Roofing Glossary


The Melanson Company, Experienced Roofing ContractorsThese are some common roofing terms used by professionals:

Building paper
Heavy-duty paper used in walls or roofs to prevent dampness

Cornice
Horizontal projection under the roof's overhang

Dormer
The projecting frame of a recess in a sloping roof

Eaves
The part of the roof that extends beyond the house or building walls

Flashing
A non-reactive metal that's used to prevent leaks around angles or junctions in roofs and exterior walls

Gable
The triangular part of a wall under the inverted "v" of the roofline

Gambrel roof
A roof with two pitches, designed to provide more space on upper floors - steeper on its lower slope, flatter toward the ridge.

Gutter
A trough at the eaves that channels and drains rain water

Hip
The external angle of two slopes on a roof

Hip roof
A roof with three or four sides that slant upward

Pitch
The steepness or angle of a roof

Rafter
One of many structural roof beams that span from an exterior wall to a center ridge beam or ridge board

Sheathing
The undercoating (usually made of material or board) that covers the outside wall or roof before installing the finished siding or roof covering

Soffit
The visible underside of such structures as staircases, cornices, beams, a roof overhang or eave

Valley
The lowest part between two connecting roof slopes

Verge
The edge of tiles, slates or shingles, projecting over the gable of a roof

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