Residential Roofing ABC's_ Important Terms You Should Know

Some time after moving into your home, maybe you’ve decided to take on some home remodeling projects, which include repairs or improvements to your roof. If you are relatively new to roofing projects or you have very limited knowledge about roofs in general, you will hear terms from your contractor that you may never have heard of. 

As a homeowner, you would do well to become familiar with industry jargon to make sure you and your roofing contractor are on the same page. After all, even if you hire the best roofers in town, you still need a clear picture of what you are getting into.

If you want to understand everything clearly before getting started with your roofing project, you’re in the right place. Lucky you, as below are some common roofing terms and some practical tips that you need to arm yourself with for a smooth process:

Downspout - This can be found along the gutter system leading to the ground. Downspouts can be extended as much as possible so they can effectively lead the water away from the foundation.

Drip Edge - This is a material installed where shingles and fascia meet. This piece of metal’s function is to prevent the roof from sustaining water damage over time, as it seals the seams connecting different roof parts.

Fascia - This can be found behind the gutter. This is used to close openings along the roof’s edges to avoid pests or moisture from entering a structure.

Flashing - This is any material placed on the roofs used as sealers to protect the home from a possible leak due to roof joints and gaps. Flashing draws water downward and away from vulnerable areas of the roof.

Gable End - A triangular area formed when two opposing roof planes meet. Gable ends are used as a spot to attach vents, windows, and other adorning elements.

Louvers - These are vents situated on top of the roof.

Penetrations - These are the possible entry points of water into the ceiling. It can be an exhaust vent or a chimney. Penetrations should be sealed with flashing to avoid leaks.

Roof Deck - They are built to support the weight of the shingles on top of the roof. Commonly known as sheathing, roof decks are usually made of ply boards attached to the trusses.

Roof Joists - These are supporting boards to protect the deck and the top layers of the roof.

Soffit - This part of the roof is placed under the eaves. This material usually has vents to serve as a ventilation provision in the attic.

Underlayment - This part of the roof protects the materials between the roof deck and shingles. They also help prevent moisture from penetrating the roof.

Valley - These are formed when a roof has intersecting planes. Valleys are where rainwater usually flows, and it’s important to have mechanisms that draw pooling water down and away.

What to Prepare Before the Roofing Project

The first thing to consider when you are embarking on a roofing project is the type of roofing material you will use. When choosing a roofing material, consider the external elements that will test the roof’s mettle, including fire, wind, and heavy rain.

Provide ample space outside your house to have the roof assembled. Other materials will also consume space, so make sure to have enough room before the project begins. To avoid problems and roof issues, entrust preparation and implementation to a good roofing company.


Installing new roofing is not the end of any homeowner’s story. Do not forget to inspect the roof from the ground after each storm to ensure that it remains intact, undamaged, and firm. Also, keep the gutter system in check for any overflow or clogging.

Roofing projects can be complicated, and the expertise of skilled individuals will be of great help. Three Mountains Roofing is the best roofing company in Vermont that you can run to. We offer a wide range of roofing services, including new installations and storm restoration on shingle, EPDM, and standing seam roofs. Give us a call today!

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