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Roofing lingo

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Knowing commonly used roofing terms will help you speak the lingo when communicating your needs for your roofing project. Below is a roofing glossary to help you better understand the parts of your roof.


The horizontal edges of the roof, where the roof meets the gutter. An eave’s membrane is a watertight, self-adhering layer that goes under the rows of shingles closest to the gutter to prevent water from reaching the roof deck and leaking inside the house.

Rake of the roof

Similar to eaves but is angled to follow the edge of a gable. The eaves run horizontally and the rake of the roof is the same board that runs on an angle.


The underside of an overhanging eave. This is where you’ll find soffit vents that play a key role in allowing air to circulate into the roof system.


The vertical board that is attached just under the roofline. Think of it as the “face” of the roofline.


The solid flat surface that covers the roof and is commonly made from 1/2-inch plywood. Shingles are attached to this surface.


A waterproof layer that sits between the roof decking and the shingles.


A metal layer that directs water away from critical areas of the roof. These areas include valleys, the base of the chimney and around vents and skylights.

Roof vents

These vents allow air to circulate through the roofing system. Fresh air is drawn into the attic through the soffit vents and hot air escapes through the roof vents.

Drip edge

A metal layer located at the edge of the roof by the eaves and gutters that directs water away from under the shingles.

Ice and water shield

A waterproof membrane used to protect your roof from ice and water damage.

Roof Parts
Roof Types

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