The process of shopping for a new roof can be pretty confusing when you come across roofing-industry terms with which you're not familiar. To help simplify your shopping process, here's a look at some common roofing terms you'll come across and what they mean.
Deck: When you're talking roofing, the deck is not where you sit outside in the summer. It's actually the base layer to which your roofing material is applied. The deck is typically made from plywood or planks. If it is in good shape, your roofing contractor should not have to replace it during your re-roofing.
Drip Edge: This is the lip that extends over shingles along the edge of the roof. It keeps water from seeping underneath them. Make sure all of your roofing estimates include a drip edge – without it, your roof will deteriorate quickly.
Flashing: Look up at your roof, and you'll probably notice sheet metal around the borders or chimneys and other elements where they meet the roof. This is flashing, and it must be installed carefully to prevent leaks.
Ice Dams: Those pretty icicle formations on the edge of your roof in the wintertime are called ice dams. They're not a good thing, as they cause leaks and shingle damage. A roofing contractor will probably ask you whether your home develops ice dams, as this will give them an indication of whether your roofing ventilation system needs improvement.
Ridge Vent: This is a long vent that stretches across the ridge of your roof. It's typically made from plastic. If your roof is not properly vented, your roofing company may recommend adding a ridge vent during your re-roofing.
Soffit Vents: These are smaller vents placed under the eaves of your roof (where the roof overhangs your home's exterior walls). Most homes have soffit vents and ridge vents.
Architectural Shingles: Architectural shingles have a more textured, overlapped look than standard, 3-tab shingles. They're a bit more expensive, but they last longer and have a higher-end look than standard shingles.
Underlayment: A layer of tar paper is placed over your roofing deck and beneath your shingles. This is known as the underlayment, and it's important for preventing leaks.
Exposure: This term is used to refer to any portion of the roof that will be exposed to the elements, such as the outer surface of the shingles that you see.
Now that you know the meanings of these common roofing industry terms, you should have an easier time interpreting what you're reading and hearing as you shop around for a new roof. When you're ready to have your roof replaced, contact a contractor like Nelson Contracting, LLC.