A Beginner’s Guide to Roofing Terminology
If you’re new to the world of roofing, then you’re going to be hearing a lot of terms you may not have any clue about. It’s better to get to grips with the terminology so you can save yourself a lot of confusion further down the road.
Whilst you may hear lots of different words being tossed about, most of the words used for the more important roofing terminology remain the same throughout the world. Hopefully this guide can help you with what you need to know.
Shingles are a type of roof covering that consists of a number of overlapping tiles. Usually you’ll notice that shingles are flat and rectangular and are laid in lines that go vertically up the roof.
Tiles will be managed so that each tile is overlapped by a tile above and underlapped by a tile below. You may often see stone shingles used for housing but other materials such as wood or metal can be used as well.
The eave is the edge of the roof which overhangs the side of your house wall. The eave goes horizontally across the bottom of your roof. Eaves are used in roofing to keep water off of the walls. Eaves can often be a point of decoration for home owners.
A fire rating is used to determine the resistance a certain material will have to fire. When house fires can be a big concern, understanding the fire rating of your house and roofing materials is very important. Materials are classed as having A, B or C class fire rating, with A being the most fire resistant.
This is a small structure that protrudes from the out the top of a sloping roof surface. You’ll often see dormers with windows – you might have one in your attic or on the top floor of your house. These are often used to provide headspace in rooms with low ceilings or as a means to let in natural light and ventilation.
A rafter is found in series with other rafters to help support the roof and any associated weight. Rafters are often called members by roofing professionals, but you’ll see them in your house as a series of beams that extend diagonally upwards from the very outer perimeter of your interior, usually where the roof and your walls meet. For most home construction, you’ll often notice that rafters are made out of wood.
In roofing terminology the deck is an underlying layer of roofing material over which roofing is applied. The deck is often made out of wood boards, plywood or planks. The deck is one of the more important structural pieces that helps to keep most other structural components together. The roofing term for deck should not be confused with the architectural term of the same word, which refers to a flat surface or floor that is usually built outside, elevated from the ground but connected to the side of a building.
A Few More Valuable Terms
There are dozens of other terms used in roofing and whilst you don’t need to understand them all right away there are some more terms that may be useful for those looking into upgrading pr repairing their roof.
Blistering is caused when bubbles or abnormalities are created in roofing materials. The cause of blistering is usually related to moisture from collected rain or snow. Blisters can be caused by moisture being trapped under the material or by moisture being trapped inside the material. This is most often seen in shingles.
A drip edge is a piece of material that is installed along the edge of a roof to stop water dropping into areas that could get damaged, such as the deck or the eaves. In most cases a drip edge will be constructed from metal.
Flashing is a term that refers to installing thin sheets of material onto your roof to prevent water from passing into unwanted areas. You’ll often see shingles or other materials pointed outwards on or around chimneys. This is a perfect example of flashing – the water will hit off of these materials, preventing any moisture from reaching the joints of a house.
A cricket is a small ridge structure built at the highest side of a chimney that is designed to divert any water from pocketing between the chimney and the roof. Crickets are most often seen at the back of chimneys but they are also used on any other roof projections. A cricket is also sometimes referred to as a saddle.