11 Common Roofing Terminologies You Need to Know

Whether you’re looking to install a new roof on your home or replace an old and worn-out one, understanding common roofing terminologies is vital. Knowing the common roofing terminologies and the context in which they are used not only helps you convey what your needs are to your contractor but also enables you to understand the process better.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the roofing terminologies commonly used in the industry so you can easily communicate with your roofers. Let’s dive in.

Roof Sheathing

Roof sheathing, also known as roof decking, refers to the wooden boards on which all the other roofing components are applied. Since roof sheathing is made of plywood, you need to ensure it doesn’t come into contact with moisture, as this can lead to rot and necessitate a roof replacement.


Slope refers to how steep your roof is in the context of roofing. A steep roof is desirable since it sheds water and snow faster than a shallow roof. That being said, a roof with a steep slope is much more challenging for roofing contractors to work on.

Roofing Sqaure

A roofing square is a measurement unit describing the amount of material required to cover 100 square feet.

Roof Valleys

A roof valley is a trough created when two roof slopes meet to form an interior angle. The roof valley’s purpose is to facilitate the flow of water from the roof to the gutter.

Roof Hip

A roof hip refers to a roofing style in which the roof’s sides are set up to slope down against the exterior walls. The roof hip not only provides curb appeal but also enables more effective water delivery into the gutter.

Roof Gable

A roof gable refers to the triangular section of a wall underneath the point of intersection between two roof facets. Gabled roofs provide excellent drainage and are more resistant to harsh weather than flat roofs.


The fascia, also known as a transition trim, is the board between the eaves and rakes of your roofline. The fascia’s purpose is to ensure that the gutter stays in place. It also protects the attic from water damage by preventing water from getting into the roof deck.


A dormer is a small room with a window that projects outwards from a sloped roof. While dormers mainly function as architectural designs, they also provide ventilation and lighting to an attic space.


Asphalt is one of the most commonly used roofing materials. It’s preferred over other roofing materials due to its ease of application, affordability, and appealing looks. Asphalt shingles are also lightweight and adaptable to varying temperatures which makes them ideal roofing materials for people living in locations with extreme weather.


Caulk, also known as caulking, is a material that’s typically used to seal holes and minor cracks in roofs. Proper application of caulk onto a roof can significantly extend its lifespan.


Roof underlayment refers to the material between the shingles and the roof sheathing. The most commonly used material for underlayment includes asphalt-saturated felt. Underlayment keeps water from infiltrating the home and causing water damage.

A Final Word

Now that you understand the top roofing terminologies that you’re likely to encounter, you’re better placed to communicate your roofing needs to contractors the next time they come around. First Quality Roofing is here to help if you require roofing services for your Wisconsin home.

We offer various roofing services, including new roof installation, re-roofing, maintenance, and repairs. Contact us today to book a service.

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