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Glossary of Roofing Terminologies: Sound Like A Contractor!

If you need roof repair in Jacksonville Florida or have been looking at installing a new roof, you may have received a technical proposal from a roofing company. To know exactly what you’re getting with your next project, it helps if you understand the terminology involved with roofing repair and installation. Here’s a quick glossary of common terms roofing contractors use when discussing roofing projects.

Give them a read, and you’ll be up to speed with everything you need to know about roofs.



An aggregate forms the surface of your roofing system. A wide range of aggregate materials is available for your roofing project, including rock, asphalt, slate, gravel, slag, and crushed lava stone.

Apron Flashing

The apron flashing creates a watertight junction in the roof, wicking away rain and moisture. It’s typically V or L-shaped and located against the chimney. The sole purpose of the apron flashing is to shift the water away from the low end toward the gutters.



A ballasted roof features no anchoring point between the roof decking and membrane.

Base Flashing

The base flashing is the section of flashing directing water flow on the roof. It’s specifically used for protecting the roof on vertical intersections, avoiding water buildup and ponding resulting in damage to the roof structure.

Built-Up Roof

These roofing systems are known as gravel and tar roofs. A built-up roof features a low slope or flat roof. Typically, built-up roofs come covered in hot-mopped asphalt and roofing felt. They are a long-lasting, affordable roofing solution for commercial buildings and apartment complexes.


Battens, also known as ‘battening,’ attach to the roofing materials. Battens travel across the top of the roof horizontally.  


Cap Flashing

The cap flashing covers the top of the base of the roof flashing. Cap flashing benefits the roof by sealing its edges and weatherproofing the structure.

Cap Sheet

The cap sheet is a membrane featuring a granular surface used as the top layer of a built-up roof. It’s common to see cap sheets used in low slope roofing systems.



Downspouts fit into the gutters, running vertically down to the floor, directing the water away from the foundations.



The eaves are the edges of the roof that hang away from the walls. This design creates an overhang allowing water to funnel to the ground and avoid ponding on the roof.



Flashing is the material used in roofing systems to prevent water from passing through the tiles of the membrane through the joints. It’s part of the barrier in the roofing system, preventing water from entering the internal structure.


The fascia boards fit the lower edge of the roof. You attach the gutters to the fascia to prevent rain from landing around the home, preventing the corrosion of the foundation and building structure.



A gable roof features a design with two roof sections meeting at a point, slopping in opposite directions.


The gutters surround the sides of the roof. It funnels the water to the downspouts, directing it away from the foundations around the building. Proper gutter maintenance is important for protection from rain and storm damage.


Lean-to Roof

A lean-to-roof features a design built against existing walls. These roofing systems have a single-pitch construction for structures like carports and sheds.


Mansard Roof

A mansard roof is four-sided hip-style roofing with two slopes on either side. Mansard roofing is usually present in architectural designs featuring dormer windows.



The overhang is the distance the roof’s edge extends beyond the siding. The soffit installs below the overhang.



The roof ridge is where the highest peak of roof slopes meets, branching out in different directions.


Rafters are laid side by side in the roof structure, supporting back roof coverings and decks.



The soffit is the underside of the roof overhang protecting the rafters from moisture.


Tear Off

Tear-offs happen when removing the roof structure. It describes rotting decking or structural components.


The truss is the wooden structural framework supporting the roof.



Underlayments create barriers under the roof deck providing water-resistant protection.



The roof valley creates a W or V-shape, directing water off the roof and into the gutter system.


Also known as a ‘louver,’ the vents take in or expel the air inside the roof.


Weep Holes

The weep holes in tiled roofs appear at the ridge, allowing water to move behind the tiles and drain.

Assistance From a Professional Roofing Contractor

Contact the best roofing company in Jacksonville, FL for top-rated roofing solutions in Jacksonville, Florida. We offer free advice and competitive rates on all residential roofing solutions.

With over a decade of experience serving our local community in Northern Florida, You can rely on us for all your roofing repairs and new installations in Jacksonville and surrounding areas in Florida.

Our phone number is: (904) 530-1446.

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