- A-Frame: A roof with two sides of equal length form an A shape. These roofs are typically found in cabins and cottages.
- Asphalt Shingles: These shingles, famous for both residential and commercial buildings, are made of asphalt-saturated organic felt with a coating of ceramic granules.
- Backer Rod: An extruded foam that fills large cracks, crevices, and joints before sealing them up with caulk or sealant.
- Caulking: Many roofing contractors use sealing materials around openings on the roof, such as windows and pipes. This method creates a sealant barrier to prevent water damage.
One day Sam woke up only to find that his roof had started leaking. He was clueless about what to do. All he knew was that it had something to do with his roof.
He called in a roofing contractor, John, and they inspected the roof and gutter. After the inspection, John wasn’t honest. He told Sam that he needed to replace the entire roof and gutter system and used some unfamiliar terms to explain the issue. Even though Sam knew nothing about it, he had a gut feeling something wasn’t right.
So, he researched roofing and guttering terms online to understand better what was happening with his home’s roofing system. He soon realized how important knowing these terms was!
Most homeowners need to become more familiar with the technical jargon related to roofing and guttering due to its complexity and usage of industry-specific language. Knowing the relevant terminology associated with these critical components of your property can prove invaluable—especially when something goes wrong, and you want to address it with roofing contractors. Or if you are researching products for new construction or replacement projects.
To help homeowners like Sam out there, iRoofers of America provides a list of standard roofing and guttering terms every homeowner should know:
Common Roofing and Guttering Terms You Should Know
A roof with two sides of equal length forms an A shape. These roofs are typically found in cabins and cottages.
2. Asphalt Shingles
These shingles, used in residential and commercial buildings, are made of asphalt-saturated organic felt with a coating of ceramic granules. It protects the material from ultraviolet rays and makes them durable. They usually last about 20 years with proper roof maintenance, which is key to making that happen.
3. Backer Rod
An extruded foam that fills large cracks, crevices, and joints before sealing them up with caulk or sealant.
Many roofing contractors use sealing materials around openings on the roof, such as windows and pipes. This method creates a sealant barrier to prevent water damage.
A structure built onto the sloping face of a roof for architectural detailing, ventilation, or extra space.
A pipe or tube that carries rainwater from the guttering system to a drain.
7. Drainage System
A system of pipes, gutters and drains that direct water away from the roof. It is essential to keep this system working correctly to avoid costly water damage. Consider cleaning it as a part of roof maintenance.
8. Drip-Edge Extension
It is a metal flashing used around the perimeter of a roof. It helps to direct water away from the edge and onto the gutter or downspout while also helping to protect the fascia board underneath.
9. Drop Outlet
It is the connection between the gutter and the downspout. A piece of metal attaches to the channel and directs water into the downspout.
The lower outer edge of the roof that extends beyond the side of a building, often where water runoff flows.
Angle pieces allow redirecting water flow.
12. Fascia Board
This board runs along the lower edge of a roof, typically made from wood or metal. It supports the gutter system and helps direct water away from walls.
13. Fascia Replacement
It is replacing existing fascia boards due to damage or deterioration. It’s often a common problem that roofing contractors are asked to fix.
This sheet metal is installed in roof valleys and around chimneys, skylights, and other penetrations on the roof. It helps direct water away from these areas and protects them from damage due to water infiltration.
Gutters are channels that run along the edge of a roof, typically made from aluminum or vinyl. They collect and divert rainwater away from the foundation and direct it to downspouts.
A hanger is a bracket mounted to the fascia or rafter tail and supports the gutter. Hangers are typically made from aluminum, but galvanized steel can also be used.
17. Inside Mitre Box
The inside mitre box is a joint that connects two gutters at an angle. It’s essential to ensure the joint is secure and has no gaps for water infiltration.
A leader is a pipe that channels water from the gutter to the ground or into a drain. Leaders should be made of durable materials, such as PVC, to ensure they don’t rust over time.
19. Outside Mitre Box
The outside mitre box is a joint that connects two gutters at an angle. It’s essential to ensure the joint is secure and has no gaps for water infiltration.
20. Overflow Outlet
An overflow outlet is a hole in the gutter, typically located near the downspout, that allows excess water to escape during periods of heavy rainfall. It’s essential to any guttering system, as it helps prevent flooding.
The pitch of a roof is the angle at which it slopes down from the peak to the eaves. The pitch will determine the kind of guttering needed for adequate water management.
22. Run Height
Run height is the distance from the eaves to the roof’s peak. It determines how much guttering needs to be installed and where it should be positioned.
Sealant binds gutters in place, ensuring a watertight joint and preventing leakage. It’s an essential part of any gutter installation.
24. Splash Block
A splash block is placed at the bottom of a roof’s downspout to direct water away from a home’s foundation. It also helps prevent soil erosion.
25. Strap Hanger
A strap hanger is a device used to attach gutters to the fascia board of a roof. It’s essential to ensure that the guttering is adequately secured.
Now that we know what these technical terms mean let’s return to the issue Sam was facing.
Once Sam understood the roofing contractor’s jargon, he checked to see if the issues they mentioned needed a thorough repair. He realized he only needed a new fascia board, some strap hangers, and a splash block, not an entirely new roof. So, Sam contacted another roofer and got the problem fixed quickly.
Sam saved a lot of money by knowing the terms and understanding what each one meant. He knew what he needed to fix the roofing problem instead of blindly following the contractor’s advice.
Understanding roofing and guttering terms are essential for any homeowner or commercial property owner. Knowing them can help you make better decisions when it comes to roofing maintenance and repairs.
Related: Common Residential Roofing Myths – 7 Busted For Your Reassurance!
In conclusion, understanding roofing and guttering terms can help you save time, money, and effort for any project on your property.
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