Roofing Terminology

When talking with roof contractors or material suppliers it is advisable to know a little roofing jargon. Confusion could be a costly mistake if you are unaware what you are agreeing to.

The “ridge” is the top edge where two sloping roof surfaces meet. “Valley” is a downward sloping juncture of two roof surfaces that are at right angles with one another. “Hip” is the downward sloping ridge like juncture of two roof surfaces on an outside corner of the building.

“Coverage” is another common term used in connection with application of roof materials. “Single coverage” is roofing material designed for used with minimal lapping so most of the area of the roof is a single layer. “Double coverage” is where the strips shingles lap just over half of their width, and the roof will have two layers of shingles over most of the area.

Exposed to Weather

“Exposure” is the amount of a roofing product left exposed to the elements.

“Coursing or “courses” refers to horizontal stretches of the roofing. If the strips are applied so that their butts line up horizontally, a single layer of stretch of shingles is called a “course”.

The lower part of the roof is called the “eaves” and the outward facing is the “fascia” and underside is the “soffit”.

“Square” is a common term used in the roofing industry, it simply means 100 square feet used as an area of roof measurement. When you order roofing materials, you obtain sufficient amounts to be applied on so many squares of roof. Materials are usually bundled or packaged so that a certain number of packages will cover a square.

These are by no means all the terms you will encounter when discussing your roofing project but they will give you a basic understanding of the general roofing terms.

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