Glossary of Roofing Terms

Common terms encountered in roofing work.

Understanding these simple terms may help make your decision process easier.


3 tab shingles are one of the most common shingle types you will see. Basically they are sheets of asphalt material where each tab is the same width. While being on the "entry level" side price-wise, 3-Tab do come in a variety of price points and color choices.

Architectural Shingles

A higher end shingle textured and or laminated that has a beautiful three-dimensional appearance.


Bitumen is a cemetitious material derived from petroleum, commonly used in roads. For roofing applications we use a product called Modified Bitumen. It come in roll form...

Built Up Roofing

Usually flat or slightly sloped roofs covered with several layers of bitumen.

Cap Sheet

The top layer of a built up roof composed of granule surface membrane.


The bottom layer of a roof to which the roofing system is attached.

Drip Edge

Steel flashing along the outer perimeter of that helps direct runoff water away from the structure.


A spherical shape extending the top of a roof.


A protective layer applied to the deck before shingles or tiles are put in place. This is the material that protects your roof against leaks.


Material components used to protect around interrupted parts of a roof such as: pipes, walls and skylights. The purpose of which is to prevent moisture from penetrating the roofing system.

Laminated Shingle

See Architectural Shingles.


The vertical distance between the base and the ridge of a roof.


The angle of change in elevation, often expressed a "Rise."


100 square feet. The common way to measure needed materials for a roofing project.


remove all the roofing material down to the decking and replace with new roofing.


An outlet for air. Proper ventilation is crucial to efficient roofing system.

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