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Common Roofing Materials Terminology

Roofing Materials

Gain confidence when hiring a roofing contractor for a repair or replacement service by educating yourself on the common terminology so that you can ask the right questions.

Roofing Materials

Here are basic definitions for the different types of materials that your contractor will be discussing with you:

A non-rusting metal that is sometimes used for metal roofing or flashing
Asphalt Shingles
Also known as composite shingles, asphalt is a popular roofing material that is dark colored, solid and composed of bituminous substances.
Base Ply
The primary ply of roofing material in a roof system.
Base Sheet
An asphalt-impregnated, or coated felt used as the first ply in some built-up and modified bitumen roof systems.
Closure Strip
This material is used to close the openings that are created by joining metal panels or sheets and flashing.
A layer of material that is sprayed, rolled, or brushed over a surface for protection and aesthetic purposes.
Used as a primary roofing material or flashing component, this reddish-brown element conducts heat and electricity very well.
a device that is used to carry water off of a roof.
a conduit used to carry runoff water from a scupper, conductor head, or gutter of a building to a lower roof level, or to the ground or storm water runoff system.
Devices used to secure roof system components.
This is a roofing sheet composed of wood, vegetable, glass, polyester or asbestos interwoven fibers.
Components used to seal the roof system at areas where the roof covering is interrupted or terminated.
a loose aggregation of small water-worn or pounded stones.
A mixture of water, cement, and sometimes fine gravel that is used to fill cracks in masonry and tile.
a shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof for carrying off rainwater.
Material used to help maintain a certain temperature in a building by reducing the flow of heat to and from that building.
Joint Tape
Tape used to seal joints between insulation boards.
Metal used for flashing material.
No-Cutout Shingle
A shingle made of one solid strip of material.
Formed from hydrocarbons.
Plastic Cement
a roofing industry generic term used to describe Type I asphalt roof cement that is a trowel-able mixture of solvent-based bitumen, mineral stabilizers, other fibers and/or fillers. Generally, intended for use on relatively low slopes — not vertical surfaces.
a layer of felt, ply sheet, or reinforcement in a roof membrane or roof system.
Ridge Cap
a material or covering applied over the ridge of a roof.
Roll Roofing
smooth-surfaced or mineral-surfaced, coated, prepared felts.
a hard, brittle metamorphic rock consisting mainly of clay minerals, used extensively as dimensional stone for steep roofing, and in granular form as surfacing on some other roofing materials.
Stainless Steel
an alloy of steel that contains a high percentage of chromium. Also may contain nickel or copper. Generally, has very good resistance to corrosion.
an asphalt-saturated felt or other sheet material (may be self-adhering) installed between the roof deck and the roof system, usually used in a steep-slope roof construction.