Glossary

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Architectural Shingle: A Roofing shingle that provides a more dimensional appearance.

Cladding: The material, typically aluminum, that is used to cover wood trimming on a building’s architectural elements such as window or door trims.

Counter flashing: A visible flashing attached to a vertical surface to prevent water from getting behind the base flashing.

Coursing: The rows of shingles that run the length of a roof.

Cricket: Diverts water away from chimneys, vents, walls, or other roof incursions or protrusions. Also known as a saddle.

Curb: A frame used to support and elevate skylights, HVAC units, exhaust fans, hatches or other roof protrusions.

Dead Valley: A roof area that does not drain water effectively, causing it to pool.

Deck: The surface on which roofing materials are applied, usually plywood. Roof decking is also known as sheathing.

Dormer: A popular roof design element that projects through the sloping plane of a roof.

Downspout: A pipe that carries water down and away from eavestroughs.

Drip Edge: Metal flashing that is placed under shingles. Used to help direct rain water into the eavestrough and maintain integrity of the shingles at the eaves edge.

Eaves: The edges of a roof, normally projecting beyond the side of the building so they can carry water away through eavestroughs and downspouts.

Eavestrough: The material that catches water at the edge of a roof in order to carry it away from a building.

Exhaust Ventilation: Part of a ventilation system used to exhaust air out of an attic. Usually vents installed on the roof or on gable ends are considered to be exhaust vents. Intake vents are usually located underneath soffits.

Exposure: The side of the roof most exposed to the weather.

Fascia: The visible horizontal band between the top of an exterior wall (siding) and the roof edge (eaves). Along with Cladding, it is also used to reference the banding around external doors, windows or other architectural elements.

Felt: An underlayment used between roof decking and a roof covering. Generally refers to #15 felt paper or tar paper.

Flashing: Material, usually metal, used to prevent seepage of water into a building around any protrusions of a roof such as vents, skylights, chimneys, or walls.

Gable: A triangular-shaped portion of a building’s end wall directly under a sloped roof.

Goosenecks: Vents that exhaust heat from bathroom fans or kitchen hoods. Vents are used to exhaust moisture and air from the attic.

Hip: A point where two inclined roof planes meet, other than the peak.

Hip Roof: A roof that rises by inclined planes on all sides of a building.

Ice Dam: Ice that forms at the transition from a warm surface to a cold surface, such as along the overhang of a house.

Ice and Water Membranes: A rubberized material commonly used on eaves edges and valleys as a waterproofing treatment.

Key lines: Pattern lines in roofing shingles that run the plane of the roof. They can appear as either straight key lines or offset key lines when a tabbed shingle is installed.

Laminated Shingles: Designer shingles that have two layers glued or laminated together to achieve a three-dimensional effect.

Low slope application: Method of installing shingles on roof slopes that rise between two and four inches per foot of distance, denoted as (2:12 – 4:12).

Mansard: An extremely steep sloped roof or wall.

OSB: Oriented Strand Board or aspenite, often used as roof decking in place of plywood.

Over Exposure: When the exposed portion of a shingle is more than the manufacturer’s recommend amount.

Picture Framing: Visible imperfections in a roof deck or underlayment that appear through shingles.

Pitch: Term used to describe the level of slope of a roof. A 2:12 pitch is a low slope roof, a 4;12 pitch is a walkable roof, and a 12:12 pitch is a steep roof.

Plumbing Boots: Used to create a watertight seal around plumbing pipes that exhaust sewer gasses through a roof.

R-Value: Measurement of a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher an R-value, the more it insulates.

Release tape: A plastic strip that’s applied to the back of self-sealing shingles to prevent the shingles from sticking together in the bundles.

Ridge Cap: The material applied over the ridge, or hip, of a roof.

Ridge Vent: An exhaust vent installed on the peak of a roof, typically running the length of the roofline.

Roof Slope: Also known as a roof’s pitch, the angle of a roof expressed as the amount (in inches) of vertical rise for every foot of horizontal distance. A roof rising four inches over a foot of horizontal distance is said to have a “four in twelve” (4:12) slope.

Saddle: Also known as a cricket, a peaked saddle at the back of a chimney prevents accumulation of snow and ice. Also deflects water around the chimney and eliminates pooling of water.

Sheathing: Wooden boards, usually plywood, used as a roof decking material.

Soffit: A flat, hidden material that spans the underside or eaves overhang of the roofline. Can be either vented or unvented.

Soffit Vent: A ventilation device in the soffit.

Spike and Ferrule: A spike and metal sleeve that was used to attach eavestrough to fascia. These have been replaced by a more modern bracket system.

Square: A measurement equating to100 square feet of roof.

Starter Strip: Shingles that are applied at the eaves, underneath the primary shingles.

Step flashing: A method of flashing application used where a vertical surface meets a sloping roof plane.

Tar paper: Typically refers to #15 felt or felt paper, a material used as roofing underlayment.

Three tab shingles: A type of shingle consisting of three tabs, not as commonly used as other types of shingles.

Underlayment: Material installed over a roof decking prior to applying a roof covering.

Wall Flashing: Material that is used to prevent water from leaking at a roof wall intersection.

Whirly Birds: Also called turbines, vents powered by wind to draw moisture and heat out of the attic.

Wood Rot: When a roof deck or frame has become rotten due to water leakage and requires replacement.

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