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If you live in your house long enough, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to schedule a roof repair or replacement project. When that day comes, our experts at Larry Haight’s Residential Roofing Company want to ensure you feel prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this convenient guide to the most important roofing terms. 

Whether you peruse this guide leading up to your project or use it as a quick cheat sheet when you need a reminder about a specific term, we hope you find it helpful! 

A-Z Roofing Terms You Need to Know


cedar shake roofing from Larry Haight Residential Roofing

Cedar shake roofing: Roofing that is made from split cedar logs, providing a natural, rustic appearance and excellent insulation properties.

Composition roofing: A type of roofing material made from a blend of asphalt, fiberglass, and mineral granules, known for its durability and affordability. 


Drip edge: A metal flashing that is installed along the edge of the roof to direct water away from the fascia and into the gutters


Eave: The lower edge of the roof that overhangs the wall of a building. 


Fascia: Horizontal board that is installed along the edge of the roof to which the gutters are typically attached.

Flashing: Thin strips of metal or other waterproof material that are installed at joints and seams to prevent water penetration. 


Gable: The triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof slopes. 

Granules: Small, colored particles embedded in asphalt shingles to enhance durability and aesthetic appeal.


Hip: The external angle formed by the intersection of two roof slopes, sloping downwards from the ridge towards the eaves. 


Ice and water shield: A self-adhering membrane that is installed around roof penetrations along the eaves and in valleys to prevent water leaking in from ice dams and wind-driven rain. 


Joist: Horizontal framing members that support the roof deck and provide a nailing surface for roofing materials


Metal standing seam panel roofing: A roofing system consisting of metal panels with raised seams that interlock vertically, providing a sleek and modern appearance.


PVC roofing on a building in Redmond, WA

Pitch: The steepness or slope of the roof, typically expressed as a ratio of rise over run. 

PVC membrane roofing: A type of roofing material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that provides excellent durability and resistance to UV rays and chemicals.


Rafters: Sloping framing members that support the roof and transfer their weight to the walls of the structure.

Rake: The inclined edge of a roof that runs from the eave to the ridge.

Ridge: The highest point where two roof slopes meet, typically running horizontally along the length of the roof. 

Ridge cap: The finishing strip that is installed along the ridge of the roof to protect the seam between the two slopes.

Roof deck: The structural substrate or base layer of the roof, typically made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB).

Roofing cement: A waterproof sealant used to bond roofing materials and repair leaks.

Roofing felt: A type of underlayment made from asphalt-saturated felt used to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture.


Seam tape: A flexible, waterproof tape used to seal joints and seams in roofing materials. 

Scuppers: Openings in the roof or parapet wall designed to allow water to drain from the roof surface.

Soffit: The underside of the eaves, often ventilated to allow air circulation in the attic. 

Starter strip: The first row of shingles that are installed along the eaves to provide a secure base for the rest of the roofing material. 

Synthetic roofing: Roofing materials that are made from synthetic polymers such as plastic or rubber, offering durability, flexibility, and a wide range of design options. 

Synthetic underlayment: Made from a unique polypropylene and polymer composite material, making it highly resistant to tears, punctures, and impacts. This advanced material ensures that the underlayment remains intact and functional, even under the harshest weather conditions.


Truss: Prefabricated structural framework composed of triangular shapes, providing support for the roof. 


Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two roof slopes, directing water towards the eaves.

Ventilation: The process of allowing air to circulate through the attic space, preventing moisture buildup and heat accumulation.  

Your Local Roofing Expert

Now that you know the most important roofing terms, you’re ready to take the next step toward planning your repair or replacement project. To schedule a consultation and request a free estimate, please call 425-881-9771 or contact us online today. 

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