Roofing Lingo from your Roofing Contractor – Roof System

Nov 6, 2021
Roofing & Construction


Welcome to Rocky Mountain Constructors, your trusted partner in the heavy industry and engineering sector, specializing in construction and maintenance services. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the world of roofing lingo, providing you with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the components that make up a roof system.

The Importance of Understanding Roofing Lingo

When embarking on a roofing project or hiring a roofing contractor, it's essential to possess a solid understanding of roofing lingo. This knowledge empowers you to communicate effectively with industry professionals, make informed decisions, and ensure the successful execution of your roofing project.

Roof System Components

A roof system comprises various components that work together to provide protection, insulation, and durability. Let's explore some of these key components:

Roof Deck

The roof deck refers to the structural base layer of the roof system. It provides stability and support for the entire roofing structure. Common materials used for roof decks include plywood and oriented strand board (OSB).


An underlayment is a layer installed between the roof deck and the roofing materials. It provides an additional level of water and weather resistance. Common types of underlayment include asphalt-saturated felt and synthetic materials like synthetic underlayment.


Shingles are one of the most visible and protective elements of a roof system. They come in various materials such as asphalt, wood, metal, or slate. Each material offers unique benefits in terms of aesthetics, durability, and cost-effectiveness.


Flashing is used to prevent water from seeping into vulnerable areas of the roof system, such as roof valleys, chimneys, and vents. It is typically made of metal or rubber and is strategically installed to create a watertight barrier.

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in directing water away from the roof and foundation of a building. They help prevent water damage, erosion, and structural issues. Different materials, such as aluminum, copper, or vinyl, can be used for gutter and downspout systems.


Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining a healthy and long-lasting roof system. It helps regulate temperature, prevent moisture buildup, and avoid issues like mold and rot. Ventilation components include ridge vents, soffit vents, and exhaust fans.

Common Roofing Terminology

When discussing your roofing project with professionals, it's important to be familiar with common roofing terminology. Here are some frequently used terms you may come across:

  • Pitch: The slope or angle of a roof.
  • Square: A unit of measurement used in the roofing industry, representing 100 square feet.
  • Eaves: The lower edge of a roof that overhangs the exterior walls.
  • Rake: The outer edge of a roof at the gable ends.
  • Hip: The external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof.
  • Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping sides of a roof.
  • Penetrations: Any openings in the roof, such as vents, chimneys, or skylights.

Understanding the Heavy Industry and Engineering behind Roofing

Roofing is not just about aesthetics; it is a complex field that falls within the heavy industry and engineering sector. Let's delve deeper into some of the engineering aspects that contribute to a robust roof system:

Structural Integrity

A well-designed and properly constructed roof system ensures the structural integrity of a building. Engineering principles, load calculations, and building codes determine the materials and construction techniques required to withstand various weather conditions and loads.

Load-Bearing Capacities

An essential consideration in roofing is the roof's ability to bear the weight of heavy loads, such as accumulated snow, equipment, or individuals performing maintenance tasks. Engineers factor in these load requirements when designing and reinforcing the roof structure.

Efficient Drainage

Proper roof engineering ensures efficient drainage, preventing water from pooling on the roof surface. Engineers consider factors such as roof slope, gutter size, and downspout placement to facilitate proper water flow and reduce the risk of leaks or structural damage.

Energy Efficiency

Engineers also focus on incorporating energy-efficient roofing solutions to reduce environmental impact and lower long-term energy costs. Techniques like cool roofing, insulation, and proper ventilation contribute to improved energy efficiency and sustainability.


By familiarizing yourself with roofing lingo, understanding the components of a roof system, and gaining insight into the heavy industry and engineering aspects behind roofing, you are better equipped to navigate your roofing project with confidence. Remember, a well-maintained roof is crucial for the overall integrity and protection of any structure. At Rocky Mountain Constructors, we are dedicated to providing exceptional roofing solutions while ensuring customer satisfaction.

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