ROOFING BASICS - THE
ANATOMY OF A ROOF

You'll notice that a roof is much more than just shingles; it's a complete system of integrated components and layers all working together to protect the home. It's important to have a base understanding before repairing, replacing or installing your roof. 

Here's a list of basic roofing terms to know when getting your roof serviced.

Deck: The structural base for the roof, usually made of wood or plywood.

Dormer: A structure containing a window that projects vertically through the slope in the roof.

Eave: The lower border of the roof that overhangs the wall.

Exposure: The part of each shingle that is exposed to the weather.

Flashing: Waterproofing construction used at intersections of different planes or at openings in the roof.

Gable: The triangular section of the outer wall at the peak of the roof. Also a type of roof.

Hip: The intersection of two roof planes that meet to form a sloping ridge running from the peak to the eave.

Ice and water barrier: A self-adhesive waterproofing membrane used along eaves and valleys to protect these sensitive areas against ice damage and wind-driven rain.

Laminated or three-dimensional shingles: Shingles containing more than one layer of tabs to add dimension and durability.

Metal drip edge: A narrow strip of noncorrosive metal used at the rake to facilitate water runoff.

Off-ridge exhaust vent: Individual exhaust vents usually located on the upper half of the roof that allows warm, humid air to escape from the attic. May be round, square or resemble a pipe or stack.

Rake: The outer edge of the roof from the eave to the ridge.

Ridge: An intersection of two roof planes forming a horizontal peak.

Ridge vent: An exhaust vent that runs horizontally along the peak of the roof allowing warm, humid air to escape from the attic.

Square: One "square" of roofing material equals 100 square feet of roofing area. Many roofing materials are bought by the square.

Three-tab shingles: Strip shingles containing three exposed tabs that are evenly spaced across the width of each shingle.

Undereave vent: Intake vents located under the eaves of the roof that help draw cool dry air into the attic.

Underlayment: A layer of protective material between the deck and the shingles.

Valley: The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff. 

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