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Roofing Lingo 101: Key Terms You Should Know

Your Guide to Navigating Roof Installation from TLC Roofing and Restoration

Welcome to TLC Roofing and Restoration, where quality service meets the comfort of understanding what’s happening with your roof. We believe in making your roofing journey as smooth as an asphalt shingle, educating you about the process, and equipping you with the terms you’ll need to be a part of the adventure.

At TLC, we’re not just roof installation experts. Sure, we’re trained to reach great heights (quite literally!), but more importantly, we’re committed to ensuring our customers stay grounded in the knowledge they need. We want you to feel part of our TLC family, knowing what we’re doing and why it benefits your home. That’s why we’re taking you through the ABCs of roof installation. It’s like a language course but more fun and potentially less confusing.

Whether you’re in the early stages of considering a roof replacement or ready to host your roof-raising barn dance, understanding roofing basics can undoubtedly lead to some handy benefits. Not only will you be able to chat about soffit and fascia at your next neighborhood BBQ, but you’ll also be able to speak the same language as your roofing team. This translates to a potentially healthier wallet and, most assuredly, a top-notch roof over your head!

Decoding Roofer Language 

Hey there! Ever feel like roofers are speaking an entirely different language? You’re not alone! Don’t fret, though; our roofing terminology guide from the TLC Roofing team has got you covered! We want to ensure you’re as comfortable chatting about eaves and flashings as you are about the weather.

Roof Construction

First things first, let’s break down the two main types of roof construction:

  1. Flat Roofs: As the name suggests, a flat roof is as flat as a pancake, generally having a pitch no greater than 15°. It’s crafted with six key ingredients:
  • Waterproofing: Think of this as the superhero cape of the roof, fighting off water. It’s the outer skin that can be made from an all-star lineup of materials such as metal, slate, tile, wood, or asphalt.
  • Insulation: This keeps your home warm and toasty and may even have soundproofing or fire-resistant properties—we call it the roof’s comfy sweater.
  • Vapor Barrier: This is the magician that keeps moisture from escaping.
  • Substrate: Otherwise known as sheathing, this is the stage on which the show’s star–your roof, is laid. Typically, this is a plywood deck.
  • Joists: These are the horizontal supports, the reliable teammates of your roof.
  • Plasterboard Ceiling: The final touch under your roof.
  1. Pitched Roofs: These rooftops are either dressed up in a gable style, sporting a triangular shape with two sides meeting at a peak, or they’re flaunting a snazzy hip style where all four sides slope downwards equally to form a ridge at the top.

Now let’s dive into some of the common terminology associated with pitched roofs:

  • Ridge: Picture this as the roof’s catwalk, the horizontal top part.
  • Ridge Board and Ridge Tiles: These comprise the ensemble that provides a watertight top to the roof.
  • Truss: This is the sturdy wooden triangle that supports the roof.
  • Fascia/Barge Board: These are the decorative boards lining the joining of the roof and the building wall.
  • Battens: These lightweight strips run across the joists to secure slates or tiles.
  • Soffit: This is the board sealing the space between the fascia and the building wall.
  • Eaves, Dormer, Valley, Valley Gutter: These include the lower edge of a sloped roof, the vertical window protruding from the slope, the angle between two sloping roofs, and the exposed guttering located at this angle.

Dig into some additional elements found on both pitched and flat roofs:

  • Underlay: This is the protective layer sitting between the frame of the roof and the back of the slate/tiles.
  • Flashings: They are like the roof’s weather-resistant Bodyguards crafted from lead sheeting that seal joints to keep water out.
  • Cladding: This is the artful overlapping of roofing materials to create a durable, waterproof protective layer.
  • Void: This is the space between the ceiling and the roof surface.

And there you have it! A beginner’s guide to roofing terminology, all simplified and served up! At TLC Roofing and Restoration, we’re all about making things as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible. Because our family (that means you!) deserves to know precisely what’s happening above their heads, now you can chat with roofing professionals without breaking a sweat!

Why Knowing Roofing Terms Matters

Let’s unpack why it’s so important for homeowners to understand these terms.

First up, it smoothes communication with installers. Instead of being lost in translation, you can converse confidently and understand what roofers explain about your project.

Second, you could save money. Being knowledgeable can help you make informed decisions about what’s necessary for your roof and what’s not – keeping your wallet happier.

Lastly, knowing the language of roof installation ensures a job well done. You’ll understand the process, the materials used, and why certain decisions are made.


So, there you have it – a crash course on the ABCs of roof installation. With this new-found knowledge, you could now talk the roofing talk, right? Rest assured, at TLC Roofing and Restoration, we’re all about ensuring our customers are in the loop, not on the roof!

Remember, no one expects you to be a roofing expert overnight. The TLC family is always here to help answer questions and guide you through this process. So, if anything’s gone over your head (roofing, pun intended), please drop us a line.

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Reliable Roofing Contractors

Reach out today for a no-obligation price estimate and discover the value we can bring to your roofing project. Our team of skilled professionals is ready to assess your needs, provide transparent pricing information, and guide you through the process with utmost clarity. Call us at (330) 488-7191

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