In this episode, Jerry helps clarify that “roofer jargon” your contractor may be speaking. Sometimes it feels like a company is trying to confuse you with all their terminology and acronyms. But at Roof Life, we feel like the more you understand the lingo, the more you’ll understand the value of what we do. As always, we’re happy to answer additional questions. Call or search our blog for more great info!

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB031-214

Shayla: Thanks for joining us today for the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I’m talking with Jerry today. Jerry, today I want to talk about roof jargon. I know sometimes homeowners can get overwhelmed because they just really don’t know what these terms mean when they’re hearing about their roof. So I’m just going to give you a few questions here, and you tell me what they mean. So first, let’s start with fasteners. What in the world do mean when you say “fasteners”?

Jerry: What is a fastener? Roof jargon. I love roof jargon. A lot of people do it to confuse you. So let me help you out with a couple terms here. So a fastener is just simply a roof nail. It’s what nails your shingle to the roof. Very simple. Nothing fancy. Just a nail. That’s what a fastener is.

Shayla: Alright. What about asphalt? Is there a difference between asphalt or architectural composition? What do those terms mean?

Jerry: Okay so what is the difference between asphalt and architectural composition? They’re the same. All roofs that are considered composition or asphalt, they are the same. They’re an asphalt composition roof. Confusing, I know, because people get really caught up in the jargon, whether it’s architectural, presidential, grand manor or whatever you want to say. It’s just the shingle that goes on your roof. It’s the most common shingle that gets replaced on your roof when you do a re-roof or a new construction project, if it’s not wood. Now, all shingles are made of asphalt with fiberglass in them and granules on them. The other slang for it is composition. Same thing, just a different word for it. Architectural is the style of the shingle.

Shayla: Alright. Let’s talk about cedar roofs. I know that’s really popular in Portland so is there a difference between shingles and shakes? Talk about cedar a little bit there.

Jerry: So a lot of people want to know the difference between cedar shingles and shakes. Yes, there is a difference between the two. It really comes down to the thickness of it and how it’s installed. Cedar shingles are very thin, but you will have five times the amount of wood on your roof, because the way that it’s layered and staggered on the roof. You actually don’t even need paper on your roof, when you use them. So a cedar shingle is just a very, very thin piece of wood that’s about yay-long. It’s not very long at all. A shake tends to be about eighteen inches long and it ranges anywhere from 3/8 to 3/4 to an inch and 1/4, and that’s where you get the shake. It’s just a bigger piece of wood. It’s heavier is what it is. Both of them are cedar. Shingles thin, shakes thicker. That’s really the biggest difference between the two.

Shayla: And what is the metal around your chimney called?

Jerry: The metal around chimney is just flashing. It is what ties the roof in with the chimney. It’s the simple word for it. They’ll called it counter flashing. They’ll call it step flashing. There’s a couple different things. They’ll call it pan metal, upper pan metal, lower pan metal. Don’t worry about that. All you need to know it’s just what ties the two pieces together, because you don’t want water to come into that crack.

Shayla: What do you guys mean when you guys mean when you say the pitch of the roof?

Jerry: The pitch of a roof is how steep it is. And the higher the number, like if you hear 12×12, it’s super steep. The lower number, like 3×12, super shallow. And what 3×12 means, basically, in simple terms, it’s for every 12 inches, it rises three inches. That’s what a 3×12 is. 12×12, for every 12 inches, it rises 12 inches.

Shayla: Alright, what about tar paper, what’s that?

Jerry: Tar paper is just the paper that goes underneath your shingles and on top of your plywood. Some people call if felt paper, some people call it synthetic paper. Tar paper is the old slang for it, kind of like tissues and linoleum. It’s not really linoleum, it’s vinyl. And facial tissues or facial Kleenex. But tar paper is just, you have your shingle, you have your tar paper, and then you have your plywood.

Shayla: And one more for you. What is a drip edge?

Jerry: What is a drip edge? The drip edge is a piece of metal that hangs at the very bottom of your roof that goes into your gutter. So it ties your gutter into your roof, that way the water doesn’t come behind your gutter and go down your facia, because if you ever look up, you will see stains sometimes behind your gutter, and that’s because it didn’t have the proper metal into it. And that’s what that drip edge metal is.

Shayla: As you can hear, Jerry’s got all the answers for you about that roof jargon. And Roof Life does always do their best to make sure that you understand everything that they are saying and break it down for you. If you have any questions about any other roof terms that you’ve heard, reach out to Jerry and the team at Roof Life of Oregon.


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