How to Speak to Your Roofing Contractor’s Language, Part Two (Terms E – L)

If you feel like your roofing contractor might as well be speaking a foreign language to you when he is discussing your roofing issue, this article is for you! Below is some common vocabulary your roofing contractor may use. We suggest you keep this list handy if you find yourself confused by all of the unfamiliar terms. This is Part Two of a Four-Part Series.

Eave: The lower border of a roof that overhangs the sides or wall of a substrate.

Edging Strips: Boards nailed along rakes and eaves after cutting back existing wood shingles. Provides secure edges for re-roofing with asphalt shingles.

Exposed Nail Method: Method of applying roll roofing in which nails are driven into the cement overlapping course of roofing. Nails are exposed to the weather. (Not the preferred method.)

Exposure: The part of each shingle that is exposed to the weather.

Feathering Strips (or Horsefeathers): Tapered wood filler strips placed along the edges of old wood shingles. Create a level surface when applying over existing wood shingle roofs.

Felt (or Tar Paper): Flexible sheet saturated with asphalt. It is used as an underlayment and comes in 15#, 30# or 90# (# = “pound.”) Weighs approximately these number of pounds when covering 100 square feet.

Fiberglass Mat: An asphalt roofing base material manufactured from glass fibers.

Flashings: A corrosion-resistant sheet metal used in waterproofing roof valleys, vertical transitions or roof penetrations.

Gable: The triangular part of a building’s end wall or also used to describe a type of roof.

Gambrel Roof: A type of roof containing two sloping planes. The planes are at a different pitch on each side of the ridge. The lower plane has a steeper slope than the upper and it contains a gable at each end.

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

Gutters: Troughs along the eaves which catch and then carry off rainwater.

HEX Shingles: Shingles that look like a hexagon after installation.

Hip: The outside angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof. They have their supports running in different directions.

Hip Roof: A type of roof containing sloping planes of the same pitch on each of four sides. This type of roof contains no gables.

Hip Shingles: Shingles used to cover the inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Interlocking Shingles: Individual shingles that fasten to each other to provide wind resistance. They are typically made of metal or cement tile.

Joists: Metal beams or small timbers parallel from wall to wall in a structure. They support ceilings and floors.

Laminated Shingles (or Three-Dimensional Shingles or Architectural Shingles): Strip shingles containing more than one layer of tabs, creating extra thickness.

Lap: The distance one shingle is installed over another.

Lap Cement: An asphalt-based cement used to adhere overlapping plies of roll roofing.

Life Cycle Cost: The total lifetime cost of a roof. This figure is calculated by adding maintenance costs to the installed price and then subtracting the added value the roof provides when the home is resold.

See our other posts for definitions of additional terms!

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