Asphalt Shingles: Composite shingles made of asphalt, limestone with a granular stone surface.

Built Up Roof (BUR): .A roof consisting of layers of fiber and modified bituminate that is built-up in three-foot-square sections.

Clay Tile Shingles: Roofing shingles made from glazed natural clay. Very heavy but resistant to all weather conditions.

Concrete Tile Shingles: Roofing shingles made from cast concrete. Very heavy, requiring reinforcement of the supporting structure, but also very strong.

Deck or decking: Wood surface beneath the roofing that is the upper surface structure of the house or building.

Drip Edge: A thin strip of finishing material installed along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction. Also referred to as a gutter apron.

Eaves: The lower section of a sloped roof that overhangs the exterior wall where the gutter attaches.

EPDM: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Also known as a rubber roof, it is a single ply roofing material used for low sloped roofs. It is easy to install and cures during the natural weathering process.

Fascia: The horizontal board that runs along the eaves behind the gutter.

Flashing: Sheet metal seals that are used around chimneys, in valleys, around vents and over architectural details like bay windows.

Gutters and Downspouts: The channels for water runoff to travel along the roof edge and down and away from the building.

Ice Dam: A build up of ice in the gutter that blocks the flow of water, causing it to back up under the underlayment and enter the home.

Lichen: A leathery symbiotic growth of fungi and algae that can grow on shady sections of asphalt roofs.

Metal shingles: Roofing shingles made of steel, aluminum or copper. Often with coated or galvanized surfaces. Extremely durable and often designed to last a lifetime.

Moat: Water that forms a channel around the foundation of a building from overflow from clogged or undersized gutters.

Modified Bituminate: A rubberized roof coating often applied by heating and commonly referred to as torch down. A material also used in built up roofs.

Moss: A green or gray carpet like plant that can grow on shady roof facings.

PVC: Poly Vinyl Chloride. A super strong roofing material used for single ply roofing.

Rake: The outer edge of a roof from the eaves to the ridge. 

Roof Coating: A rubberized or elastomeric membrane applied over an existing roof to stop leaks and add life as an option to replacement.

Ridge: The peak of a sloped roof.

Ridge Vent: Attic space ventilation that consists of an opening that runs just beneath the ridge.

Sheathing: The surface of a building beneath the roofing. Also called the decking.

Soffit: The underside of the eaves. Often included as part of aluminum or vinyl siding or wood. A common place for water damage from roof leaks. Missing in Craftsman style homes.

Standing Seam: Metal paneled roofing with vertical interlocking seams used for commercial and residential roofing.

Substrate: A protective barrier between the roofing material and the decking. Generally a commercial roofing term.

TPO: Thermoplastic Olefin, a single ply commercial roofing material.

Tab shingles: Shingles that appear to be individual when installed but are actually nailed up sheets.

Tear Off: A roofing term for the removal of the old roof and underlayment prior to the installation of a new roof.

Tin Roof: Primarily used on 19th century homes and buildings, these flat paneled roofs are actually tin coated steel. Today, metal roofs can be made out of galvanized steel, copper, aluminum and zinc.

Truss: The wooden framing that supports a sloped or arched roof.

Underlayment: A waterproof barrier layer between the shingles and the decking.

Valley: The angles on a roof where two roofing surfaces meet.

Vent: The opening from the exterior to the attic space that allow air flow to cool the attic. These are located on the gable peak, along the ridge or in the eaves. Improper ventilation causes premature roof deterioration.

Wood or Cedar Shakes: Wood shingles that have a shaggy pattern after installation. Used today mostly for historic home restorations and reproductions.