top of page
  • Writer's pictureWatertight Roofing Services

TALK LIKE A ROOFER – Common Roofing Terms Explained

house with roofing term labels

When it comes to roofing, there are numerous terms and jargon that can be confusing for homeowners. Whether you're planning to repair or replace your roof, understanding these common roofing terms can be extremely helpful.


Shingles are the outermost layer of a roof, typically made of asphalt, wood, metal, or slate. They serve as a protective barrier against the elements, ensuring water tightness and durability.


Flashing is a material, often made of metal, that is used to prevent water from seeping into the roof joints and other vulnerable areas, such as chimneys, skylights, and vents. It acts as a barrier, redirecting water away from these areas and ensuring a watertight seal.


Eaves are the edges of the roof that overhang beyond the walls of a building. They help to protect the exterior walls from water damage and provide shade to the windows and doors below.

Drip Edge

Drip edge is a metal flashing that is installed along the eaves. It is designed to direct water away from the roof and into the gutters.


A vent is a ventilation system that allows air to circulate within the attic space. It helps to prevent the build-up of moisture and heat, promoting a healthier and more energy-efficient environment.


The soffit is the underside of the roof overhang, often made of vinyl or aluminum. It provides ventilation for the attic and helps to regulate temperature and moisture levels. Soffits also add an aesthetic element to the overall roof design.


Fascia is the vertical board that runs along the roofline, supporting the lower edge of the roof. It also serves as a finishing touch, covering the ends of the roof rafters and providing a clean and polished appearance.

Ridge / Ridge Cap

A roof ridge is the highest point of a roof. It is where two roof slopes meet and come together to form a peak at the top of your roof. The ridge can run the length of the entire roof or be cut up based on your roof's complexity. The ridge cap, which is a piece of material that is placed over the ridge, helps to seal the roof and prevent water from leaking in. The ridge cap also helps to ventilate the roof, which helps to keep the attic cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


Roof decking refers to the base layer of the roof, usually made of plywood. It provides structural support for the roof and serves as a foundation for the other roofing materials.


A valley is the V-shaped area where two roof slopes meet. Valleys are prone to water accumulation, so it is crucial to install proper flashing and shingles to ensure effective water drainage and prevent leaks.


A roofing boot, also known as a pipe boot, is a type of flashing that goes around the base of pipes coming out of your roof and prevents water from following the pipe down through your roof and into your home.


A plane is a sloping surface that covers the top of a building. The plane is typically made of shingles, metal, or tiles, and it is designed to shed water away from the roof. There are two main types of planes – pitched (with a slope) and flat (without a slope).


Gutters are conduits usually made from vinyl, aluminum or copper that run along the eaves to collect rainwater and snow melt. They can be easily clogged with debris and require regular cleaning.

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can communicate effectively with your Watertight Roofing Services specialist and better understand the maintenance and repair needs of your roof.



bottom of page