Homeowners can sometimes be frustrated with the lack of understanding about roofing terms. It can be challenging to tell if you're being taken advantage of, or it is just a language barrier between you and your roofing contractor. Here are some standard roofing terms to know as a homeowner so that you can be well informed before talking to roofing contractors about your roofing needs.
The roof is the protective covering on a building that protects it from the elements. There are many different types of roofing systems like a flat roof, shed roof, gambrel roof, hip roof and mansard roof. There are also various types of materials used in roofing. Common materials for a roofing system are slate, clay tile, asphalt shingles, metal, and wood shake. It is essential to know what kind of roof you have and what material it is made of to perform proper maintenance and identify any issues you may have.
Understanding what condition your roof is in is essential as well. You might see a variety of conditions, including hazy or discoloured shingles, moss growth on the shingles, missing shingles or tiles, or bald spots on the surface of the roof. Being able to identify any potential issues will help the contractor you hire to be able to assess your roof from afar before they come up close and personal with it.
Finally, you'll want to know what type of service your contractor offers for your specific needs. Repairing and replacing are usually the two main options. Roofing contractors can repair individual sections of your existing roof or completely tear off your existing roof and replace it with a new roofing system. A basic understanding of your roof and roofing terms can help you make informed decisions regarding your roofing needs!
There are many different roofing terms in the roofing industry. Roofing terms can vary from region to region and even from one company to the next. Some of the most common terms you should know are:
- Pitch/Slope: The pitch of your roof will dictate how steeply its slopes are, but it can also refer to the angle at which your home's roofs meet on the top.
- Ridge: The ridgeline is where two sloping sections of a roof come together to form a peak.
- Valleys: The valley is the low points in the roofs on either side where water can collect, causing leaks or rotting wood.
- Drip Edge: The drip edge is metal flashing that is installed at the edge of the roof to keep water from damaging your fascia and the roofing components.
- Soffit: Soffit is the material between the eavestroughs where the fascia and gutters are attached to the wall.
- Fascia: Fascia is a board that holds the eavestroughs on your home in place. They also help keep moisture away from your roof.
- Eavestroughs: An eavestrough or rain gutter is a trough or channel that runs around the perimeter of a home's roof.
There are many different roofing materials used today. Different roofing materials have different costs and performances. It's important to know what type of materials will work best on your home before you start talking with roofing contractors about pricing and installation.
- Asphalt Shingles: These shingles are generally inexpensive and durable and can be made in various colours. They are one of the most popular and affordable materials on the market.
- Cedar Shake: These provide a more natural look and feel, but they cost more than asphalt shingles (and sometimes even more than metal roofs). They are considered a premium roofing material and are the most aesthetically pleasing.
- Metal Roofs: Most homeowners choose this type of roofing over wood shakes or asphalt shingles for their homes. Metal roofs are less susceptible to rot and hail damage. Still, they do have a higher upfront construction cost than other materials.
- Composite Shingles: Composite or synthetic shingles are made of recycled materials, like rubber and plastics. Composite shingles are relatively new to the roofing industry but are becoming more and more popular.
- Slate Roof: Slate shingles are a premium roofing material primarily made of natural slate other slate roofing materials. Slate shingle roofs are one of the most attractive and long-lasting roof systems on the market, but they are also expensive.
Most people don't think about the type of roofing system they have. The style of roof you have affects the look of your house and can also affect the overall value of your property. Knowing what type of roofing system you have can help you decide on your roof's materials and maintenance.
- Hip Roof: A hip roof comprises four sloping sides and forms a rectangle.
- Gable Roof: A gable roof has two sloping sides and usually forms an "A" shape.
- Mansard Roof: A mansard roof has four sloping sides, each becoming steeper halfway down.
- Shed Roof: A shed roof has a single slope commonly set at a steep pitch.
- Flat Roof: A flat roof is almost level in contrast to the many sloped roofs.
- Gambrel Roof: A gambrel roof is a symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side.
Roofing terms can be tricky to understand. Hopefully, this list of common roofing terms helps you be more informed before talking with a roofing contractor about your home. Understanding how your roof functions is crucial in maintaining it. By understanding the different parts of your roof, materials used to make it, and standard roofing terms, it becomes easier to maintain your home for years to come. At United Roofing & Exteriors, we are committed to helping you make the best and most informed decision about your roof. Our experienced roofers can complete your roofing repairs and replacements quickly and efficiently. Contact us today for a free estimate on all your roofing needs!