As a consumer, it is important to be able to discuss your options for repair or replacement with your roofing contractor. Knowing the common language and terms used in the roofing industry will help immensely in this pursuit. In an effort to help, the following is a general list of some of the most important terms commonly used amongst roofing contractors.
Chimney- A structure for venting hot flue gases or smoke from a boiler, stove, furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere.
Dormer- A raised roof extending out of a larger roof plane.
Eave- The roof edge from the fascia to the structure’s outside wall. In general terms, the first three feet across a roof is termed the eave.
Field of Roof- That portion of the roof surface that is not included in the perimeter, corner or ridge areas.
Gable- Two peaked roof planes meeting at a ridge line of equal size.
Gutter- A shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof for carrying off rainwater.
Hip- When two roofing planes form a fold or vertical ridge.
Plumbing Vent- Term used to describe plumbing pipes that project through a roof plane. Also called vent stacks.
Rake- The vertical edge of gable style roof planes.
Ridge- The top horizontal member of a sloping roof.
Ridge Vent- A ridge vent is a type of vent installed at the peak of a sloped roof which allows warm, humid air to escape a building's attic.
Roof Vent- A louver or small dome mounted near the ridge of the roof to allow the passage of air through the attic.
Skylight- A window installed in a roof or ceiling.
Soffit- Material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang.
Valley- Area where two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on a roof creating a "V" shaped depression.