Roofing Contractors
Tips & Advice - Roofing Contractors

What's a soffit anyway?


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Before you meet with your roofing or gutter contractor, brush up on some commonly used roofing and gutter terms.
Before you meet with your roofing or gutter contractor, brush up on some commonly used roofing and gutter terms. Knowing the basic terminology will help you understand the contractor and ask relevant questions.

Here are some terms you will need to know when working with a roof or gutter professional:

Decking
Material to which roofing materials are secured. It is typically made of plywood, wood boards, or planks. Also called sheathing.

Downspout
The pipe that carries water from the gutter to a drain.

Eaves
The lower border of a roof that overhangs the outside wall of the house.

Fascia
Wood board used to hide the ends of the roof?s rafters and decking. The gutter system is usually nailed to the fascia.

Felt
A protective layer placed between the decking and shingles. Also referred to as underlayment.

Hanger
Flat strap installed under the roofing material that holds up the horizontal section of the gutter.

Flashing
Metal strips installed around the chimney, vents, windows, doors and skylights and along seams in the roof to prevent leaks.

Pitch
The angle a roof surface makes with the horizontal plane. Also referred to as the slope.

Ridge
Peak, or the highest point of roof where two roof sections meet.

Roofing Materials
There are four main types of roofs used in the United States: shingles (asphalt & wood), slate, tiles (clay & concrete) and metal. For detailed information about each of these roofing materials, please see our article "What Sort of Roofing Options Do I Have?"

Soffit
Finished underside of the eaves.

Truss
Framework that supports the roof. Also referred to as rafters.

Valley
Internal angle formed where two roof sections intersect that provides water runoff.


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