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Cricket, Permaboot, Pitch, What? Understanding Roofing Terminology

We want you to make an educated decision when it comes to replacing your roof. Below is a list of common roofing terms for your knowledge and benefit.

  • Architectural shingle –High quality roofing products composed of a fiber glass mat base and ceramic-coated mineral granules that are embedded in water-resistant asphalt. Multiple layers of these shingles are overlapped and laminated together to give them a “dimensional” texture.
  • Boot – A covering made of flexible material that may be pre-formed to be a certain shape, with the purpose of preventing dust, dirt and moisture from entering around a penetration.
  • Box vents – A static (e.g., not mechanical) vent that uses wind and convection to move hot air and moisture out of the attic into the air outside. Also known as louvers or low profile vents.
  • Cricket – A peaked water diverter installed behind chimneys or large roof projects.
  • Deck – The bottom-most layer of the roofing system, on which the roofing materials are applied. The deck is usually plywood, wood boards, or planks.
  • Drip edge – A metal flashing or other overhanging component with a lip that projects out to control the direction of dripping water and protect underlying materials.
  • Flashing – A strip of metal that is used to seal/weatherproof areas of the roof in which the roof covering (i.e., shingles) ends or changes slope. Thus, flashing is often found around chimneys, vent pipes, and walls.
  • Gutter apron – A type of drip edge that is installed over the roof edge and hangs into the gutter in order to direct water into the gutter system.
  • Ice and water shield – A type of roofing underlayment that acts as a water-proof barrier and is used to minimize the risk for water infiltrating the roof and damaging the structure of the home.
  • OSB – Oriented Strand Board is a form of decking material made from wood chips and lamination glues.
  • Permaboot – A vent pipe boot designed to prevent leaks around vent pipes.
  • Pitch – A numerical measure of the steepness of a roof.  This number is calculated by the number of inches the roof rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. Roof pitches can range from 1:12 to 12:12. Pitches less than 4:12 are low sloped roofs. Low sloped roofs may require special roofing materials to prevent leaks.
  • Ridge vent – A ventilation system that runs the entire length of the roof peak, making it more efficient and more esthetically pleasing then alternative ventilation systems.
  • Valley – The “v” shaped channels that are created when two roof slopes meet. Open valleys are covered with metal, while a closed valley is covered with shingles.
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