Every industry has its jargon which can make it seem like people in the industry are speaking a different language. This is especially true with industries that we don’t engage with on a routine basis. But what happens when there is a problem with your roof? When it is time to call the experts, are you equipped to effectively and concisely explain the issue? Here are some key terms to know when talking about your roof.
Gable and Hip
These are the two most common residential roof types. These terms indicate the structure of the roof. As you may have guessed, the term ‘gable’ refers to a vertically pitched roof the rise
s from two sloping roof panels that extend upward to a single roof ridge. This type of roof creates a triangular gabled end.
A hip roof is the opposite of the gable roof. A hip roof is oriented horizontally with typically four roof panels that rise inward (imagine a pyramid shape) and emphasize the horizontal flow of the earth.
Ridge, Rake and Eave
The ridge of the roof is typically the highest point of the roof. It is formed by the point where the roof panels meet.
The rake is the angled portion at the end of a gabled roof that extends beyond the walls of the house. It is often finished with trim that can be elaborate or simple.
The eave is the portion of the roof that extends beyond the wall of the house. The purpose of the eave is to direct rainwater away from the wall of the house. Some eaves lie close to the wall and some protrude significantly from the wall.
We have already mentioned the planes of the roof. These are the flat portion of the roof that rise from the wall and eaves to the ridge or topmost point of the roof.
Hips and Valleys
Both of these terms refer to the point at which two roof planes meet. A hip is an outward point where two roof planes converge. A valley is the opposite. The Valley is the interior point where two roof planes meet. As you can imagine, on a typical roof, there are several planes and valleys. The valleys naturally form the channels through which water runs down a roof. These areas are especially important when it comes to maintenance and repair.
Every roof has penetrations. These are points through which an opening in the roof is created. Chimneys, plumbing or other vents and skylights are all typical points of penetration in a roof. Penetrations are the most vulnerable point on a roof. Ensuring that they have been created, installed, and sealed correctly is vital to the long-term life of the roof.
There are a plethora of variations and iterations or arrangements of these basic elements of a roof, but this list will help you be able to work your way around your roof when communicating with your roofing professional.