Blog

Roofing Industry Terms

In almost any industry there are going to be terms and expressions specific to that  business that get used so often by those in that profession  it can be easy to forget that not everyone has the same familiarity.  That being the case I thought it important to provide you with a glossary of roofing terms that we use in our business so that everyone can more easily follow along with our blog.

Square (a square):

A unit of measurement in roofing; a 10’x10’ area or 100 square feet (e.g. 1,500 square feet = 15 squares)

Gable Roof: 

A roof characterized by triangular parts at the ends of the building formed by the sides of the roof sloping from the ridge to the eaves

D9x2vH6j367oTPM0aPgN-D0i9AlpXn4M-CY6X4c1WdSAgQYbKkcywrtI7Pxa-28a1VqoZCswpC4khX8t

A simple Gable Roof                          A more complicated Gable roof

Hip Roof:

A roof characterized by its lack of gable ends, where all slopes end in an eave line and intersecting slopes are joined by a “hip” or a valley

C:\Users\ClayC\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Hip roof 2.jpg
Another Hip Roof (no gabled ends)
yxlNoKQwsmOWWfQAzWHnwWWVfei03WdZgn1TY4T2

A Hip Roof house and garage

Gambrel Roof: 

A gable roof constructed with two pitches on each side of the ridge, a steeper on at the eaves and a lower one by the ridge (barn-shaped)

A Gambrel Roof, ready for shingles

rdkxXhKE3zoFTzjx5ke1w9UtKLHZCSCsZ6XqNddg
The front of a Gambrel Roof

ujoM0H6qEneH0jj89QKxW_7_LsC06tH8JD_fDB58

A Gambrel Roof, ready for shingles

Mansard Roof: 

A hip roof constructed with two pitches on each side, a very steep (almost vertical) area by the eave and a nearly flat area on top; Also used to refer to any roofed area with a very high pitch, approaching vertical

jqlIxQpYSAjOFgNKiDCxzUBJBxoRx34f60dxJH1p

A traditional Mansard Roof on a home Roof

ed1q3ErbVxLPvYxJr0tAUBUBFCiPDG8bUsjJXB8o

Commercial Mansard

Slope: 

Any continuous section of roof, bordered by ridge, hips, valleys, eaves and/or rakes

WgcnCM8k4C5UzBRcxfQYbD6coutgnXg04pEgMfd1D8iVR663tO8Z4JNknHOrXnRWGlgKA2wQTkevfvahXgEs3-WO2wyaQdQDF6u99PDlTAjLJkn5Xoo4w4T9

The front Slope of a roof    The back Slope of a roof    One Slope of a garage roof

Low Slope Roof: 

Any roof under 2/12 pitch that manufacturer specifications state cannot be shingled and will require a special low slope roofing system; sometimes referred to as a ‘Flat Roof’ (though even these roofs should have a small amount of slope for positive drainage).

C:\Users\ClayC\AppData\Local\Temp\Temp1_104856.Zip\041015-0026.jpg

A residential Low Slope Roof

0-XKUpF04I_xZ71ioKs6f0EJhZ0He3nLTgeKjLCt
A commercial Low Slope Roof

Ridge (Ridge Line): 

The top, horizontal peak of a roof where two slopes meet

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\My Pictures\ABC Pictures\Training\Parts of the roof\36 Ridge.JPG

Roofer working on the Ridge of a cedar roof The Ridge Line of a shingled roof

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\My Pictures\ABC Pictures\Training\Parts of the roof\37 Ridge 2.JPG

Roofer working on the Ridge of a cedar roof The Ridge Line of a shingled roof

Eave (Eave Line): 

The overhanging, lower edge of the roof, always running parallel with the ground

A roofer installing ice & water shield on the Eave of the roof

C:\Users\ClayC\AppData\Local\Temp\Temp1_104678.Zip\IMG_20140606_123159.jpg

A roofer installing ice & water shield on the Eave of the roof

C:\Users\ClayC\AppData\Local\Temp\Temp1_105344.Zip\KIMG0017.jpg

Gutters are installed along the Eave Line A roofer installing ice & water shield on the Eave of the roof

Rake (rake line): 

The edge of a gable roof that runs from the eave line to the ridge

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\two rake lines.jpg

One Rake line

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\One rake line.jpg 

Two rake lines

Valley: 

The concave junction where two roof slopes meet, usually flashed with metal


C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\My Pictures\ABC Pictures\Training\Parts of the roof\34 Closed Valley.JPG

Open Valley  

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\My Pictures\ABC Pictures\Training\Parts of the roof\33 Valley2.JPG

Closed Valley (there is metal flashing under the shingles)

Flashing: 

Generally pieces of metal used to protect a particularly vulnerable part of a roof assembly.

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\My Pictures\ABC Pictures\Training\Parts of the roof\30 Counter Flashing 1.JPG

Flashing around the base of a chimney 

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\Kick out.jpg

Kick-out Flashing installed at the base of a roof/wall connection

Pitch: 

The steepness of a roof, often expressed as a factor of the drop to the roof in inches from a point 

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\Pitch Gauge.jpg

12 inches out from the center of the ridge

C:\Users\ClayC\Google Drive\Rise over run.jpg

12” off the ridge & 5” down = a Pitch of 5/12  The same roof measured with a Pitch gauge (still 5/12)