If you’re an adjuster, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time on roofs when you’re working in the field. Part of the process of becoming an adjuster is building your knowledge base, and specifically about construction components and terminology. Here’s a simple list of general roofing terms that you should know before you’re getting on those roofs.

Built-up Roof

A low-slope (or flat-seeming) roof that is covered with alternating layers of roofing felt and hot-mapped asphalt and topped off with a layer of gravel.


The portion of the roof projecting out from the side walls of the house.


The flashing which is imbedded at its top in a wall or other vertical structure and is lapped down over shingle flashing.


Horizontal rows of shingles or tiles.

Drip or Drip Edge

The strip of metal extending out beyond the eaves or rakes to prevent rainwater from rolling around the shingles back onto the wooden portion of the house.


The lower edge of a roof (usually overhanging beyond the edge of the house).


Trimboard behind the gutter and eaves. Also on the rake.


Sheet metal or other material used at junctions of different planes on a roof to prevent leakage.


The “tar paper” used by roofer, usually made of a combination of asphalt and either paper or rags.

Frieze Board

A Board at the top of the house’s siding, forming a corner with the soffit.


The triangular upper part of a wall closing the end of a ridged roof


The external angle at the junction of two sides of a roof whose supporting walls adjoin.


In a flat roof, a horizontal structural member over which sheathing is nailed.


A structural member (usually slanted) to which sheathing is nailed.


The slanting edge of a gabled roof extending beyond the end wall of the house.


The horizontal line at the top edge of two sloping roof planes.


The rigid material (often 1-inch by 6-inch or one inch by twelve inch boards or sheets of plywood) which is nailed to the rafters, and to which shingles or other outside roofing materials are secured.

Shingle Flashing

Flashing that is laid in strips under each shingle and bent up the edge of a chimney or wall.


The number of inched of vertical rise in a roof per 12-inches of horizontal distance. Also referred to as pitch.


The boards that enclose the underside of that portion of the roof which extends out beyond the sidewalls of the house.


One hundred square feet of roof, or the amount of roofing material needed to cover 100 square feet when properly applied.


The material (usually roofing felt) laid on top of sheathing before shingles are applied. Valley The less-than 180-degree angle where two sloping roof sections come together. Valley Flashing The flashing in valleys, extending in under to shingles on both sides.