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Roofing Terms Dictionary

3 Star Warranty- A warranty that a CertainTeed SelectShingle Master can offer. 20 year non-prorated warranty on material and labor. 

4 Star Warranty- A warranty that a CertainTeed SelectShingle Master can offer. 50 year warranty on material and labor non-prorated. 

5Star Warranty- A warranty that only a CertainTeed Select Shingle Master at the highest level can provide. 50 year warranty non-prorated on material & labor and a 25 year workmanship warranty, backed by CertainTeed.


Algae- Black streaks that appear on your roof. Usually more likely in shady areas. 

Apron Flashing- A term that could be used for either the front piece of the chimney flashing, or flashing from the roof to the gutter. 

Asphalt- The mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel. Used for most roofing products

Asphalt Plastic Cement- A spreadable compound mad from ground asphalt. Commonly used on chimney flashing and nail holes for roof repairs. 

ASTM- American Society for Testing Materials, they set the standards in the roofing materials and other industries. 


Back Surfacing- Applied to shingles to prevent them from sticking to equipment and each other.

Bernoulli Effect- a phenomenon whereby low pressure resulting from wind passing over a structure or object creates a pulling or lifting action.

Blistering- Can happen to shingles when moisture is trapped during the making of shingles. 

Blowoffs- Happens when a shingle is forced off the roof from high-winds. 

Buckling- Occurs from movement of the roof decking with the change in moisture levels. 

Button Caps- A fastener that is used to hold down underlayments, and can withstand higher winds.


California Valley- A type of valley that has a shingle ran parallel to the valley and shingles are butted to it. 

CFM- Cubic Feet of air moved per Minute/ All motorized vents have a CFM rating that defines the vent's capacity to move air. The higher the CFM number, the grate the vent's capacity.

Closed Cut Valley- A type of valley that has on roof plane ran up & across the other roof plane. and the top shingle is cut in the valley

Cold Roof- The condition in which the roof temperature is equalized from top to bottom. An equalized roof temperature can help eliminate the conditions that can lead to the formation of ice dams.

Condensation- The change of water from vapor to liquid when warm, moisture-laden air comes in contact with a cold surface.

Conduction- Flow of heat directly through a solid material; responsible for most heat loss or gain in residence.

Convection- Transfer of heat by air currents, i.e., gravity, hat air furnace.

Counter Flashing- Is a flashing that goes over the step flashing and is sealed.

Cricket- A saddle that if framed in behind the chimney to divert water from behind the chimney.

Cupping/Curling- Usually occurs to shingles when they are reaching the end of their useful life.


Damper Vent- A vent that is installed for bathroom, oven, etc. exhausts. 

Deck- the surface, installed over the supporting framing members, to which the roofing is applied

Decking- The surface under shingles. Usually OSB or Plywood but could also be one by planking. 

Diamond Deck- Synthetic underlayment produced by CertainTeed. 

Dormer- Usually where a window is installed, framed up out of a roof plane. 

Drip Edge- A piece of metal flashing that is installed at the rakes of the roof. 


Eaves- The bottom of the roof plane were the gutte ris usually installed. 

End Laps- The area on a roll of Flintlastic rolled roofing where one roll ends and the next roll laps over. 

Energy Star- An approval that lets homeowners know they are energy efficient & may qualify for a tax credit. 

Exhaust Vent- An outlet or opening installed high on the roof near the ridge or in the gable for the purpose of ventilating the underside of the roof deck.

Exposure- The amount of shingle that is made to be shown. 

External Wind Baffle- The built-in wing or lip on a ridge vent that deflects wind up and over the vent creating the Bernoulli Effect that enhances airflow performance by pulling or lifting the air out of the attic. It also deflects weather elements over the vent away from the attic.


Fascia- Usually an aluminum that is installed over the wood on the rakes and eaves.

Fasteners- Usually staples or nails used to secure the roofing products. 

Fiberglass Mat- The material that is used in Shingles to hold the asphalts together. Commonly referred to as the heart of the shingle. 

Flashing- Metal that is installed in areas where a vertical obstacle comes out of a roof.

Flange- The rubber that is on a pipe flashing

Flintlastic- A rolled roofing material manufactured by CertainTeed. Comes in a variety of options. 


Gable- The side walls of an A framed house. 

Gable Roof- A type of roof containing sloping planes of the same pitch on each side of the ridge. Contains a gable at each end.

Gable Vents- Vents that are installed at the peak of your gables. Used for ventilation.

Gambrel Roof- A type of roof containing two sloping planes of different pitch on each side of the ridge. The lower plane has a steeper slope than the upper. Contains a gable at each end.

Geocel- A caulking that is used to seal almost any type of material. Comes in a variety of colors.

Granules- Crushed rock that is coated with copper to prevent algae growth and used for shingles.

Gutter- A shallow channel or conduit of metal or wood set below and along the eaves of a house to catch and carry off rainwater from the roof.

Gutter Apron- A piece of flashing that comes from the roof down into the gutter to prevent water from leaking behind the gutter. 


Hand Seal- Is a process that is used when the shingles need extra adhesive.

High Nailing- When nails are installed higher than the manufacturers nailing strip. 

Hip- The inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. Runs from the edges to the eaves.

Hip Roof- A roof with 4 roof planes come together 


Ice Dam- When ice is formed at the eave of the roof and breaks the seal of the shingles, entering into the house

Intake Vent- An inlet or opening installed in the soffit/undereave area or roof’s edge for the purpose of ventilating the underside of the roof deck

Integrity Roof System- A roofing system that CertainTeed put together with all their products to provide a better warranty

Internal Weather Filter- An untreated, unwoven fiberglass material inside ShingleVent II and FilterVent ridge vents that provides extra weather protection from wind-driven rain, snow and dust


Laminated Shingle- An asphalt shingle  built with a heavy base & multiple layers

Laminated Glass- A glass surface that will hold together when shattered. 

Landmark Series- A line of Dimensional shingles manufactured by CertainTeed, Landmark, Landmark PRO, Landmark TL

Leaf Relief- A type of aluminum gutter guard that Ply-Gem makes.

Laps- When one type of material overlaps another. Commonly on underlayments or Flintlastic. 

Low Nailing- When installing a shingle and the nails are installed lower then the exposure. Often referred to as a shiner. 

Low Slope- A roof plane that has a pitch lower then a4/12 pitch and requires different install methods. Pitches that are less then2/12 need different types of material to be used.


Mansard- A nearly vertical roofing surface that ties into another roof plane. 

Mansard Roof- A type of roof containing two sloping planes of different pitch on each of the four sides. The lower plane has a much steeper plane than the upper. Contains no gables.

Max-Def Colors- Colors that are offered to Landmark PRO, Premium, and TL shingles.

Modified Bitumen- A Rolled roofing with polymer modified asphalt. 

Mortar- Is the material between your bricks. Made of concrete and sand. 


Nail Pop- A nail that if pushing up on the roofing material. Usually caused due to improper install.

Net Free Area- The total unobstructed area through which air can pass around a vent; generally measured in sq in. All nonpowered vents have a Net Free Area.

NRCA- National Roofing Contractors Association. 


Open Valley- A type of valley that has the shingles cut back with metal exposed in the middle. 

OSB- Oriented Strand Board. Commonly used for roof decking. 

Overdriven- When a nail is driven threw the material, not allowing proper strength.

Over Exposed- When the shingle is installed too high and the nailing strip is exposed. 

Overhang- The portion of the roof structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building.


Penetrations- Any item that comes through the roof like a pipe flashing, chimney. 

Plywood- Layers of wood glued together often used for the decking of a roof. 

Pipe Flashing- An aluminum product with a rubber flange that is made to water tight a pipe. 

Pitch- The slope of the roof plane commonly used with */12


Quad OSI- A caulking that is used commonly to seal chimney flashing. Comes in a wide range of colors. 

Racking- A method used to install 3 tab shingles. 

Rafter- Internal beams that extend from the eave to the ridge of the roof. 


R-Value- Thermal resistance, a measure of a material or construction’s ability to retard heat flow.

Radiant Heat- Heat transferred from one body to another which are not in contact (i.e. from the sun to a roof).

Rake- The part of the roof that is on a gable end and drip edge is installed. 

Rafter- One of a series of structural members of a roof, designed to support roof loads. Sometimes called roof joists.

Rake- The inclined overhang of a gable roof.

Ridge- The peak of the roof where cap is installed and 2 roof planes meet. 

Ridge Vent- A vent that is installed at the ridge of the roof for ventilation purposes

Rolled Ridge Vent- A productCertainTeed manufactures that comes in 27' rolls. 

Roof Louvers- A square vent that is used for ventilation. Also called slant backs, turtle backs, or box vent. 

Roof Plane- A section of the roof that is separated by either rakes, valleys, ridge, or wall. 


SawTeeth- That part of a Landmark shingle were the raised area is or top layer is. 

SelectShingle Master- A credential that CertainTeed provides for their certified installer. Comes in 3, 4, and 5star companies. 

Self-Sealant - A product that does not need any extra sealant added to it like Winterguard. 

Shadow Ridge- A product that CertainTeed manufacturers. Made to be installed at the hips and ridges of roof. 

Sheathing- The material used under the shingles commonly OSB or Plywood. 

Shed Roof- A roof containing only one sloping plane. Has no hips, ridges, valleys, or gables.

Side Laps- The area were one roll of Flintlastic is rolled over the other. 

Side wall- Is located were a roof plane runs into a wall/gable.

Skylights- A window that is installed on your roof to let light in. Can be fixed or venting.

Slope- The degree of roof incline expressed as a ratio of the rise, in inches, to the run, in feet.

Soffit- The area that is located under your gutters if you have an overhang.

Square- A 10'X 10' area. It is also used to tell how much material is needed on a job

Steep Slope- Any roof plane with a pitch 8/12 or greater. 

Step Flashing- Metal "L" shaped flashing used on a vertical wall that meets a roof plane. 

Streak Fighter- The warranty against algae on CertainTeed shingles. 

Sun tunnel- A small tubular skylight like product that will allow light into your house. 

Swift Start- A product made to start your course of shingles off. Produced by CertainTeed. 


Tear Off- The action of removing the old roofing material. 

Telegraphing- What occurs when what ever is under the shingles is shown after the install. Like warped plywood, or were an addition meets the existing house. 

The Balanced System- Equal amounts of intake net free area ventilation at the eaves or roof's edge and exhaust net free area ventilation at or near the ridge.

Thermal Effect- The inherent property of warm air to rise. Also known as thermal buoyancy.

Transition- The area when 2 roof planes meet and have 2 different pitches. Like a front porch that ties into your roofline. 

Track-Record- Is a survey that CertainTeed has their SelectShingle Masters give to their homeowners. 

Truss- Frame work that supports the roof often rafters. 


Under Driven- Is what happens when the nail is not installed all the way, and can cause nail pops. 

Underlayment- The material that is under the shingles.Commonly Ice and Water guard or felt. 


Valleys- The part of the roof were 2 roof planes meet, and the majority of the water is going to flow. ( The "V" shape on a roof)

Vapor- Term used to describe moisture laden air. 

Vapor Diffusion- The process in which water vapor naturally travels from high-humidity conditions to low-humidity conditions. For example, from the living space to the attic.

Vapor Retarder- Any material used to prevent the passage of water vapor. 

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jim q.

Well done.

They showed up on time and they got her all done in one day and including two skylights. They had all of the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with any unforeseen problems with wood or flashing or drains. They were extremely hard-working and Bri...