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Roofing Terminology: Glossary of Common Roofing Terms


The 10 Roofing Terms You Need To Know When
Dealing With Your Leesburg, VA, Roof

Know The Terms To Understand Your Roofing Needs Better


If your Leesburg, VA, roof requires repair or replacement, you’ve probably started researching the process. However, your research means nothing if you don’t understand the various roofing terms used – the standard “lingo” of asphalt roofers everywhere.

After all, do you know what someone means if they say, “Your decking is buckled on the front-facing facet, and your flashing has leakage”? But don’t worry if these industry terms have your head spinning – we can help.

It is a great idea to understand some standard roofing terms to understand better what is being proposed for your Loudon County roof. Check out these ten terms commonly spoken to homeowners when it comes time to replace their roofs!


1. Decking, AKA Roof Decking

No, roof decking doesn’t refer to the deck you have in your backyard where you barbecue during the spring and summer months. Roof decking, or “decking” as many roofers refer to it, is the foundation of your roof.

If you’ve ever seen a new home being built with what resembles wood on the roof without anything else – that is the decking. The decking creates a solid structure to which all the other materials are attached.

You can have decking that is a solid sheet of OSB or plywood – or you can have decking that is made from wooden planks.

The key to remember is that decking should always stay dry. Otherwise, you will find that moisture leads to rotting wood and a weakened roofing system.


2. Roof Flashing

If you look at the chimney coming out of your roof – or even in the roof valleys on your roof – you might see a reflective metal material. This material is called flashing and has an essential role within your Leesburg, VA, roof.

Roof flashing is meant to help prevent water from seeping into the roof in high-traffic areas, such as the roof valleys, where rainwater may naturally run a little faster.


3. Roof Underlayment

The roof underlayment is installed directly onto the decking. It is often a synthetic or felt material meant to be waterproof. It protects the decking should water get under the asphalt shingles.

The asphalt shingles are applied to the underlayment and create a secure and protective structure.


4. Drip Edge

This metal strip is installed along the edges of your roof to prevent dripping water from entering your siding or brick. It may not be something you pay attention to when you see it, but it is an integral part of preventing leaks inside your home.


5. Roof Valley

The roof valley is the lowest point between the two roof peaks.

For example, if your home has an attached garage with a point, and your home has a point in the middle, then the area between these two points is the roof valley.

You may notice flashing is installed in the roof valley to ensure water flows freely down your roof. Standing water on your roof can lead to moss, mildew, and structural damage.


6. Shingles

Most shingles are made from asphalt and are nailed in strips of 3 to 5 at a time onto your roof. They are strong and are meant to increase the beauty of your home. They often have a lifespan of anywhere from 15 to 30 years and come in various colors to meet your design needs.

Asphalt shingles are a perfect and long-lasting solution for Leesburg, VA, homes. They are designed to withstand everything from high winds to torrential rains and snow.


7. Plumbing Vent

It can be surprising to hear your roofer state that the plumbing vent on your Leesburg, VA, roof must be replaced. However, a plumbing vent is an essential component of a well-designed and reliable roofing system.

You can see your plumbing vent when you look at your roof. It is often a PVC pipe that is sticking up out of the roof near the location of your bathrooms. The plumbing vent regulates the air in the pipes to promote a healthy system.

The plumbing vent has a “rubber boot” that attaches to the roof to ensure no leaks can seep through. It is often one of the items replaced when the roof is replaced.


8. Roof Vent

If your Loudon County area roof is damaged by a storm and wind, chances are your roof vents may look a little dented and worse for wear.

The main goal of the roof vents is to allow hot air to escape your attic or crawl space to ensure your home stays cool. You can see these on your roof when looking at it – even from the ground.


9. Ridge Cap

This particular type of asphalt shingle is meant to be fitted to the ridge line. The ridge line is what runs horizontally along the house – where the front of your roof and the back of your roof meet.

The cap is crucial as it forms a seal to ensure no moisture can penetrate the roof in this location.


10. Water Shield

The water shield is added to the decking before the underlayment. It is an adhesive layer that further protects your decking from moisture. And it is often the best way for the underlayment to stick and hold.

In most cases, when having your asphalt roof replaced, the water shield is still good as long as no significant disasters penetrate it.


When Your Leesburg, VA, Roof Needs Help, We Are Here

Does your Leesburg, VA, roof need a little TLC? Then it’s time to let the professionals at Milcon Design & Build take a look. We can inspect your roof, repair, and replace your roof with a new and reliable system.

We take the time to explain everything as we go, so you’ll always know you’re making the right decision for your home.

Call Milcon Design & Build today at (703) 581-2761 to set up an appointment for a roof estimate!


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