One of the upsides of owning a home is that it’s yours and no one else’s. One of the downsides is that… well, exactly the same thing. All the responsibility of upkeep and repairs falls to you rather than your parents or a landlord.
Accordingly, one of your prime areas of concern is going to be your roof. It’s one of the largest parts of a home’s structure and one of the most prone to eventually needing some attention. When the time comes to consult with a roofer, it’s best if you at least have some basic familiarity with the sort of things he’ll be talking about. So here’s an alphabetical listing of common roofing terms:
- Course – A row of singles or similar material that runs the length of the roof.
- Coverage – Refers to the layers and amount of protection from the elements provided by roofing materials.
- Deck – Also called sheathing or substrate, this is what makes up the base of the roof and is the foundation to which a number of roofing materials can be attached. It’s usually made of plywood or sterling board, also called oriented strand board, an artificial board made of compressed wood particles.
- Dormer – A vertical window that projects from a sloping roof.
- Drip edge – A lipped metal strip that runs along the edge of the roof and guides rainwater down the gutters and away from the eaves.
- Fasteners – Any item that is used to secure roofing materials, such as screws, bolts, nails, etc.
- Felt – A fibrous material used to underlie a number of roofing products, including asphalt shingles. Also called tar paper, it makes up a second layer between the deck and whatever tiling is used.
- Fire rating – Roofing materials are assigned a fire rating based on their level of resistance to fire from an outside source. In order of strongest to weakest resistance, they are classified as A, B or C.
- Flashing – Metal sheets that prevent water from leaking through cracks or intersections, such as spots where pipes, skylights or chimneys project from the roof.
- Granules – These are colored, crushed rocks that are coated in ceramic. They are often applied on asphalt shingles and other roofing materials.
- Nesting – A type of re-roofing in which new shingles are butted up to the bottom of the old shingles.
- Penetrations – Anything that goes through the roof, such as the vent pipes and chimneys.
- Ridge shingles – The shingles that cover the top ridge of the roof where two angled sides meet.
- Rafters – This refers to the area directly below and to which the deck is attached to the structure.
- Shading – A term used to describe the slight color and shade variations typically seen in asphalt shingles.
- Slope – Also called roof pitch. The degree of the roof’s incline angle.