The Essential Roofing Glossary

glossary post

Homeowners need to be familiar with roofing terminology, as it will help them communicate more effectively with roofers and better understand your roofing project. In this blog post, we'll provide a glossary of some of the most common roofing terms.

We'll cover everything from the different types of roofing materials to the various installation methods to the different types of roofs. We'll also discuss some common roofing problems and how to address them. So whether you're a homeowner who is about to have a new roof installed or you're just curious about what all those terms mean, this glossary is for you!

Types of Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials used today. They are made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass or organic materials, and they come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit any home's aesthetic.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is another popular roofing material, especially for commercial buildings. Made from metal roofing panels or sheets, these roofing materials are long-lasting and offer excellent protection against the elements.

Wood Roofing

Wood roofing is becoming increasingly popular, especially for historic homes with traditional designs. Typically made from shiplap or other types of wood boards, these roofing materials are durable and eco-friendly.

Glay Roofing

Clay roofing is another type of roofing material that's commonly used for residential homes. Made from clay roof tiles, these roofing materials are beautiful and durable, offering excellent protection against the elements.

Tar and Gravel Roofing

Tar and gravel roofing is one of the most affordable roofing materials available. Typically made from a layer of tar or asphalt sheet with an aggregate of crushed rock, this roofing material is easy to install and maintain.

Types of roof installation

Roof Shingle Installation

Roof shingle installation is the most common roofing method used today. It involves applying roof shingles directly to a roof's wooden roof deck using nails or staples. A professional roofer can do this method of roofing, or it can be done as a DIY project if you are comfortable with home improvement and roofing tasks

Metal Roof Installation

Metal roof installation is slightly different from roof shingle installation, as it involves attaching metal roof panels to a roof's wooden roof deck using nails or screws. This method can also be done by professional roofers or DIY enthusiasts with some roofing experience.

Read more: How To Attach Metal Roof Panels: The Step-by-Step Guide

Common Roof Types

Gable Roof

A gable roof or sloped roof is one of the most common roof types and it consists of two roof sections that come together at a peak to form a triangular shape. Gable roofs are typically found on suburban homes, farmhouses, and other buildings with simple rooflines.

Hip Roof

A hip roof is another common roofing type. It features four sloping roof sections that come together at the roof's peak to form a roof that has four sides. These roofs are often found on more modern homes, particularly those with asymmetrical rooflines.

Flat Roof

A flat roof is just as it sounds - a roof that is completely level and lacks any sort of sloping roof edges or roof pitch. Flat roofs are commonly used in commercial buildings and industrial facilities, as they offer ample space for mechanical equipment and roof decks.

Gambrel Roof

A gambrel roof is a roof shape that is characterized by two slopes on opposite sides. In addition to being found on barns and other rural buildings, gambrel roofs are also sometimes seen on homes in more historic neighborhoods.

Mansard Roof

A mansard roof is also known as a French roof, as it combines two roof slopes with some sort of roof ventilation system. This roof shape is often found on homes built in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Salt Box Roof

The salt box roof is a roof shape that features two roof slopes on one side and three roof slopes on the other. This roof shape can be found in homes built throughout the 17th century and 18th centuries, particularly those that are located in New England.

Read more: Choosing a Metal Roof Type

Roofing Problems and Solutions


Leaks are one of the most common roofing problems. They can occur due to several factors, such as roof damage or roof maintenance issues. The best way to deal with roof leaks is to identify the cause of the problem and address it as soon as possible.

Hail Damage

Another common roof problem is hail damage, which can result in roof dents, roof cracks, and other roofing damage. The best way to deal with hail damage is to have a roof inspection performed by a roofing professional, who will be able to identify any roofing issues.

Structural Damage

Structural roof damage can occur as a result of roofing issues, such as roof leaks, roof collapses, and roof drainage problems. If you suspect that your roof has structural damage, it is essential to have it inspected by a professional roofer as soon as possible.

With this roofing terminology glossary, homeowners will be well-equipped to communicate with roofing contractors and better understand the roofing process. So whether you're a homeowner who is about to have your roof replaced or you're just curious about all the different roofing terms out there, we hope this post has been helpful!

If you're interested in metal roofing tools for your next project, contact us to learn more about our offerings.