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September 25, 2017
Easy Roofing Guide II: Roofing supplies and key definitions you must know

In our previous post, “Roofing Guide I: Types, roofing supplies, and tips,” we learned about the most common types of roofs and most frequently used supplies for repairs and construction. Some terms are still difficult to understand when it comes to roofs.

This easy guide will get you up to speed on the essential terms you need when thinking of a new roof, shingles replacement or roofing maintenance here in the Bay Area. Dominate roofing before you talk with your roofing contractor!


  • An application rate is the quantity of material (mass, volume, or thickness) applied per unit area.
  • The degree of weather protection offered by a roofing material? That’s the coverage. It can be single, double or triple coverage.
  • No, we are not talking about insects in your garden. In roofing terms, cricket is a built-up barrier to divert runoff around a chimney or at a transitional area.
  • A cutoff is a permanent detail designed to seal and prevent lateral water movement in an insulation system. On the other hand, a cutout is the open portion of a strip shingle between the tabs.



  • Shingles are the pieces nailed to the decking. These tend to be flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof.
  • All metal flashing L-shaped pieces installed around the perimeter of a house, to control the direction of dripping water, and help protect underlying building components, are drip edges.
  • The projecting edges of a roof that extends beyond the supporting wall are “eaves.”
  • What about the fascia? It’s a vertical or steeply sloped roof or trims located at the perimeter of a building. Typically, a border for the low-slope roof system that waterproofs the interior portions of the building.
  • What holds the roof onto the house? Fasteners. They are any of a wide variety of mechanical securement devices and assemblies, including nails, screws, cleats, clips, and bolts, used to secure various components of a roof assembly.
  • The components used to weatherproof the roof system where its covering is interrupted are the flashing.



  • Gutters are channeled components installed along the downslope perimeter of a roof to convey runoff water from the roof to the drain downspouts.
  • The very top area of the roof, usually covered with a ridge vent or ridge caps is the “pea.”
  • The inclined edge of a pitched roof over an end wall is a rake.
  • And the ridge? It’s the highest point on the roof. The ridge is a horizontal line where two roof areas intersect, running the length of the area.
  • A slope is the angle of incline, usually expressed as a ratio of rising to run, or as a percent.
  • The finished underside of a sloped roof is the soffit.
  •  square is the amount of roofing material required to cover 100 square feet (10’x10’) of the surface of the roof.
  • The substrate is the surface upon which the roofing or waterproofing membrane is applied.
  • A sump is an intentional depression around a roof drain or scuppers that serves to promote drainage.
  • The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes is a “valley.”
  • Vents are openings designed to convey air, heat, water vapor or other gas from inside a building.
  • Weep holes? What are those? They are small openings whose purpose is to permit drainage of water that accumulates inside a building component (e.g., a brick wall, skylight frame, etc.).



Easier than you thought!

Now that you know more about all the different roofing supplies and terms, you’re ready to take the next step. Contact our roofing contractors and let us build the roof of your dream home. At Bay 101 we are happy to help. Get a FREE INSPECTION!

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