Common Roofing Terms You Should Know

Common Roofing Terms You Should Know

May 05 2021

At Restoration Roofing we want to ensure our customers are always informed on the parts of their home, specifically the roof system.

We know that we use a lot of industry specific jargon that our customers have never heard before. That’s why we put together a list of common roofing terms that will keep you informed when you meet with one of our project managers.


Counter Flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to a vertical surface to prevent water from migrating behind the base flashing.

Cricket: A peaked saddle construction at the back of a chimney to prevent accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water around the chimney.

Decking: The rigid material (often 1-inch by 6-inch or one inch by twelve inch boards or sheets of plywood) which is nailed to the rafters, and to which shingles or other outside roofing materials are secured.

Dormer: A framed window unit projecting through the sloping plane of a roof.

Downspout: A pipe for draining water from roof gutters.

Drip Edge: A corrosion-resistant, non-staining material used along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction.

Eave: The horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.

Fascia: Trimboard behind the gutter and eaves.

Flashing: Sheet metal or other material used at junctions of different planes on a roof to prevent leakage.

Felt: The “tar paper” used by roofer, usually made of a combination of asphalt and either paper or rags.

Gable: The triangular upper part of a wall closing the end of a ridged roof.

Gable Roof: A simple two-sided roof above a gable.

Granules: Typically ceramic-coated colored crushed rock that is applied to the exposed surface of asphalt roofing products.

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

Common Roofing Terms You Should Know

Hip: The external angle at the junction of two sides of a roof whose supporting walls adjoin.

Ice Dam: Condition formed at the lower roof edge by the thawing and re-freezing of melted snow on the overhang. Can force ponded water up and under shingles, causing leaks.

Rafter: A structural member (usually slanted) to which decking is nailed.

Rake: The slanting edge of a gabled roof extending beyond the end wall of the house.

Ridge: The horizontal line at the top edge of two sloping roof planes.

Slope: The number of inched of vertical rise in a roof per 12-inches of horizontal distance. Also referred to as pitch.

Soffit: The boards that enclose the underside of that portion of the roof which extends out beyond the sidewalls of the house.

Starter Strip: Asphalt roofing applied at the eave that provides protection by an additional layer of material under the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles.

Square: One hundred square feet of roof, or the amount of roofing material needed to cover 100 square feet.

Underlayment: The material (usually roofing felt) laid on top of decking before shingles are applied.

Have a roofing concern with any of the areas on your home? Give us a call and we will have one of our experienced project managers provide you with a comprehensive inspection. Having a roof inspection by a local Memphis roofing company will extend the life of your roof and your home.

If it has been a while since you had your roof inspected, contact Restoration Roofing today! Contact us at 901-563-8645 or click here to set up a free inspection. We offer free inspections that are easy and completed quickly. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips on taking care of your roof.