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Roofing Terminology

Homeowners in need of roof repairs, roof replacement, new shingle installations, or other roofing services can trust in Romeo’s Roofing.
Serving all of Polk County FL and Lakeland FL, we have become a household name for roofing repair & maintenance.


Algae Discoloration

Dark stains on your roofing that is caused by a rooftop fungus. Almost all types of roof systems are susceptible to algae discoloration.

Angled Fasteners

This is when roofing staples or nails are driven into a roof deck at an angel which is not parallel to the deck.

Asphalt Shingles

The most widely used roofing shingles used in North America. Can be made with an organic base or fiberglass base. With waterproof, solar reflecting properties, and algae resistance, asphalt shingles remain the roofing material of choice for the Lakeland, Florida climate.

Asphalt Plastic Roofing Cement

An asphalt-based cement that is use to adhere roofing materials and bond shingles. It can also be known as flashing cement or mastic.


Base Flashing

This is the area of flashing that is attached to the roofing deck to help direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.


Bubbling of asphalt shingles that can occur after installation. This can be caused by moisture trapped under the shingles or roofing material that gets to hot due to lack of proper ventilation.


Shingles that have been blown off the roof deck due to high winds or storm damage.


This is a method of roof replacement that utilizes metric-side shingles.


Buckled asphalt shingles result from a wrinkled roof underlayment or shifting of the wood roof deck.

Butt Edge

A butt edge is the lower edge of a shingle tab.



Roofing joints are filled with asphalt cement or mastic to help prevent leaks.

Closed Cut Valley

A method of installing shingles to a roof valley where the shingles from one side of the valley extend across the centerline, while shingles from the other side of the valley cease two inches short of the centerline.

Concealed Nail Method

In this method, roofing nails are driven into the underlayment, then covered by cement so that the nails are not exposed to harsh weather.


Occurs when moisture becomes trapped between the roof & roofing insulation. This can stem from improper installation, insufficient ventilation, or excessive moisture buildup in the home.

Counter Flashing

Flashing that is attached to the vertical part of a wall to provide a waterproof seal. The main purpose of counter flashing is to prevent moisture from entering behind the vertical flange of the headwall or sidewall flashing.


A row of shingles (or roll roofing) that runs the entire length of a roof.


Water diverter that is installed behind chimneys or other large roof projections. Its peaked design is used to divert water around the chimney or projection.


This situation happens when shingles are improperly installed over an existing roof which causes the shingles to curl or cup. It can also be caused by a defect during the manufacturing process.


Between the tabs on a strip shingle, there is an open portion that is called the cutout.



A roof deck is the foundation or base of the entire roofing system. It is the layer of material between the trusses & joists and the weatherproofing underlayment in a typical roofing system.


The structural element of a roof that protrudes from the plane of a sloping roof surface. It generally contains a framed window unit.

Drip Edge

A lip that functions to keep shingles off of the deck at edges so shingles can be extended over eaves and gutters to help water runoff drip clean of underlying construction.



Eaves are the bottom edge of a roof. They generally project beyond the side of the home to create an overhang which keeps water from running down the walls.

Edging Strips

These boards are fastened along eaves & rakes once existing wood shingles have been cut back to help provide a secure edge for asphalt shingles during a reroofing service.


An ell is the wing/extension of a building or roof that lies perpendicular to the length of the main portion of the building.

Exposed Nail Method

In this method of installing roll roofing, nails are driven into cemented, overlapping course of roofing. The nails are exposed to weather and environmental conditions.



Nails or staples that are used in the installation process of roofing which attach the roofing materials to the roof deck.

Fiberglass Mat

One of two base materials for asphalt shingles that is manufactured from glass fibers.


Flashing is pieces of metal installed in a manner that prevents water from penetrating the home around any intersections, projects, or protrusions like chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers, vent pipes, and valleys.

Free-Tab Shingles

These shingles do not contain self-sealing adhesive or factory-applied strips.



A gable roof is a traditional roof style where two sloped roof planes meet at a peak creating a ridge line.

Gambrel Roof

A gambrel roof is a symmetrical two-sided roof that contains two slopes of different pitches on each side. The upper slope is generally positioned at a shallow angle, whereas the lower slope has a steeper angle.


These are colored, crushed rocks that have been ceramic coated and adhered to the exposed surface of asphalt roofing shingles.


Hip Roof

This type of roof is when all four sides of the roof slope downwards towards the wall. There are no gables or vertical sides to the roof. If the house was square, a hip roof would resemble a pyramid.

Hip Legs

The down-slope ridges of hip roofs are called hip legs. They are opposite of a valley.

Hip Shingles

Specially designed shingles that are used to cover the external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping planes on a hip roof.


Laminated Shingles

(Aka Three-Dimensional Shingles) These are strip shingles that contain two or more separate pieces that have been laminated together for extra thickness.


The area of the roof where the roll roofing or shingles overlap one another during installation.

Lap Cement

A special asphalt-based cement that is used to bond overlapping roll roofing materials.

Low Slopes

If a roof has a pitch less than 4:12 (4 inch slope per 12 feet), it’s considered a low sloped roof. Roofs with low slopes require a special installation process, while slopes less than 2:12 are not suitable for shingles.


Mansard Roof

This roof design is a gambrel-styled roof that features a nearly vertical roof plane which meets with another roof plane of lesser slope at the peak. It can also feature dormer windows.


Term for the base material of shingles or other roll roofing products.

Mineral-Surfaced Roofing

When roofing materials like asphalt shingles or roll roofing are covered with granules.



A reroofing process that applies new asphalt shingles over old shingles by placing the new shingle against the bottom edge of the existing shingle tab.

Normal Slope Application

This is a method of installing asphalt shingles on roofs that contain a slope/pitch of 4:12 to 21:12.


Open Valley

Another method of installing shingles at a roof valley where the shingles on both side of the valley are perfectly trimmed along a chalk line to meet in the middle, leaving the valley flashing exposed. Neither side of shingles extends across the valley centerline.

Organic Felt

An organic base for asphalt shingles manufactured from cellulose fibers.


This is the area of the roof that extends beyond the exterior walls of the home or building.


This term is used to describe nails or staples that have been driven through the roofing materials which too much force causing them to break.


When an installer places shingle courses higher than their intended exposure.



When roof shingle courses are installed vertically up the roof instead of across the horizontal plane first. This procedure is NOT recommended.


The framing material that is immediately beneath the deck, running from ridge of a roof to the wall below.


This is the vertical/inclined edge of a gable-style roof plane that runs from the eave to the ridge.


The top, horizontal angle formed by the intersection of sloping roof planes. The peak of two roof planes.


This is the slope, or vertical distance, from the eaves to the ridge.

Roll Roofing

Asphalt roofing materials that are manufactured in a roll form, used on roofs that have a pitch of 2:12 or less. Not suitable for every type of roof style.

Roof Louvers

(AKA Soldier Vents, Mushroom Vents, Box Vents, Airhawks) Rectangular shaped roof vents. They are covered openings that allow air to escape out of the attic.

Roof Plane

One side or area of the roof that is defined by having four separate edges.



A special sealant installed on shingles that is activated by heat or the sun. After installation the warmth of the sun activates the sealant to adhere the shingles to each other.


This is the area on roll roofing that doesn’t contain granules. It is designed for fasteners and sealant.


This is the slight differences in color between shingles that usually occurs during the manufacturing process.


Wood boards of exterior grade that are used to construct the roof deck.

Shed Roof

This style of roof contains only one sloping plane, with no hips, valleys, gables, or ridges.


The degree of incline of a roof plane, expressed as the ratio of the rise (inches), to the run (feet). Ex- 4:12


The underside, finished edge of the eaves or roof edge.


This term is used to refer to a unit of roof which measures a total of 100 square feet.

Steep-Slope Roofing

The method of roof installation that is used for steeply sloped roofs featuring a slope greater than 21 inches per foot.


The metal flashing pieces that are installed in a step-like manner where vertical surface (like the side of a chimney) meets a sloping roof plane.



This is the bottom, or exposed, portion of shingles that is separated by the shingle cutouts.


The process of removing all existing roofing materials all the way down to the roof deck before installing a roof replacement or beginning a reroofing service. At Romeo’s Roofing, we always recommend a tear-off before starting a reroofing project.


A distortion that is caused by installing new roofing materials over an uneven surface. When shingles are installed over old, buckled or curling shingles, the new shingles may reflect the uneven surface beneath them.

Three-Tab Shingle

An old style of shingle that many older homes feature, but now should be replaced with a more durable & better-designed dimensional shingle.


Transitions are the area of the roof where one roof plane ties into another roof plane that has a different slope.



(AKA Tar Paper) This is the asphalt-based material that is rolled out on the roof deckand installed underneath the shingles or main roofing material to add a watertight & weatherproof seal.



The opposite of a hip, a valley forms an internal angle at the intersection of two sloping planes in order to provide a water runoff. Creates a “V” shaped depression.


Woven Valleys

A third method of installing shingles at a roof valley where shingles from both sides of the valley extend across the centerline and are woven together by overlapping alternate courses as they are installed. Valley flashing is not exposed.