Glossary of Roofing terms

Flashing, Valley, Cricket, Gable, Drip Edge, Bird Stop, Ridge Vent, Dormers, Flashing, the list goes on and on. What on earth do all these terms mean?

Check out the pictures below to get you started.

Picture #1

Photo #1

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Picture #2
Photo #2Payne & Sons Construction Corporation allows you to gather the information you need for you job via the web. Fill out our web-based form to get more information about our services.

The wood backing, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), is the base to which all roofing materials are applied. See picture 1 above.


A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.

Drip edge
An L-shaped piece of metal installed along roof edges to allow water run off to drip clear of the deck, eaves and siding. Normal sizes are 1.5″x1.5″, 2″x2″, and 3″x3″

The horizontal lower edge of a sloped roof. See picture 1 above

A flat board installed at the edge of rafters on the overhang. Forms part of the eave.

A sheet of asphalt-saturated material (often called tar paper) used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck. See picture 2

Fire rating
System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C, with Class A materials having the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.

Pieces of metal used to prevent the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys and joints at vertical walls. See picture 1

A part of the ventilation system installed at the peak of a gable or at the soffit (underside of the eaves) to help with the ventilation system.

Oriented strand board (OSB)
Roof deck panels (4 by 8 feet) made of narrow bits of wood, installed lengthwise and crosswise in layers, and held together with a resin glue. OSB is stronger and cheaper than plywood, and is often used as a substitute.

Vents, pipes, stacks, chimneys-anything that penetrates a roof deck.

The supporting framing to which a roof deck is attached.

The inclined edge of a roof over a wall. See picture 1

The top edge of two intersecting sloping roof surfaces. See picture 1

The boards or sheet materials that are fastened to rafters to cover a house or building. Normally plywood or OSB.

Measured by rise in inches for each 12 inches of horizontal run A roof with a 4-in-12 slope rises 4 inches for every foot of horizontal distance.


The common measurement for roof area. One square is 100 square feet (10 by 10 feet).

Engineered components that supplement rafters in many newer homes and buildings. Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be modified. Any truss modification must be approved by an engineer.

The angle formed at the intersection of two sloping roof surfaces. See picture 1

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