Top 30 Roofing Terms

Roofing 101

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Roofing Terms

TOP 30

  • Aggregate: any compound of rock, crushed stone, water-worn gravel or marble chips used for roofing purposes.

  • Application Rate: the mass, volume, or thickness of any material applied per unit area.

  • Asphalt: a dark brown or black sticky substance, a residue from processing crude oil or petroleum.

  • Base Ply: the lowest layer of roofing in a roof membrane system.

  • Base Sheet: a saturated felt placed as base in some multi-ply roof membranes.

  • Batten: in a membrane roof system, the batten is a narrow plastic, wood, or metal bar used to secure the roof membrane and base flashing in place.

  • Caulking: sealing and making weather-tight all roof joints and seams by filling with a sealant.

  • Dead Level: flat. Also known as zero (0) slope.

  • Dead Loads: permanent loads that are part of the building or its mechanical equipment, they are also known as "dead weight".

  • Drip Edge: an overhanging element that controls dripping water to protect the building and the roof.

  • Eave: the part of a roof that extends beyond the supporting wall, basically an overhang.

  • Fasteners: nails, screws, cleats, clips, bolts, and anything used to hold a roof together.

  • Felt: a flexible sheet made of closely interlocking fibers, it can be made from vegetable fibers (wood pulp), asbestos, glass or polyester. 

  • Field of the Roof: the main roof, not including edges.

  • Flashing: pieces used to seal the edges of the roof system at perimeters, penetrations, drains and other interruptions. 

  • Gable: the upper, triangular portion of the wall that meets the roof.

  • Galvanize: to coat with zinc.

  • Galvanized Steel: steel coated with zinc to prevent corrosion.

  • Heat Welding: fusing together the edges of separate sheets of roofing membranes by applying heat (either hot air or open flame) and pressure.

  • Hem: the edge created by folding metal back on itself.

  • Hip: the external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping roof planes.

  • HVAC: heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment.

  • Joist: any of the metal or wood beams that go from wall to wall to support a floor, ceiling, or roof.

  • Live Loads: temporary loads that may go on the roof structure, such as people, wind or snow. 

  • Membrane: a flexible material used as the waterproofing component in a roof.

  • Penetration: any object passing through the roof, such as a chimney, vent or skylight.

  • Ridge: highest point or line of the roof.

  • Ridge Vent: a ventilator located at the ridge to allow the escape of warm or moist air.

  • Snow Load: the weight of snow on the roof.

  • Valley: the V-shaped internal angle formed by the meeting of two sloping roof planes

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