Roofing Terminology 101 by DaVinci Roofscapes

Since our first project in 2001, we have found that roofing terminology is not common knowledge for most home and building owners. For those of us who work in the roofing industry and use these terms every day, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is an expert. To help you understand what your contractor is talking about when discussing your roof we’ve compiled a list of basic roofing terms and definitions.

  • Helpful Terms to Know for Your Roof InstallationTile: A roof tile may be curved or flat piece of baked (at times glazed) clay or a synthetic material. It is the basic block used in covering roofs, walls, and floors.
  • Underlayment: It may be any sheet material which is installed in between the roof system and the roof deck. Besides helping in the separation of the two, underlayment also gives secondary protection against potential weather damage.
  • Hip: A sloping ridge that forms the junction between two slopes on a part of the roof that comes out at a separate angle from the main section of the roof.
  • Ridge: A horizontal line formed by two surfaces at the top of a roof where two slopes meet. Basically, it’s the peak of a sloped roof.
  • Rake: The inclined edge of the roof which is adjacent to the first rafter of the wall.
  • Vent: An opening in the building designed mainly for the passage of air, water vapor, heat or other gases.
  • Fascia: A face, band, or a flat board which is located at the outer edge of the cornice.
  • Valley: The angle generated by the intersection of the two sliding roof surfaces.
  • Gable: A triangular area that lies directly beneath the sloping roof.
  • Flashing: Metal pieces used as roof joints to protect against water leakage.

We hope this helps when discussing roofing needs with your contractor.  Do you have a roofing term that you needed help understanding? Or perhaps a unique roofing situation on your home that you need to address?  You can always submit a photo and we’ll post it on our blog with a response! To learn more about DaVinci Roofscapes and our products, email or call us at 1-800-328-4624.