Common Roofing Terms Helpful for Homeowners

14Making the decision to replace the roof on your Minneapolis home can sometimes be an overwhelming one as there are a number of factors that you need to consider, such as how to select the best roofer for the job and which materials to use.

Before meeting with a roofing contractor, it’s a good idea to learn what some of the more common roofing terms mean to help you have a better understanding when talking with him about what needs to be done on your roof.

Here are some basic roofing terms to familiarize yourself with:

  • Caulk (or caulking): Refers to using a filler, such as an asphalt cement or a sealant, to weatherproof joints or seams and prevent leaks from occurring.
  • Course: Used in reference to a single layer of shingles or other building material that runs the length of the roof.
  • Collar: A metal cap flashing used on vent pipes to help keep water away from the base of the vent.
  • Curb: A short wall that sits above the level of the roof and provides flashing to the deck.
  • Deck: The surface that a roof is applied to.
  • Downspout: The down pipe of a gutter used to drain water away from the roof.
  • Eaves: Refers to the lowest edge of a sloped roof that extends beyond the exterior walls of a property.
  • Felt: A general term used to describe the composition of roofing ply sheets.
  • Flashing: Consists of pieces of sheet metal that are used for weatherproofing purposes on intersections between two areas of the roof (like valleys and dormers) or in places where there is an opening on your roof (such as a chimney or vent pipe).
  • Lap: The distance that one layer of tiles overlaps the course below.
  • Ponding: One of the more common causes of roof damage, ponding is when water sits on a roof for an extended period of time due to poor drainage.
  • Ridge Capping: A V-shaped or arched covering over the ridge of a roof.
  • Roof system: Refers to the waterproofing, insulation, vapor barrier, roof deck, shingles, etc.
  • Valley: This is in reference to the inward angle of the roof that is created by the meeting of two sloped surfaces.


Knowing these common roofer terms can help you have more understanding when meeting with your roofer, and therefore help you make a more informed decision when it comes to replacing your roof.

Midwest Roofing, Siding and Windows can provide you with a quality roofing system for your Minneapolis home. We are trained by manufacturers to install many different types of systems and are GAF Master Elite and Owens Corning Platinum Preferred roofers.

When you need a roof replacement, contact Midwest Roofing, Siding and Windows.

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