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Roofing Terminology

Roofing terminology

Roofing Terminology

Once you start looking into roofing for your home, you will be hearing a lot of various terms used to explain your roofing project. Thankfully, there are plenty of online resources to explain each part of the roof and processes in detail. Here is a list of common roofing terminology that will get you started in navigating the roofing process.


Sticky black waterproofing compound created from petroleum. Asphalt is applied to the roof to make it waterproof. It can be used on different types of roofs (under tile or shingles, for example). There are also asphalt shingles which are coated in asphalt then have granules on top of the asphalt.


Bubbles or dimples in roofing material caused by poor installation, poor ventilation, or excess moisture. The blister either contains air or water. If left untreated, the weather will cause the blister to grow on a daily basis until it pops, often causing irreparable damage.


A roof should look smooth if it’s in good condition. Visible wrinkles or ripples in underlayment or shingles are a sign that your roof has presumably buckled. This happens either because the roofing underlayment has wrinkled or the wood deck itself has shifted.

Built Up Roof

A flat or low-sloped roof covered with layers of roofing felt, asphalt and gravel.


Product used to fill joints on the roof an prevent leaks. There are many different types of caulk for various types of projects.


A peaked area on the roof, acting as a transition from one roof area to another to prevent water pooling.

Drip Edge

The metal lip installed on the edges of your roof that extends out over eaves which allows water to drip clear of materials. This protects the underlying roofing components.


An eave is formed when the ends of the rafters extend past the outside walls and hang over the side of the house. Eaves provide shade to the outside of your house.


Boards that runs around the building horizontally, beneath the eaves, to cover the ends of the roof’s protruding rafters.


Roofing material made with a combination of asphalt and paper or rags. This layer of tar paper is installed beneath the shingles to provide a backup waterproof membrane in case of leakage.


Flat metal that extends from flashing at raised points like vents and chimneys. It’s a projecting edge of a rigid or semi-rigid component, such as a metal edge flashing flange.


Metal or other material that is used to form a weatherproof seal at different parts of the roof to prevent leaks.


Colored tiny rock pieces used on top of shingle surfaces.

Nail Pop

When a nail backs out of the roof if not fully driven into roofing materials.


Items that pass through the roof, such as pipes, A/C unit supports and conduits.


Wood boards that sheathing is attached to. It helps to keep the roof trusses properly spaced and is the strength that holds the entire roof together.


The horizontal line of the roof at the top of two slopes.


Material such as plywood or boards that are adhered to the rafters and have shingles attached to them.

Slope or Pitch

The vertical rise of the roof in inches per foot of horizontal roof.


Boards that cover the underside part of the roof that extends out from the house.


The amount of material used to cover 100 square feet of roof.

Tear Off

The process of removing the existing roofing materials down to the roof deck.


Felt or other fabric placed on top of the sheathing before the shingles or tiles are placed.


A depressed V-shaped channel where two sloped roof planes come together on the roof.


Opening on a roof used to move air from inside of the structure to the outside.

Roofing Terminology

That is just a small sampling of roofing terminology! At Capstone Roofing we are committed to making the roofing process as easy to understand as possible. If you have questions or would like to schedule a free estimate and roof evaluation, just give us a call at 602-486-0763.

published on Monday, June 24th, 2019