

Application ensuring at least 2 inches wider lapped portion than the exposed portion, resulting in two layers.

DOWNSPOUT

A pipe draining water from roof gutters, also known as a leader.

DRIP EDGE

Non-corrosive material along eaves and rakes to allow water run-off clear of underlying construction.

DUTCH LAP METHOD

Application of giant individual shingles parallel to the eaves.

E

EAVES FLASHING

Extra roofing material layer at eaves to prevent water damage.

EAVES

The lower, overhanging roof part.

EDGING STRIPS

Boards along eaves and rakes for re-roofing secure edges after cutting back existing wood shingles.

ELL

An extension perpendicular to a building’s length.

EXPOSED NAIL METHOD

Roll roofing application where nails are exposed to weather.

EXPOSURE

Vulnerability to elements, heat, cold, wind, or rain.

F

FASCIA

Trim covering the eaves’ rafter end, often where gutters attach.

FEATHERING STRIPS

Tapered wood filler strips along old wood shingles’ butts during re-roofing.

FELT

Fibrous material saturated with asphalt, used as underlayment or sheathing paper.

FIBERGLASS MATS

Base material made from glass fiber for asphalt roofing.

FIRE RATING

Measurement for resistance to fire.

FLASHING CEMENT

See Asphalt Roofing Cement.

FLASHING

Metal or roll roofing pieces preventing water seepage around roof intersections, chimneys, walls, dormers, and valleys.

FREE-TAB SHINGLES

Shingles without factory-applied adhesive.

G

GABLE ROOF

A roof with sloping planes on each side of the ridge and gables at each end.

GABLE

The triangular point at the ridge of a sloping roof.

GAMBREL ROOF

A roof with two sloping planes of different pitch on each side, with gables at each end.

GRANULES

Colored crushed rock coating on asphalt roofing.

GUTTER

A trough channeling water from eaves to downspouts.

H

HEX SHINGLES

Shingles resembling hexagons after installation.

HIP ROOF

A roof with sloping planes on each of four sides, without gables.

HIP SHINGLES

Shingles covering the angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

HIP

The inclined angle formed by two sloping roof planes, running from the ridge to the eaves.

I

ICE DAM

Accumulation at the lower roof edge from melted snow, forcing water under shingles and causing leaks.

INTERLOCKING SHINGLES

Shingles mechanically fastening to provide wind resistance.

J

K

L

LAMINATED SHINGLES

Strip shingles with multiple tabs for extra thickness.

LAP CEMENT

Asphalt cement adhering overlapping roll roofing plies.

LAP

To cover one shingle or roll surface with another.

LOW SLOPE APPLICATION

Installing asphalt shingles on a roof sloped between 2 and 4 inches per foot.

M

MANSARD ROOF

A roof with two sloping planes of different pitch on each of four sides, the lower plane steeper than the upper.

MASONRY PRIMER

Asphalt-based primer preparing masonry surfaces for asphalt bonding.

MASTIC

Asphalt-based sealant, applied manually with rubber gloves.

MECHANICAL FASTENERS

Roofing nails, screws, and plates securing insulation and single-ply membranes, metal or plastic.

MINERAL STABILIZERS

Ground inert materials added to asphalt coatings for durability and fire/weather resistance.

MINERAL-SURFACED ROOFING

Asphalt shingles or roll roofing coated with granules.

MODIFIED

Cap or ply sheets manufactured with a modified rubber product, with higher tensile strength.

N

NESTING

Re-roofing method placing new shingles over old ones, with the new shingle’s top edge butted against the bottom edge of the existing shingle tab.

NO-CUTOUT SHINGLES

Shingles with a single tab and no cutouts.

NON-VENEER PANEL

Wood-based panel without veneer carrying an APA span rating, e.g., wafer board or oriented strand board.

NORMAL SLOPE APPLICATION

Installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes between 4 inches and 21 inches per foot.

O

OPEN VALLEY

Valley construction where shingles on both sides are trimmed, not extending across, with exposed valley flashing.

ORGANIC FELT

Asphalt roofing base material from cellulose fibers.

OVERHANG

Roof structure portion extending beyond building walls.

P

PALLETS

Prebuilt wooden structures for transporting materials.

PARAPET

Low protective wall above the roofline or balcony.

PITCH

Roof incline degree as rise to span ratio.

PLY

Number of roofing layers, e.g., one-ply, two-ply.

POLYESTER MEMBRANE

Reinforcing membrane for cold overlay systems.

Q

QUICK-SETTING CEMENT

Asphalt cement for bonding shingle tabs and roll roofing laps, applied just before application.

R

RACKING

Vertical roofing application, not recommended.

RAFTER

Supporting framing member beneath the deck, sloping from ridge to wall.

RAKE

The inclined roof edge over a wall from eave to ridge.

RANDOM-TAB SHINGLES

Shingles with varying tab sizes and exposure.

RELEASE TAPE

Strip on self-sealing shingles’ backs to prevent sticking in bundles, not requiring removal during application.

RIDGE

The horizontal external angle formed by two sloping roof planes.

RIDGE SHINGLES

Shingles covering the ridge angle.

RIDGE VENT

Ventilation installed along the ridge.

RISE

Vertical distance from eaves to ridge.

ROLL ROOFING

Asphalt roofing in roll form.

ROOF INSULATION

Rigid board applied with mechanical fasteners, second layer glued with adhesive.

ROOFING TAPE

Saturated tape for flashing and patching asphalt roofing.

RUN

Horizontal distance from eaves to ridge, one-half the span.

S

SATURANT

Asphalt impregnating organic felt base material.

SATURATED FELT

Asphalt-impregnated felt underlayment between deck and roofing material.

SELF-SEALING STRIP OR SPOT

Factory-applied adhesive bonding shingle courses upon sun exposure.

SELVAGE

Portion overlapped by the succeeding roll course for double coverage.

SHADING

Slight color variations due to manufacturing.

SHEATHING

Exterior-grade boards as roof deck material.

SHED ROOF

Roof with one sloping plane, lacking hips, ridges, valleys, or gables.

SHINGLE COVERAGE

Shingles with factory-applied adhesive.

SINGLE COVERAGE

Roofing with one layer over the deck.

SINGLE PLY ROOFING

Rubber roof membrane sealed and fastened at laps with heat welding or adhesive.

SLOPE

Roof incline degree as rise to run ratio.

SMOOTH-SURFACED ROOFING

Roll roofing with ground talc or mica surfacing.

SOFFIT

The finished eaves’ underside.

SOIL STACK

Roof-penetrating vent pipe.

SPAN

Horizontal eaves distance.

SQUARE

Roof unit measure covering 100 square feet.

SQUARE-TAB SHINGLES

Shingles with uniform tab size and exposure.

STARTER STRIP

Asphalt roofing at eaves protecting under the first course.

STEEP SLOPE APPLICATION

Asphalt shingles on slopes greater than 21 inches per foot.

STEP FLASHING

Flashing at a vertical surface meeting a sloping roof plane.

STRIP SHINGLES

Asphalt shingles with three times length to width.

T

TAB

Exposed strip shingle portion between cutouts.

TALC

See back surfacing.

TEAR OFF

Existing roof membrane removal.

TELEGRAPHING

Shingle distortion from uneven surfaces.

THREE DIMENSIONAL SHINGLES

Laminated shingles.

TOP LAP

Roofing portion covered by the succeeding course.

TORCH APPLIED SYSTEM

Cap sheet heated with a torch before application.

U

UL LABEL

Label indicating asphalt roofing fire and/or wind resistance.

UNDERLAYMENT

Asphalt-saturated felt beneath roofing for additional protection.

V

VALLEY

Internal angle formed by two sloping roof planes, directing water runoff.

VAPOR RETARDER

Material preventing water vapor passage.

VENT

Outlet for air protruding through the roof.

W

WOVEN VALLEY

Valley construction with shingles woven across the valley, with no exposed valley flashing.

X

Y

Z

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