Hello World! Welcome Friends! When the time comes to have your roof repaired or replaced, you have a lot of considerations to make. But trying to determine what the right material is, and whether your contract is in order can be difficult if you don’t understand the terminologies behind them.
While every roof may be a little different depending on architectural style and roofing material, there are many terms that you’re like to run across. Make sure you know what’s happening with your roof by understanding the explanations behind them.
Pitch refers to the rate at which your roof rises from its edge to the peak. The faster the rate of rise, the higher the pitch. This is measured by how many inches the roof rises per foot. Most roofs have a pitch somewhere between 4 and 12. Higher pitches may be more difficult to roof and may contribute to higher costs in some instances.
The rise of a roof is the measurement straight up from the eaves or edge of the roof to the ridge or peak.
The span of a roof is the measurement across it from one eave or edge of the roof to the eave on the opposite side. A roof’s measurement is sometimes referred to as a combination of pitch, rise, and span.
Roofs are often measured in squares. A square refers to 100 square feet, and most materials are sold by the square, so a 1,500-square foot roof will take 15 squares of material.
The roof deck is the structure beneath your roof material. Usually made of plywood, your roof deck is what supports your roof. The underside can usually be seen from within the attic.
Before your shingles can be installed, your roofer will likely lay down an underlayment, which is a waterproof membrane that covers the deck. Underlayments may be made of many materials, including felt, and may be several weights to accommodate different materials.
A ridge cap refers to the particular shingles or material used to cover the peak or ridge of your roof. This may be combined with a ridge vent if you are having attic ventilation installed at the same time.
Flashing is the material that is used to help seal in intrusions in your roof, such as a chimney or skylight. Flashing will surround the intrusion and be at least partially covered on the edges by the shingles. Flashing may be made of metal or roll roofing.
Eaves are the lowest, nearly horizontal area on the roof, extending out beyond the exterior wall of the house below.
The underside of the eaves is known as the soffit. Soffits are usually finished, often with a similar material to the house siding, rather than the roof.
An undereave is the soffit area that has not been finished.
A drip edge is installed on the eaves to direct runoff away from the building. It’s typically made of a non-corrosive, non-staining material.
Flashing may be installed along the eaves to help protect this area of the roof from water backup, which may occur from situations such as ice dams.
Gable roofs have two slopes – one on either side of the ridge. They have a gable, or a triangular point on the end of a ridge, on either side of the roof.
The gritty material that covers the surface of asphalt and architectural shingles is known as granules. These granules protect the mat of the shingle, and may be made up of crushed rock and ceramic coating. Some granules may also be infused with copper to prevent staining.
Hipped roofs have no gables, but instead have four sides with the same slope on each one meeting at an intersection.
Ventilation is often recommended with roofs to help extend their lifetime. This usually consists of vents that allow air to pass through the space below the roof to cool it. Ventilation may be passive, or may contain fans to help assist in the air flow.
Roofs are sometimes made up in layers. Each layer is referred to as a ply, such as a 1-ply or 2-ply roof.
Roofing cement is a material used to seal in the edges of shingles and flashing. It may sometimes be used in minor repairs to help stop leaks.
Asphalt shingles that have three tabs or cutouts on the edges used for installation purposes.
Laminated or architectural shingles are also sometimes known as three-dimensional shingles. They contain more than one layer of tabs to help create a thicker, more durable shingle and a better residential roof design.
Get to Know Your Roof
While roofs are often complicated with many different parts and angles, they don’t have to remain a mystery. Get to know the parts of your roof better so you can make more informed decisions for your home. This infographic below by Severe Weather Roofing will sure be of great help!
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