Roof Terms

Every industry has its own jargon, and the roofing industry is no exception. Understanding roof-speak can be somewhat daunting, but the following brief list of roof terms should give you a leg-up in understanding the work being done to your home.

***Looking for a list of different Roof Types, please see our Roof Types page.***

Beam
A long piece of wood or steel that supports your roof that, when grouped, can form a truss.

Cornice
The overhanging part of the roof that sticks out past your walls.

Coverage
The degree of weather protection offered by a roofing material: single, double or triple coverage.

Deck
The wood roof surface to which roofing materials are applied.

Dormer
A gabled extension protruding from a sloping roof to allow for a framed window.

Drip Edge
Weather-resistant metal or vinyl edge installed along eaves and rakes to facilitate shedding of water at the edges.

Eaves
Parts of a roof that project beyond or overhang the face of the wall at the lower edge of the roof.

Eaves Trough
They are also known as gutters. They provide a method by which water that drips off the roof is caught and carried down the down spouts to an appropriate area for it to wash away.

Exposure
Specifically, exposure to weather: the distance from the butt edge of one shingle to another.

Fascia
The vertical edge of the cornice.

Felt
A breather-type building paper of strong, tough base saturated with asphalt.

Flashing
Strips of metal or roofing material used in making watertight joints on a roof, especially in valleys or where inclined and vertical surfaces intersect. These must be laid at all points where the roof meets a wall, chimney, skylight, vents, dormer, valley or stack.

Gable
The end wall of a building which comes to a triangular point under a sloping roof; also, a type of roof.

Hip
An external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping ends of the roof, from the ridge to the eaves; also, a type of roof.

Rake
The inclined edge of a pitched roof over an end wall.

Ridge
The apex of the angle formed by a roof, or the peak, where the common rafters meet.

Sofit
The horizontal bottom of the cornice.

Square
The amount of roofing material required to cover 100 square feet (10’x10′) of roof surface.

Truss
A framework of beams, usually grouped in a triangular nature, that support the roof.

Valley
An internal angle or water runway formed by the intersection of two slopes in a roof.