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How to Speak Roof – Terms to Know When Working With a Roofing Company

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

If you're considering getting new roofing in York, PA, you'll want to know what you're talking about. Your roof in York, PA is one of the essential parts of your home, so it's crucial to ensure you're working with a reputable company. Speaking the lingo will help determine if you have the right roofing company in York, PA.


Worried about roofers in York County, PA trying to pull the wool over your eyes? Don't worry — that's why we've put together this list of industry terms that every homeowner should know. This way, you can rest easier knowing you're getting the best deal.

The Most Common Roofing Terms and What They Mean

Deck/sheathing: The structural element that supports the shingles or other material, such as tiles.  

Dormer: A vertical window that projects out from the slope of a roof.  

Drip edge: This metal strip is installed along the edges of the top of your house to help prevent water infiltration. 

Eave: This is the edge that extends beyond the exterior wall of the home. Fascia: Board along the roof's edge. It provides a finished look and helps support the gutters.  

Felt/underlayment: A layer of material installed under the shingles to help protect against water infiltration.  

Fire rating: The measure of a material's resistance to fire, minimizing the damage done by house fires that cause thousands of deaths every year. Flashing: A strip of material, usually metal, that is installed to seal joints and openings in the system.  

Louvers: Louvers are openings in the roof that allow air to circulate and ventilate the attic space.  

Penetrations: Openings in the roof, such as skylights or chimneys.

Rafters: Beams that support the deck or sheathing.  

Rake: Edge that extends beyond the gable end of the building.  

Ridge: Highest point on the roof where two sloped surfaces meet.  

Sheathing: A layer of material, such as plywood. It covers and protects the deck or rafters.  

Slope: Angle at which a surface slopes away from the horizontal run.  

Square: Unit of measurement equal to 100 square feet (9.3 square meters).

Truss: A frame that supports a roof. The term "truss" can also refer to the triangular shape itself.

Valley: A valley is an internal angle formed where two sloped surfaces meet at less than a 90-degree angle.  

Vapor retarder: A vapor retarder is a material used to prevent moisture vapor from passing through walls or ceilings.

Knowing the Roofing Terms Can Help You Choose the Best Roofing Company in York, PA

Now that you have this list of terms, you can speak confidently with your roofing contractors in York, PA. This way, you can ensure that any job on your house is done effectively, and it could perhaps even save you some money from paying for unnecessary repairs. 

Are you in need of a new roof or repairs?  Look for experienced roofers in York county PA, that will help you select the right roofing system for your home or business and ensure a correct installation.

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