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Roofing industry jargon and what it really means

by: Kirsten Land on March 6th, 2018 about Residential Roofing

Every industry has its own fair share of jargon, and the roofing industry is no exception. When we work with our customers, we do our best to explain all the different terms for products or parts of the roof so that it’s easily understandable.

Here’s a list of some common roofing industry jargon and what it really means.

Flashing

In the roofing industry, flashing is all about preventing water from seeping into your roof. It’s primarily used to cover joints. Whenever two pieces of material come together on the roof or between the roof and wall, you have a joint. That joint is a spot where water can work its way under the shingles and cause damage.

Flashing is usually made of aluminum or galvanized steel, and it’s a solid sheet of metal that covers the entire joint. On a roof, you’ll often see flashing around the edges of a chimney, around skylights or dormer windows, and in the sections where two peaks of the roof come together. Sometimes minor roof leaks can be easily fixed by adding or replacing flashing.

Drip Edge

A drip edge is a specific type of flashing installed under the first row of shingles that helps prevent pesky critters from invading your attic. It’s installed between the shingles and the fascia, which is the long straight board that runs the length of your roof. Gutters are usually attached to the fascia. If there’s no drip edge installed, gaps can form between the fascia and the first row of shingles, and squirrels and other critters love taking advantage of those gaps.

Ice and Water Shield

Most of the time, an ice and water shield goes under any areas with flashing, and it’s another layer of protection against leaks. During winter, especially in Oklahoma where precipitation might freeze and thaw and freeze again, something called ice damming can occur.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof and blocks melting water from dripping off the roof. That means the water sits on your roof much longer than it should, which can increase the risk of leaks. An ice and water shield is a specific layer that helps prevent water from leaking through your roof even if the water stays on your roof for several days.

Class IV Impact Resistant Shingle

Wait... what? Yes, this one amounts to serious jargon, but it’s all about quality. Basically, it’s the best shingle out there. Class IV (four) means that a shingle holds up in even the toughest tests for impact with no cracking or ruptures. What does that mean for you? It means your roof will hold up during severe weather and hailstorms. Some insurance companies will even offer a discount if you show proof that you installed this type of shingle.

Eaves

The eave of the house is the part of the roof that extends beyond the walls of your home. The eave serves two purposes: it provides a bit of shade for the walls of your home and it prevents water from dripping directly around the foundation. The soffit is the paneling that covers the underside of the eaves. Soffits are another place that critters explore looking for ways to get into your attic, especially during the winter months when they’re looking for warmth.

Together, these elements create a high-quality roofing system that protects your home from wind, hail, rain, and freezing rain. We always take the time to explain our roofing systems to our customers and answer any questions they have about the parts of their roof.

If you have questions about your roof or the steps taken to repair or replace it, just ask. We’ll be happy to answer them.

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