Roofing Terminology Continued (F – V)

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Fascia: A wood trim board used to hide the cut ends of the roof’s rafters and sheathing.

Felt: Fibrous material used as an underlayment or sheathing paper, describes roll roofing materials.

Flashing: Pieces of metal or roll roofing used to form water seal around vent pipes, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers and valleys.

Gable: The end of an exterior wall that comes to a triangular point at the ridge of a sloping roof.

Granules: Ceramic-coated and fired crushed rock that is applied as the top surface of asphalt roofing products.

Gutter: The trough that channels water from the eaves to the downspouts. Usually attached to the fascia.

Head lap: An overlapping of shingles or roofing felt at their upper edge.

Hip: The fold or vertical ridge formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. Runs from the ridge to the eaves.

Ice dam: Condition forming water back-up at the eave areas by the thawing and re-freezing of melted snow on the overhang. Can force water under shingles, causing leaks.

Interlocking shingles: Individual shingles that mechanically fasten to each other to provide wind resistance.

Laminated shingles: Strip shingles made of two separate pieces laminated together to create extra thickness. Also called three-dimensional and architectural shingles.

Lap: Surface where one shingle or roll overlaps with another during the application process.

Mansard roof: A design with a nearly vertical roof plane connected to a roof plane of less slope at its peak. Contains no gables.

Mineral stabilizers: Finely ground limestone, slate, traprock or other inert materials added to asphalt coatings for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering.

Nesting: A method of reroofing, installing a second layer of new asphalt shingles, in which the top edge of the new shingle is butted against the bottom edge of the existing shingle tab.

Pitch: The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio of the rise, in feet, to the span, in feet.

Low Slope – Roof pitches that are less than 30 degrees.

Normal Slope – Roof pitches that are between 30 and 45 degrees.

Steep Slope – Roof pitches that are more than 45 degrees.

Rafter: The supporting framing that makes up the roof structure; immediately beneath the deck; the roof sheathing is nailed to the rafters.

Rake: The inclined edge of a sloped roof over a wall from the eave to the ridge. They can be close or extended.

Ridge: The horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping sides of a roof at the highest point of the roof, hip or dormer.

Run: The horizontal distance between the eaves and a point directly under the ridge; or one half the span.

Selvage: That portion of roll roofing overlapped by the application of the roof covering to obtain double coverage.

Sheathing: Exterior grade boards used as a roof deck material.

Shed roof: A single roof plane with no hips, ridges, valleys or gables, not connected to any other roofs.

Slope: The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio of the rise, in inches, to the run, in feet.

Smooth-surfaced roofing: Roll roofing that is covered with ground talc or mica instead of granules (coated).

Soffit: The finished underside of the eaves that extends from the fascia to the siding and hides the bottom of an overhang.

Soil stack: A vent pipe that penetrates the roof.

Span: The horizontal distance from eaves to eaves.

Specialty eaves flashing membrane: A self-adhering, waterproofing shingle underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind driven rain.

Starter strip: Asphalt roofing applied at the eaves as the first course of shingles installed.

Tab: The weather exposed surface of strip shingles between the cutouts.

Telegraphing: Shingles installed over an uneven surface that show distortion.

Truss – A combination of beams, bars and ties, usually in triangular units to form a framework for support in wide span roof construction.

UL label: Label displayed on packaging to indicate the level of fire and/or wind resistance of asphalt roofing.

Underlayment: A layer of asphalt based rolled materials installed under main roofing material before shingles are installed to provide additional protection for the deck.

Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two inclined roof surfaces to provide water runoff.

Vapor barrier/retarder: Any material that prevents the passage of water or water vapor through it.

Vent: Any device installed on the roof as an outlet for air to ventilate the underside of the roof deck.

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