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Homeowner’s Guide to Roofing Terminology

Are you looking for a new roof? The team at Certified Roofing wants you to know what to expect. Knowing facts like the parts of a residential roof, the materials used, and the different types of roofs will make the installation process easier to understand. Here’s a closer look at some important roofing terminology that you should know before hiring one of our roofers.


Important Roof Terms Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC Homeowners Should Know

Before hiring our roofing team, get familiar with these roof terms:

  • Built-Up Roof – This is a low-slope roof made from alternating layers of felt and hot-mapped asphalt. The top layer is gravel.
  • Cornice – The part of the roof that sticks out from the house’s walls.
  • Counterflashing – Flashing that is embedded in a vertical structure, like a wall, and hangs over shingle flashing.
  • Courses – These are the rows of shingles or tiles that run horizontally across your roof.
  • Drip – These prevent rainwater from rolling back onto the house. The drip is a small strip of metal that extends beyond the roof’s eaves.
  • Eaves – This is the lower edge of the roof, and it usually hangs beyond the house’s edge walls.
  • Fascia – The trim behind gutters and eaves.
  • Flashing – Metal material that connects planes of the roof to stop leaks from happening.
  • Felt – The paper roofers use, felt is typically made from paper and rags combined with asphalt.
  • Frieze Board – This board makes up the corners of the soffit. It is a board that sits at the top of the siding of the home.
  • Hip – The angle on the outside of the roof where two sides come together.
  • Joist – The structure underneath a flat roof that holds the sheathing.
  • Rafter – A slanted structural piece on which sheathing is nailed.
  • Rake – A gabled roof’s slanting edge that extends past the house.
  • Ridge – The top horizontal line that connects to sloped planes, typically at the top of the roof.
  • Sheathing – Sheathing is nailed to the rafters, and shingles or tiles are secured to it to finish the roof.
  • Shingle Flashing – This type of flashing sits under the shingle and is bent to the edge of the wall or chimney to prevent leaks.
  • Slope – The slope, which is also called the pitch, is the incline of the roof measured in rise per 12 inches of horizontal distance.
  • Soffit – These boards sit on the bottom side of the roof to enclose the part that hangs over the edge of the house.
  • Square – A square is equal to one hundred square feet of the roof.
  • Underlayment – This material sits on top of the sheathing and beneath the shingles.
  • Valley – This is an angle where two sections of the roof come together at less than 180 degrees.
  • Valley Flashing – The type of flashing used in valleys.


Schedule Roof Help from the Experts at Certified Roofing

Now that you understand these important roof terms, it’s time to schedule your roof services. Whether you’re looking to install a new roof or have roof repair needs, Certified Roofing is ready to serve with expert, experienced roofing professionals.

Contact Certified Roofing for roofing services in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Call 301-854-2764 for service in Maryland or 703-752-6121 for service in Virginia, or contact our team online.   Proudly serving the cities of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Clarksville, Columbia, Elkridge, Ellicott City, Frederick, Fulton, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Green Valley, Highland, Hunt Valley, Hyattsville, Kensington, Laurel, Lutherville, Montgomery Village, North Laurel, Olney, Owings Mills, Potomac, Rockville, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Timonium, Towson, Wheaton, Woodstock, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and all surrounding areas.

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