Roofing Terms


The surface installed over the supporting framing members to which the roofing is applied.

Drip Edge:

A non-corrosive, non-straining material used along the eaves and rakes to allow runoff to drip clear of underlying construction.


The overhanging lower edge of your roof.


Fibrous material saturated with asphalt (often called tar paper or underlayment) and used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck.


Pieces of metal used to prevent the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and joints at vertical walls.


The upper portion of a side wall that comes to a triangular point at the ridge of a sloped roof.

Gable Roof:

A type of roof containing sloping planes of the same pitch on each side of the ridge. Contains a gable at the end.


The peak of your roof line going downward.

Rake Edge:

The side of your roof’s slope.


The peak of your roof line along it’s top.

Ridge Vent:

Ventilation that is applied underneath your roof’s ridge.


Measured by rise in inches for each 12 inches of horizontal run: A roof with a 4-in-12 slope rises 4 inches for every foot of horizontal distance (also known as roof pitch).


The common measurement for roof area. One square is 100 square feet (10 by 10 feet).

Starter Course:

The first row of shingles applied to the base of your roof.

Undereave Vent:

An opening for passage of air through your roof.


The portion of your roof where two slopes of intersect.

Waterproofing Underlayment:

Waterproofing protection beneath your roof’s deck and shingles.