Need to Know Roofing Terms

metal roof installation - metal roofing termsRoofing terms vary based on the type of roof installation and the associated materials used. Following is a glossary that highlights the most common vocabulary from both metal and traditional roofing styles.

Asphalt- This is a waterproofing material used in many kinds of roof materials, both in traditional and metal roofing.  

Blow-Offs- In instances when shingles are used for roofing, this refers to the loss of the shingles due to windy conditions.

Buckling- Also refers to shingle-based roofing, the term “buckling” means that a wrinkle negatively affects the shingles and the underlying materials.

CoatingsMetals roofs can have a spray or liquid material applied to them; this coating serves several different purposes, such as additional waterproofing.

Cupping- In roofs that are made of shingles, cupping occurs when improperly installed shingles curl upward. This may also happen due to a defect in the shingle itself.

Deck- The deck of the roof may also be called sheathing. It is usually a wood-based material that forms the base of a roof. Other materials are generally attached to the sheathing.

Eaves- This is the small area of roof that overhangs a wall; the edge-most area of a roof.

Fasteners- The fasteners are the nails or staples used to attach the various roofing materials to the sheathing.

Fire-resistance ratings- Ratings are “A,” “B” or “C.” The most resistant to fire materials are rated “A.” The ratings and parameters for each are established by the ASTM and UL.

Flashing- Waterproofing materials constructed around areas that may need additional water protection, such as where roof joints meet.

Fascia- This area is a flat board or plane located at the outer edge of the roof.

Ice Dam The ice dam is a common problem with roofs in the winter. It occurs when snow melts and causes water to run to the edges of a roof. However, instead of draining, water re-freezes and creates a solid mass-the dam- that then forces water under shingles and may cause leaks.

Low Slopes- This terms refers to smaller-angled roof pitches, generally ones that are less than 4:12. These slopes require extra care and special installation processes.

Organic Shingles- In traditional roofing processes, these are shingles made from organic sources, such as paper mats.

Purlin-This is either wooden or metal materials that are attached to the sheathing of a roof. The purlin material is a base for the finished roofing material.

Sealant- This is a material used to prevent leaks in joints or cracks. Self sealant is sometimes pre-added to shingles, causing them to seal together in heat and sunlight.

Slope- The slope or pitch of a roof, which is the measurement of the rise of the roof in relation to its horizontal plane.

Square- The industry term that refers to roofing materials that will cover about 100 square feet.

Transitions- These are the areas where one part of a roof meets another part that has a different slope. Special care is needed when installing in these areas.

Underlayments- A material, also called felt, that is installed between the sheathing and shingles. In metal roofing, underlayment is also used, and is often made of a synthetic material.

Valleys- Similar to a transition, the valley of a roof is where to sections meet and form a V-shape.

Like any other industry, roofing has its own set of vocabulary and lingo. Hopefully this list of roofing terms offers some assistance.  Contact Guilford Metal Roofing for answers to all your roofing questions.