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  • Writer's pictureApril Dacas, VP

Common Roofing Terms You Should Know


During your home ownership journey, you'll likely be faced with the need to repair or replace a roof. Regular care and maintenance of your home and roof are a natural part of the home ownership experience, but it can also be a frustrating one.

Negotiating with contractors, shopping around for the best roofing contractor, and knowing what to ask for are all things to consider as you advocate for yourself, your home, and your roof. Knowledge is power; without it, you may come across contractors that are less than honorable. They will try to take advantage of your lack of experience by performing substandard work, selling you products you don't need, or even failing to deliver services as promised.

What to do?

As you contemplate an upcoming repair or replacement, take the following advice--learn a few things about the process of roof repair and replacement, and get ready to wow your roofing contractor with your knowledge of terminology. Grab pen and paper and prepare to take some notes, and learn how to negotiate a smart and savvy deal that results in a beautiful new roof. Here we go:

Basic parts of a roof

  • Sheathing--Sheathing are boards made from wood or other materials that secure to rafters, forming the base for other materials. A sheathing is also commonly referred to as a roof deck.

  • Underlayment—Underlayment is a layer of water-resistant or waterproof material that lies just below the outer covering of a roof. Its primary function is to protect the interior of the roof and your home from moisture.

  • Flashing--A flashing is a piece of metal typically used for weatherproofing and fortifying your roof. Flashing is applied in places where rooflines intersect to encourage water drainage toward a gutter.

  • Covering--A covering is a layer of underlayment plus the outer layer of roof material, which may be shingles, metal, clay tiles, etc.

  • Drainage--Drainage refers to any feature of your roof that allows water to run toward gutters and away from the foundation of your home.

Structural features of a roof

  • Ridge--The ridge of a roof is the top edge of a slope where two sides of a roof intersect.

  • Valley--The valley of a roof is formed when two downward-sloping sections of a roof meet. This area is particularly prone to pooling water and debris and must be watched carefully to avoid damage to your home's exterior and interior.

  • Eaves--The eaves are the bottom edge of your roofline that hangs slightly over exterior walls.

  • Fascia--Fascia are boards that are installed on an exposed rafter or at the top of an exterior wall to protect the roof from the elements.

Len's Roofing: Professionals you can trust!

Len's Roofing professionals are qualified, caring, and committed to bringing you roofing solutions that work for you, your home, and your budget. Partner with us, ask questions, and watch the construction magic happen. With over twenty-five years of experience and quality service, we will create a roof for your home that adds strength, beauty, and value to your property. Call us today for a complimentary roof evaluation at 941-896-7897. Visit our website at


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