• Common Residential Roofing Terms

  • common residential roofing terms

    Are your asphalt shingles buckling along your dormer because of a prevailing wind?

    If you understood that, you’re probably in the roofing industry. If not, no worries. We made this post to explain common roofing terms.

    Keep reading and by the end, you’ll have a much better understanding of what needs to be done on your roof when we give you an estimate.

    Common Roofing Terms:


    This sticky semi-solid material is a form of petroleum that is technically considered pitch. In roofing, it is used to make shingles, as roll roofing, or other roofing systems.


    When there is a visible ripple or wrinkle in your shingles, this is referred to as buckling. It can indicate a serious problem if it’s being caused by trapped moisture or improperly-installed roofing materials.


    Also known as “sheathing,” this is the surface that the roofing materials are applied to. Most often, it is made of plywood or something that is known as oriented strand board.


    This term refers to a small roof that is raised above the rest of the roof plane. The most common examples of this are the windows that jut out from an angled roof.


    Flashing can be found along the walls, drains, edges, and penetrations to seal and weatherproof the roofing system. These are a vital part of ensuring that your roof can withstand even the harshest of weather without allowing for a leaky roof.


    This is when someone installs new shingles on top of existing ones. Nesting isn’t something that works in all situations which is why you need a professional roofer to inspect your roof.


    When there are more of your shingles exposed to the elements than was intended, this is called overexposure. It can happen when the wind blows shingles loose or when they’ve been improperly installed. Either way, it means your roof is in need of repair.


    These are anything that is going through the roof. In most cases, this means a pipe, but it can also mean a tree branch.

    Rolled Roofing

    This is a type of asphalt roofing that arrives in long rolls as opposed to the sheets that shingles usually come in. It has the advantage of being lightweight but also has some disadvantages.

    Roof Plane

    Any area of the roof that has defined edges. The simplest roof has one plane, while most homes have two roof planes with the highest point in the center.


    Also referred to as the pitch, this is how angled the roof is. It’s measured in units per 12. For example, if a roof has a 4/12 slope, that means for every 12 vertical inches, it rises up 4 inches.


    Transitions refer to what happens when two roof panes with different slopes meet. There will, therefore, be a change in the slope of the transition.


    This may also be referred to as tar paper or felt. It’s a sheet of material that has been saturated with asphalt which goes beneath the exterior roofing material to protect the home.