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Roofing Terminology - What Are The Basics of Roofing?

Your home’s roof is one of its most important features but understanding roofing terminology is somewhat difficult for someone with no previous experience.



Learning the basics of roofing will help you communicate and better understand your roofer! This will ensure that you get the roof that your home needs and the roof that your family wants.


Roof Components


Underlayment Underlayment is designed for use on residential roof decks as a water-resistant layer beneath the roofing shingles.

Flashing — Flashing on a roof refers to the metal pieces that are used to divert water from places where it might gather, such as walls and chimneys meeting roof lines, etc. Flashing can be made from a variety of materials. You can use a galvanized flashing, aluminum, or copper metal.

Shingles — The shingles make up the outermost part of the roof. Sitting atop the underlayment, they form the first barrier against the elements. Shingles come in a variety of styles and colors to best suit your home’s aesthetic. (Architectural shingles are the best product for your roofing needs)

Attic Ventilation - Attic ventilation systems allow a continuous flow of outside air through the attic which creates cooler attics in the summer and drier attics in the winter. It consists of a balanced system between air intake (at your eaves or soffits) and air exhaust (at or near your roof ridge).


The Seven Design Elements of a Roof


Ridge — This is the uppermost point or top of the roof.

Hip — This is the high point where two adjoining roof sections meet.

Valley — When two sections of the roof slope downward and meet, they create a valley. Valleys must be carefully installed as they are at risk for serious leaks if not.

Pitch — This refers to the steepness of the roof. In areas with higher levels of snow fall you are likely to find roofs with steeper “pitch” in order to help the snow run off of the structure. Homes with flatter roofs in areas of high snow fall face the possibility of collapse under the weight of the snow!

Eaves — This refers to the part of the roof that hangs out over the rest of the home. Eaves protrude from the end of the home itself to ensure that the home is subject to as little rain, hail, or ice as possible.

Gables — These are the triangular portions of the ends of the home, which extend from the eaves to the peak of the roof. Often you will find small windows in this section of the home so as to bring light into the attic.

Dormer — These are structures which project from the roof many have windows which help to bring light into rooms on the top floor or attics. Some dormers are just for show and the windows are not actually functional as they do not open into the home.


When you choose Total Home Exteriors, you are choosing a company that has over 20 years of experience. We have been serving the Anderson, Seneca, Easley and Greenville area of Upstate South Carolina with top-quality home improvement services, exceptional customer service, superior craftmanship, and outstanding warranties. We can tackle any home improvement project you have in mind from siding, roofing and gutters to decks and garages. Please give us a call today to begin on your next home improvement project.


864.224.9190

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