Roofing, Waterproofing and Decking Glossary


Roofing Glossary

Shingles - Shingles are the materials used to protect a home from the elements. The most common types of shingles are made from asphalt, but shingles can also be made from tile, metal, rubber, wood and vinyl. The type of shingles that are to be used in a project are dictated by budget and the weather in a particular area.

Felt Roll - The felt roll is the layer of material that is placed on a roof deck before the shingles are put in place. The felt roll is made of materials that offer an added level of protection from the elements.

Roof Pitch - The pitch of a roof is the angle at which the roof is built. A roof is given pitch to make it easier for rainwater and snow to roll off the roof and prevent damage. In most cases, a steeper pitch is used in areas known for heavy snow and rainfall.

Ice Barrier - In areas known for their snowfall, ice barriers are often part of roof building codes. The ice barrier is a stretch of material that is installed along the edge of a roof to help protect from ice backup that generally occurs in gutters during the winter.

Flashing - Flashing is thin metal material used to finish a roofing job and offer protection in areas where shingles cannot be used. The most common areas of a roof that require flashing are around chimneys, vents, protruding wires and pipes that emerge from the roof.

Decking - The decking of a roof is the wooden foundation that the roof is built on. Roof decking is usually made using treated wood that is able to withstand the elements.

Waterproofing Glossary

Gutters - Gutters are the channels that are installed around the perimeter of a home, at the base of the roof. Gutters are installed to carry rainwater and melted snow safely away from the foundation of the home. Without gutters, a home's foundation would be subjected to persistent damage from falling water.

Downspouts - A downspout is the channel that runs from the gutter to the ground. The downspout has an exaggerated end that is designed to deposit water as far from the home's foundation as possible.

Gutter Pitch - The pitch is the angle that the gutter is installed at to insure that water runs down the gutters and into the downspouts. Without a slight pitch to a gutter, the water would simply collect in the gutter and never be moved safely away from the home.

Decking Glossary

Platform Deck - A platform deck is a single-story deck that sits low to the ground. In most cases, the floor of a platform deck is no higher than 18 inches from ground level. These decks work well in level areas.

Raised Deck - A raised deck is a deck that is built several feet from the ground and utilizes anchor posts as its foundation. A raised deck is ideal in situations where the ground has undulations and is not level enough for a platform deck.

Multi-Level Deck - A multi-level deck is a combination of a platform and raised deck to create a structure with two or more tiers.

Pressure-Treated Wood - Pressure-treated wood is lumber that is treated to withstand the elements for a very long time.

Cedar Wood - Cedar wood is a durable, natural wood that does not need to be treated to withstand insects and the elements. It is a very popular deck building material.

Redwood - Redwood is another durable, natural wood that is a popular deck building material. Redwood is often utilized because of its natural and deep red color.

Composite Decking Materials - Composite materials are made from a combination of recycled wood and recycled vinyl. They are extremely durable and can last many years longer than a natural wood deck.

Vinyl Decking - Vinyl decking materials are extremely popular because they are durable and are rated to last for a homeowner's lifetime. Vinyl cannot be painted, but vinyl decking materials come in a variety of materials that can match any homeowner's needs.

Weatherproofing - A deck that is made from standard lumber requires new weatherproofing materials at least once every two years. Weatherproofing can be a colored stain, or it can be a transparent material that allows the natural color of the wood to stand out. If you decide to use a dark stain on your deck as weatherproofing, keep in mind that you will have to sand the color off if you want to change the deck's look.