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Common Roofing Terms | A to Z Roof Glossary

Roofing is an essential aspect of any home, providing protection and shelter from the elements. Whether you’re a homeowner or a roofing professional, it’s crucial to understand the terminology associated with roof construction and maintenance. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore common roofing terms, from the materials used to the different components of a roof structure. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll be better equipped to communicate with roofing professionals and make informed decisions about your roof’s care and maintenance.

1. Asphalt

Asphalt is a bitumen-based substance used as a waterproofing agent for many roofing materials. It is commonly used in asphalt shingles, which are the most popular roofing material in North America due to their affordability and durability.

2. Blistering

Blistering refers to the formation of bubbles in a shingle caused by moisture that becomes trapped under or inside the material. This can occur due to improper installation, poor ventilation, or excessive heat.

3. Blow-offs

Blow-offs are shingles that are torn off a roof by high winds. This can happen when shingles are not properly secured or when the roof is exposed to extreme weather conditions.

4. Deck

The deck is the foundation of a roof onto which roofing materials are applied. It is typically made of plywood, wood boards, or planks and provides structural support for the roof.

5. Dry Rot

Dry rot is a type of wood rot caused by fungi that are permitted to grow due to excessive moisture resulting from roof leaks or condensation. It can weaken the structural integrity of the roof and should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

6. Eaves

The eaves are the first three feet of the lower edge of a roof, extending from the fascia to the outside wall. They provide overhang and protection for the walls and windows below.

7. Flashing

Flashing refers to pieces of metal or other material used to waterproof around projections through a roof, such as skylights, chimneys, vents, or along other vulnerable areas like roof valleys. It prevents water from seeping into the roof and causing leaks.

8. Granules

Granules are tiny rocks coated with ceramic and fired, then applied to asphalt shingle mats as protection from the elements. They provide UV protection, enhance the aesthetics of the roof, and help to prolong the lifespan of the shingles.

9. Low-slope roof

A low-slope roof is a roof in which the highest point is installed at a slope of 2:12 or less. Special installations must be used for low-slope roofs to permit proper drainage and prevent water pooling.

10. Steep-slope roof

A steep-slope roof is a roof in which the highest point is installed at a slope higher than 4:12. This type of roof allows for effective water runoff and is commonly found in areas with heavy rainfall or snow.

11. Underlayment

Underlayment acts as a secondary barrier against water leaks on a roof. It is typically an asphalt-based roll that is installed beneath the roofing materials to provide an extra layer of protection. Most manufacturers require underlayment for a valid warranty.

12. Valley

A valley is the area where two roof slopes meet, creating a V shape. Roof valleys channel large amounts of water during rainfall and are particularly vulnerable to leakage if not properly sealed and maintained.

13. Ventilation

Ventilation refers to the movement of air within an enclosed space, such as an attic. Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining a healthy roof system, as it helps to regulate temperature, reduce moisture buildup, and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

14. Warranty

A warranty is a written contract between a roofing manufacturer and the purchaser of roofing materials. It outlines the liability the manufacturer will assume in the event of problems with the roofing system. It’s essential to understand the terms and conditions of a warranty before purchasing roofing materials.

15. Additional Roofing Terminology

In addition to the terms mentioned above, there are several other roofing terms you should be familiar with:

  • Fascia: The vertical board that runs along the edge of the roof and supports the lower edge of the roof.
  • Soffit: The exposed surface beneath the roof’s overhanging section.
  • Ridge: The highest point of a roof where two slopes meet.
  • Rafter: A structural member that supports the roof’s weight.
  • Gable: The triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches.

By understanding these roofing terms, you’ll have a solid foundation for discussing your roof with professionals and making informed decisions about its care and maintenance.


Understanding the terminology associated with roofing is essential for homeowners and roofing professionals alike. By familiarizing yourself with common roofing terms, you’ll be better equipped to communicate effectively, make informed decisions, and ensure the longevity and functionality of your roof. Use this comprehensive guide as a reference to expand your knowledge of roofing terms and enhance your understanding of the roof over your head. If you want to know more about roofing, so you may contact us by visit our Multipro Roofing website.