When working with your roofing contractor, they probably use industry-specific terms related to your roofing project. There’s no doubt you can ask them to clarify anything that seems unfamiliar. It can be helpful to have a reference guide right close to you.


Here’s a roofing glossary for you to know a bit more about the most common terms used in the roofing industry…


Attic: The roof beneath your roof, but also in some cases, it’s used for any storage space.


Asphalt Shingle: A shingle made by applying asphalt to a reinforcing material (felt or fibrous glass mat) and then exposing the surface exposed to the elements.


Bundle: Collection of shingles. Each square has three, four, or five bundles.


Caulk: To seal the roof deck to roofing materials, flashings, and other roof components.


Collar Ties: Horizontal roof truss members with large-diameter holes in one end for connecting to collar beams or purlins at openings around chimneys, skylights, dormers, etc.


Closed Cut Valley: A valley between roof sections where the cut-in angle is completely closed with shingles.


Conventional Shingle: A roofing shingle that has a mineral granule surface and asphaltic-based coatings.


Condensation: The process by which a vapor changes from one state to another. In roofing, the formation of water droplets on those areas where there is a reduction in temperature and an increase in humidity.


Exposure: The location of roofing materials relative to the roof edges.


Fasteners: Any roofing or flashing nail, screw, staple, or other device used for attaching one roof component to another.


Flashings: Pieces that are installed at various locations around roofs and chimneys to prevent water from entering through joints in masonry walls, intersections with


Felt: Flat roofing underlayment made from organic materials (coir, jute) or felt-textured fiberglass mat.


Fiberglass Mat: A roofing underlayment manufactured from cellulosic fibers spun into continuous mats.


Gutter Downspout Connection: Surface-mounted roofing flashing used to divert roof water away from the intersection of a roof and gutter.


Gutters: A trough with sloping sides for carrying roof runoff.


Harvest Gold: An old color name now being re-introduced as an exterior finish by some paint manufacturers, is similar to today’s “antique gold.


Gable: The triangular section of roofing at the end or corner of a building.


Headlap: The number of courses laid on each side of the roof ridge before repeating the pattern.


Ice Damming: A condition where ice forms along roof edges and often damages gutters, causing water leakage into homes through doors, windows, etc.


Head lap: The number of roofing courses laid on each side of the roof ridge before repeating the pattern.


Hexagonal Shingles: A roofing shingle whose exposed surface has a hexagonal shape.


Hip: A roof framing component that joins two roof slopes and forms a corner.


Hip Roof: A roof with sloping planes meeting at a ridge and having four roof sides.


Hip Rafter: The roof framing member that supports the roof hip (ridge).


Hip Shingles: Roofing roof shingle that is exposed on the roof hip.


Lap: To overlap roofing materials or components, usually with a half-inch space between them.


Laminated shingles: A roofing shingle manufactured by bonding three or more layers of asphalt-impregnated fiberglass mat together.


Leaders: Downspouts that are attached to roof edges and direct roof runoff away from the dwelling foundation.


Open Valley: A roof valley where the roof surface is not completely covered with shingles.


Parapet Wall: An exterior wall that does not have a roof but serves as a barrier around roof edges or 

at roof corners.


Pitch Roof: A sloping roof having a relatively high slope about its span and depth of sheathing.


Racking: The roofing shingle roof surface where it changes roof direction (usually 90 degrees).


Ridge: The topmost part of a roof extends from the highest point on one side to the highest point on the opposite side.


Sheathing: A roofing underlayment of boards, plywood, or oriented strand board (OSB) fastened with roofing nails.


Shingle: A small, thin piece of material used as a weatherproof covering for roofs and walls.


Shingle Layer: A roofer who lays roof shingles.


Skylight: An opening in the roof for light and ventilation covered by a transparent material such as glass or plastic.


Slope: A roof framing surface that is inclined from its horizontal position.


Spray Foam: An insulation product composed of an adhesive and a fuel, which comes together in the spray gun nozzle when combined.


Underlayment: A roofing component that is installed under roof shingles to act as a cushion or barrier.


Valley: An intersection of roof surfaces at different levels with the ridges running opposite directions, usually forming an inverted V-shape.


Ventilation Channel:  The space created between layers of the roof deck (plywood) where


Vent: A roofing component that permits the flow of air to and from a roof cavity.


Waterproof: Not allowing water or moisture to pass through a material, construction joints, or openings in a roof assembly.


Walton Contractors: The Top Rated Roofing Contractors

Do you need new roofing in Berwyn, IL? Walton Contractors‘ roofing company is your best choice for roof repair, roof replacement, and roof installations. We specialize in roofing in Berwyn, IL.