Roofing Glossary

Our professional roofers at Macbeth Roofing in Vancouver look forward to helping you with your roof repairs or roof replacement. To help you feel more comfortable with this process, we have included some of the terms that may come up. We’re more than happy to answer your questions on your roofing needs. Contact us today at 778-374-0333.

  • Algae Discolouration: Black streaks or discolouration caused by the growth of Algae on your roof.
  • Blisters: Bubbles that may appear on the asphalt roofing materials after they are installed.
  • Bundle: A package of shingles. 3 bundles of standard shingles will cover one roofing square. [10’x10′ or 100 sq.ft.]
  • Caulk: Used to fill joints or cover nail heads to prevent leaks.
  • Closed Valley: A type of valley where the shingles are installed over the valley flashing, so that the flashing is not exposed.
  • Collar: A flange placed over a stack type vent to seal the roof around the pipe, also referred to as a vent sleeve.
  • Counter Flashing: A flashing that is attached to a vertical surface (such as a wall) to prevent water from seeping under a base flashing.
  • Course: A row of shingles that runs the length of the roof.
  • Deck/sheathing: The wood installed over the frame of the house to which the roofing is applied.
  • Dormer: A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.
  • Drip Edge: A non-corrosive metal flashing installed along the lower edge and often up the rake of the roof. Its purpose is to direct water draining from a roof into the gutters preventing damage to the underlying construction.
  • Eaves: The horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.
  • Fascia: A flat board, band or face located at a cornice’s outer edge.
  • Felt (Tar) Paper: A fibrous paper, saturated with asphalt to be used as an underlayment, to increase protection to roof.
  • Flashing: Pieces of galvanized metal that are used to prevent water from seeping in at roof joints, such as walls, chimneys, dormers and valleys.
  • Gable Roof: A 2 sided roof with matching slopes on either side.
  • Granules: A ceramic-coated, crushed rock that is applied to the exposed surface of asphalt shingles. The granules are often coloured.
  • Hip Roof: A roof with four sloping sides of the same pitch. There will be no gables on a Hip Roof.
  • Ice Dam: Ice formed at the lower edge of a roof that is caused by the thawing and re-freezing of melted snow. An ice dam can force water under the shingles.
  • Ice & Water Shield: An impenetrable roofing membrane installed under shingles to prevent water that may seep under the shingles from entering the house, normally installed at the eaves edge.
  • Louvers: Slatted devices installed in a gable or soffit to ventilate the space below a roof deck and equalize air temperature and moisture.
  • Mansard Roof: A roof with an extreme pitch, often it will appear vertical. These roofs will sometimes have a flat roof on top, or a low sloped hip roof.
  • Overlay: A term used to describe installing a second or third layer of shingles. This is not a recommended practice.
  • Pitch: The roof incline measured as the ratio of the rise, in feet, to the run, in feet. This is also referred to as slope.
  • Ply: The number of layers of roofing material, i.e. one-ply, two ply
  • Rafters: The supporting framing to which a roof deck is attached.
  • Rake: The inclined edge of a roof.
  • Ridge: The uppermost angle of the roof, where the two slopes meet.
  • Rise: The vertical distance from the eaves line to the ridge.
  • Roofing Square: 100 square feet of roofing material installed with proper exposure. It is not 100 square feet of roofing material, however, it is the amount of material required to cover 100 square feet of a roof deck.
  • Run: The horizontal distance from the eaves to a point directly under the ridge. This is one half of the span of the roof.
  • Shed Roof: A roof with only one slope. It will have no hips, ridges, valleys or gables.
  • Slope: The roof incline measured as the ratio of the rise, to the run, in feet. May also be referred to as pitch.
  • Soffit: The underside of the eaves.
  • Stack Vent: A vent pipe used for ventilation from sewage drains in the house.
  • Starter Strip: Shingles applied at the roofs edge to provide protection under the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles.
  • Step Flashing: Flashing used to protect areas where a vertical surface meets a slope.
  • Tab: The exposed portion of a shingle, defined by a cutout.
  • Truss: Engineered components that supplement rafters in many newer homes and buildings. Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be cut or altered.
  • Valley: The intersection formed by two slopes meeting.

If you’d like more information from an experienced team of Vancouver roofers, we’d be happy to help you. Please contact Macbeth Roofing at 778-374-0333.


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