Roofing Lexicon

There is a lot more to a modern roof than meets the eye. While most property owners will never need to know what goes into keeping their home and family sheltered, dry and comfortable, we would like to offer some explanation of what goes into our high quality roofing systems.

Available in a range of materials, shingles are the rectangular, flat shapes that are laid in overlapping courses from the bottom of the roof to the top. As the most visible part of most roofs, the aesthetic quality of the shingle is often as important a consideration as the durability.
Sitting under the shingles, often made of felt, underlayment consists of several layers of waterproof material that protect from the weather in a way that a single layer of shingles cannot do alone. Improper installation of underlayment greatly increases the risk of roof damage.
A piece of metal, plastic or vinyl that helps with water drainage. The drip edge protrudes slightly from the edge of the roof, meaning water will drip clear into the gutter and not run down the fascia, leading it to rot.
Sitting on top of the underlayment and drip edge, the starter strip has two main jobs. Protecting the first layer of shingles from wind is one, and filling in spaces left by the tabs of shingles the other.
Protecting the most vulnerable areas of the roof, such as nail punctures and places where ice may build up, the leak barrier is a waterproof, rubberized membrane that is installed beneath the shingles. When using a leak barrier, adequate ventilation by other means is necessary to prevent vapor build up in the attic space.
An effective ventilation system will ensure that moisture doesn’t build up in the attic space of a roof and cause damage to the structure. In locations that experience cold winters, where the moisture can turn to ice, this is especially important. During summer months, a ventilation system will help to keep the attic space cool.
Flashing is the term for the protective material installed around joints and penetrations in a roof, such as chimneys, ventilation pipes, or cable conduit. The longest lasting and most reliable flashings for penetrations are made from stainless steel.
A hip roof is one that slopes down on all sides of the building, with no vertical ends. The final part of a roof construction, hip shingles are installed over the sloping edges where two sections meet, while ridge caps run along the peak of a roof to provide weatherproofing and ventilation.