GAF Energy designs solar roofs that are sold by roofing companies near you. On a solar roof, the solar is integrated into your home’s roofing materials. We published a glossary of solar terms, and we wanted to follow that article with a glossary of roofing terms, developed by our colleagues at our sibling company, GAF.

3-tab shingle: There are a variety of asphalt shingles available on the market today. A 3-tab shingle is made of just one single layer. The exposed part of the shingle is separated by three tabs of cut-outs , and these are approximately 12”.

Architectural shingle: The tabs on architectural shingles are cut at varying shapes and sizes, giving a roof a more 3D look. These shingles can also be referred to as laminated or dimensional roofing shingles. Put simply, the architectural shingle is an asphalt shingle composed of multiple layers.

Asphalt shingle: This type of shingle is one of the most commonly used residential roofing materials. It is known for durability, aesthetics, and ease of installation. Technically speaking, an asphalt shingle is created by covering fiberglass with a coating made from asphalt, then applying small granules to the surface.

Attic vent: An open slot that lets air, water vapor, and heat leave an attic space in a home. This can prevent roof damage that could happen from overheating.

Cool roof shingle: Non-reflective shingles are referred to as cool roof shingles. They are specially designed to remain at lower temperatures when the sun shines on them.

Cricket: This device diverts water away from or around a chimney or roof projection.

Decking: This is the structural material over which the roofing is applied. Typically constructed of plywood, planks, or boards.

Designer shingle: Frequently referred to as “premium shingles” and “luxury shingles,” designer asphalt roofing shingles have the highest-end multidimensional designs. These shingles look like slate or wood shake shingles.

Dimensional shingle: This is a synonym for an architectural shingle.

Dormer: An elevated roof area extending from the roof plane, typically housing a window. Dormers are more common in certain styles or regional housing design, and they can be either functional or decorative.

Drip edge: This stiff material is installed at the edge of a roof to keep the shingles off the deck, extending the shingles out over eaves and gutters. This helps direct the flow of water to protect underlying components.

Eave: On a residential roof, the eave refers to the edge of a roof that hangs over the side walls of the home.

Fascia: The wood trim along the edge of a building, underneath the roof is known as fascia. Fascia are typically attached to the ends of rafters or trusses, and can be used to hang gutters.

Flashing: Installed around a penetration, or sometimes along the roof’s edge, flashing helps keep water from seeping into the layers below. In addition to the roof’s perimeter or at penetrations, flashing can also be used on walls, valleys, drains, expansion joints, and any other areas where the roofing is terminated or interrupted.

Gable roof: A classic roof style where two roof planes adjoin at the ridge line.

High nailing: When shingles are attached higher than the manufacturer’s recommended nailing area.

Hip roof: A roof with four roof planes that connect at a peak and have four hip legs.

Ice dam: A lump of ice formed at the edge of a roof, due to snow refreezing. Ice dams can cause ice and water to accumulate under roofing materials and waterproofing, often resulting in water damage to the structure.

Laminate shingle: This is a synonym for an architectural shingle.

Penetration: Construction passing through the roofing system is referred to as a penetration. This includes conduits, vent piping, and HVAC equipment supports. In traditional rack-mounted solar installations, lag bolts make penetrations in the roof deck. GAF Energy solar is unique in that the solar is part of the roofing system, and it does not penetrate the roof deck.

Ridge cap shingles: These specifically made shingles cover the peak ridge or hips of a roof, and often lends the roof a distinctive visual style.

Roof deck protection: Is a water-shedding secondary layer of protection beneath the final roof covering. Also called underlayment, these GAF products can be synthetic or fiberglass-reinforced felts.

Roof ridge vent: A slot of air cut into the roof deck at the highest peak on the roof. The vent construction protects the inside from the elements while allowing air to flow freely throughout the attic.

Roofing felt: Like the underlayment, this material is laid down over the roof decking to preserve the building beneath. Roofing felt is made of asphalt-saturated paper or other materials.

Roofing underlayment: Also known as roofing felt. Asphaltic saturated organic or synthetic-based rolled materials designed to be installed beneath the main roofing materials to help water-shedding and defend moisture infiltration.

Sheathing: Roofing is applied over this structural material and is typically made of plywood, boards, or planks.

Shiner: When a shingle is attached below the nailing location suggested by the manufacturer. This poor application can cause the nail to rust, producing a pathway for water to enter.

Shingle: A piece of roofing material made for installation in courses, or overlapping rows is known as a shingle.

Slope: A roof’s steepness, expressed as a ratio, is known as the slope. A 3:15 slope, for example, means there are 3″ of vertical rise for every 12″ of horizontal length.

Soffit: The uncovered area beneath a roof overhang or eave is known as a soffit.

Solar roofing: On a solar roof, the solar is integrated into a home’s roof materials. GAF Energy designs solar roofs that are sold by roofing companies near you.

Square: This term refers to a measurement of the roof that is equal to 100 square feet or ample roofing material to lay on 100 square feet of a roof deck.

Starter strip: This strip is the first row of roofing that is installed at the edge of the eave and along the rakes to improve wind resistance of the roof.

Tab: The lower part of a shingle, where the material is divided by the shingle cut-outs is know as the tab.

Valley: The area where two descending slopes of a roof connect to create a “V” shaped gap is known as a valley.

Vapor retarder: Typically included as a layer during a roofing installation, vapor retarder refers to a material used to prevent water vapor from damaging other layers.

Vent: An opening that permits air, water vapor, or heat to move in a directed manner from inside a home to the outside is known as a vent.