Basic Roofing Terms

Asphalt - A waterproofing agent added to roofing materials.
Asphalt cement - Asphalt cement used for bonding the roofing materials.
Blisters - Bubbles that can show up on the surface of roofing after it is installed.
Bundle - A package of shingles. There are 3, 4, or 5 bundles per square.
Caulk - To fill a joint with the asphalt cement to prevent leaks.
Chalk line - Line made on the roof by snapping a tight string or cord dusted with chalk. Used for marking a straight line.
Class "A" - Highest fire rating.
Class "B" - Fire-resistance rating stating that the roofing material is able to withstand moderate exposure to fire.
Class "C" - Fire-resistance rating telling you that your roofing is able to withstand light exposure to fire or flammable materials.
Collar - Pre-formed flange which you place over the vent pipe to seal the roof around the vent pipe opening.
Coverage - Amount of weather protection provided by the roofing material.
Double coverage – putting a coating of asphalt roofing so that lapped portion is at least 2 inches wider than the exposed portion, resulting in two layers of roofing material over the roof.
Downspout - Pipe that drains water from the gutters.
Drip edge - A material used along the eaves to allow water to drip clear of construction.
Eaves - lower edge of a roof slope.
Felt - Fibrous material saturated with asphalt and used as an underlayment in roofing.
Flashing - Pieces of metal or roll roofing used keep the water from seeping into the building.
Gutter - Trough that carries the rain water from the eaves to the downspouts.
Mineral-surfaced roofing - Asphalt shingles and roll roofing that are covered with granules.
Organic felt - Asphalt roofing materials that are made naturally from cellulose fibers.
Organic shingle – Shingle that is uniquely made from only wood pulp materials.
Overhang - portion of the roof structure that extends beyond the walls of a building.
Pallet - Wooden platform made for storing and shipping bundles of shingles.
Pitch - Degree of roof incline.
Roll roofing - Asphalt roofing products manufactured in roll form.
Selvage - That portion of roll roofing overlapped by the succeeding course to obtain double coverage.
Soffit - Finished underside of the eaves.
Strip shingles - Asphalt shingles that are three times as long as they are wide.
Vent - Anoutlet for air that protrudes through the roof.
Wafer board – Can be called Chipboard; a lower grade of wood panel that tends to draw dampness as well.
*Information above provided by