roofer using nail gun

Have you ever heard a roofing contractor say something about your roof that you didn’t understand? Have you ever had a roofer come to your door after a severe storm — doing their best to convince you that something was damaged and needed replacing? If so, we aren’t surprised. After all, how often do you really talk about your roof?

In an effort to familiarize you with some of the more common terms that you might hear from a residential roofing company, we thought it might be beneficial to discuss a few of the most common roofing terms that you might not already know!

Roofing Glossary

ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials

When your local roofing company is speaking to the quality of their work and the materials that they use, they might quickly say “All of our materials are ASTM approved.” Essentially, they are saying that the materials that they use have been tested and recognized by an international materials authority.


The deck, also known as sheathing, of a roof is the hard surface that the roofing materials are nailed into. In most cases, the deck is constructed using plywood or oriented strand board (OSB).

Drip Edge

The drip edge is a construction material that is used to help water run off of the roof and drip clear of the decking, eaves, and siding below. Drip edge is L-shaped and is often made out of galvanized metal. 


The eave is the horizontal lower edge of the roof. When you have gutters mounted, they are mounted to the eaves of your home. 


The felt of a roof is a soft material that has been saturated in asphalt and is tacked to the decking to create extra protection from the elements. Felt is commonly referred to as tar paper. 

Fire Rating

There are three different classifications of fire resistance in roofing materials — classes A, B, and C. Class A refers to the most fire-resistant materials and Class C refers to the least fire-resistant materials. 


Flashin, like drip edge, is an L-shaped piece of galvanized metal. Flashing is used in major roofing intersections and is bent to fit the angle of two different slopes. Flashing is extra protection from water in the most vulnerable points of the roof.


Penetrations refer to any hardware that penetrates the decking, felt, and shingles. Some common penetrations in residential roofing are vents, pipes, stacks, and chimneys.


The ridge of the roof is the highest point between two different intersecting pieces of decking. The ridge requires different materials to fortify the seam between the pieces of decking. 


The slope of the roof is the measured rise in the roof for every 12 inches of horizontal run. Essentially, the slope allows you to make easier measurements without involving the roof angle in your calculation. For example. If the roof angle is 4.5-in-12, the slope of the roof rises 4 inches for every horizontal foot towards the ridge from the edge of the roof. 


The square is a common measurement for a roof’s area. One square refers to 100 square feet — meaning a 10-foot by 10-foot area. 


The valley of a roof is the low angle of two sloping roof surfaces. The valley is the part of the roof that is often reinforced by galvanized metal flashing. 

Have Roofing Questions? Contact Us Today!

While we covered a large number of roofing terms in today’s blog, we have barely scratched the surface of the roofing glossary. That said, there are only so many roofing terms that you need to know as a homeowner — the rest you can leave to the professionals. 

At Nice Shingles Roofing & Exteriors, we provide the Stroudsburg area with high-quality residential and commercial roofing services ranging from roof repairs to full roof replacements and exterior work. If your roof is in need of repair or replacement, we urge you to get in touch with us today. A member of our team would be more than happy to come to visit your home to inspect the decking, drip edge, felt, flashing, penetrations, and all the other known problem areas for residential roofs. 

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to get your free project quote.