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Roof Glossary For Brisbane Homeowners
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Roof Glossary for Brisbane Homeowners

A helpful glossary of roofing terminology you'll need before talking to a roof repairman or renovator.

It's easy to take roofing for granted. However, many Brisbane home owners find themselves caught out when faced with leaks or roof damage, unable to keep up with the wealth of esoteric terminology and obscure keywords required to understand the actual problem.

The following guide can serve as a helpful introduction for those seeking better understanding of how their roof might (or might not) function.

You might also find it a great excuse to simply broaden your appreciation of the many, many components and ingenious, centuries-old design considerations that go into creating a functional, weatherproof roof.

  • "Shingles" describes the outer covering of a roof, comprising of small individual components that overlap to provide strong, watertight protection.
  • A Skillion is a roof that slopes only in one direction. This is most common for extensions to existing homes. The slope (a.k.a. “pitch”) will usually be at less of an angle to the main house roofing. (Skillion roofs will often require an additional layer of boarding and/or waterproofing underneath. This layer is called Sarking.)
  • Flashing is a specially-cut metal strip designed to cover vulnerable areas, such as gaps where the roofing touches a pipe, chimney or other surface. Good flashing is one of the single best ways to prevent roof leaks.
  • The Eaves of a roof is the very edge, which extends beyond the wall to protect it from water (as well as providing a degree of protection from sunlight). Installed along the eaves is a Drip Edge, a non-corrosive edge designed to guide the water off the roof and away from the building underneath. The area on the ground that receives this water is called the Eavesdrip.
  • The Fascia is a band running underneath the eaves/edge of the roof. Its purpose is party aesthetic (making the edge seem less harsh, and bringing it into better consistency with the rest of the architecture), it also helps the eaves fulfil its function of weather protection.
  • Ridge Capping is the triangular arrangement of tiles that runs along the highest point of the roof. Set firmly in place with cement/mortar, it protects a vital weak spot where the two slopes meet, and prevents water getting underneath and displacing the tiles below.
  • Hip Capping is simply a lower version of ridge capping, covering other triangular junctions underneath the ridge.
  • The Valley is the opposite of a hip: a place where two inward slopes meet, carrying water down and away. Like ridge and hip capping, this is set in cement and carefully designed to protect a vulnerable area.
  • Horizontal Siding and Vertical Sliding refers to the outer layer of a wall, with shingles or boards or gaps subtly angled to shed water. While not technically a roof term, it may come up in consultation if discussing weatherproofing.
  • Roof Sheathing (a.k.a. the roof deck or decking) is the important layer of boards or plywood underneath the roofing, providing the structural integrity.

With these terms in mind, you should have a solid basis for further research, as well as the basic understanding you'll need to arrange roof repair or roof restoration with confidence.


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