Glossary Of Terms

Shingles – Your Primary roofing product that covers the entire roof surface of your roof installation.  Shingles are made of asphalt flux on a fibreglass mat with ceramic-coated gravel pressed into the top.  They come in many shapes and sizes.  Common to Calgary are:

  • Architectural
  • 3-Tab
  • T-Lock
  • Shake Replicas

Underlayment – The layer of material that is often installed covering the roof deck under the shingles.

Back Pan – A wide piece of metal that sits behind skylights and chimneys to catch and shed any water that drains onto it.  A good back pan will have diverters that will direct water a few inches away from any joints in the metal

Counterflashing – Metal that is installed on skylights and chimneys to ensure that water sheds over the top of the other flashings – wall, step, & back pans.

Diverters – Pieces of metal cut into the flashing that channels water away from potential problem areas.

Drip Edge – A strip of metal a few inches wide that covers the wood right above the eavestrough

Eavestrough – The metal channel that attaches to any part of the roof where water drains. The function of eavestrough is to channel water off the roof and away from the foundation of the house.

Fascia – Fascia is the vertical face of the framing of the house. Typically we clad the wood in metal to make it maintenance free.

Gooseneck – Goosenecks allow air forced air to exit the house from bathroom, kitchen, and dryer fans.

Hip –  The sloped crest where two parts of the roof meet.

High Profile Ridge Cap – This product is designed to protect the roof where two panels meet. It also provides aesthetic appeal, which is the main reason for its popularity.  Read more about high profile ridge cap and how it can benefit your roof replacement.

Plumbing Mat – The rubber membrane around the base of the plumbing vent

Pitch – How steep the roof is, as a function of rise over run. Most roofs are between 3/12 and 12/12.

Ridge –  The horizontal crest where two parts of the roof meet.

Ridge Cap – Ridge cap are special shingles that cover the area where two parts of the roof meet in a ridge or a hip.  These are covered by 3-tab shingles, pre-cut bundles, and high profile ridge cap.

Saddle –  A saddle is installed behind a chimney to ensure that all parts of the roof are sloped.

Sheathing – Sheathing is the wooden panels that make up the walkable part of the roof.  Sheathing supports the roofing installation and holds the fasteners.  Newer structures will have OSB or plywood sheeting.  Older houses will have wooden boards or “ship-lap”

Skylight – Skylights are larger and let more direct sunlight into your home.  These require special attention to the flashings used, for a variety of reasons.

Soffit – Soffit is the metal that is installed horizontally on the under side of the eaves. Usually it is perforated to allow air to enter the attic.

Step Flashing – Small pieces of metal that are installed against the wall on every vertical course of shingles.  This ensures any water that falls on the walls of the house will shed onto the roof installation

Stucco – A more durable and more costly method of waterproofing the outside walls of a house.  Stucco is made from cement.

Sun Tunnel – A sun tunnel is a reflective tube that is cut into the roof and the ceiling below it.  This is a great, low cost way of enriching the spaces inside your home.  The light is diffused throughout the room and does not cast shadows.

Square – A “Square” is 100 square feet of materials.

T-Lock – T-Lock shingles were a once-popular shingle valued for their excellent wind resistance.  The shingle is problematic for a variety of reasons as discussed in our blog, and is no longer in production.

Three Tab – This once-popular asphalt shingle is no longer in use as a field shingle due to a propensity for blow-offs.  Now it is predominantly used as ridge cap.

Valley Metal – Metal flashing is installed in any location where a lot of water will flow.

Vent – Designed to allow warm or humid air to exit the attic after entering through the soffits.

Vinyl Siding – The most common low cost solution to waterproofing the outside walls of a house.

Wall Flashing – A strip of metal installed horizontally on top of the shingles and behind the siding.  This ensures any water that falls on the walls of the house will shed onto the shingles.

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