Roofing Glossary: Understanding the Technical Diagram of a Roof

Roofing Glossary: Understanding the Technical Diagram of a Roof

It is sometimes difficult to understand the jargon of professionals. This roofing glossary will allow you to find the main terms used by your roofer and better understand his quote.

Roofing: Glossary of Terms Used & Definitions

AGREEMENT: entourage providing sealing around a chimney stack, a dormer window, and a frame. 

ACROTERY: low wall located on the edge of a roof terrace in the extension of the facade walls. It can be more or less high and be protected by coping or serve as a base for attaching a guardrail.

SLATE: rock from the shale family which cuts into thin plates. It is used in roofing materials for its natural qualities (waterproof, frost-proof, robustness, and longevity).

HIP: salient angle where two roof slopes meet. The hip is the opposite of the valley.

CANOPY or CANOPY: small roof protecting an entrance door, a porch, or a window. It is fixed to the wall by brackets. It can be 1 side, 2 sides, rounded, etc.

SEWER STRIP: located on the lower part of the roof, it ensures the junction between the cover and the gutter. It is fixed, to the sewer, on the tips of the rafters. It protects the facade against water infiltration. It can be metal, wood, or PVC.

FLASHING STRIP: thin, waterproof strip intended to prevent water and air from infiltrating between the roof and a masonry structure (chimney stack, skylight, wall). Generally, it is metallic (zinc, steel, aluminum, etc.). 

BITUMINOUS SHINGLES or SHINGLE: type of roofing composed of felt reinforced with fiberglass and impregnated with bitumen and covered with mineral granules. It imitates slate or tile. 

FRAME: small fixed or opening structure allowing lighting and/or ventilation of the attic. Also called a skylight or skylight if it is small or a roof window if it is large.

SHUTTER or TILE SHUTTER: tile comprising an opening in order to ensure the ventilation of the under-roof to avoid the problems of humidity related to condensation.  

GUTTER: rainwater drainage pipe located at the roof drain or between 2 slopes. The gutter is larger than the gutter with which it is often confused. 

SITTING DOG: small dormer window with a flat roof whose slope is opposite to that of the main roof (hence its name of upturned dormer window). By extension designates any type of skylight.

ATTIC: volume located between the roof and the last floor or ceiling. The attic can be habitable or not.

COVER: part of the roof made up of the waterproof covering (tiles, slates, steel deck, etc.). The cover rests on a supporting structure, the framework.

CRAPAUDINE: metal accessory placed above the start of the gutter to prevent leaves and debris from clogging the downspouts. 

HIP or HIP ROOF: type of roof which at the level of the gables is triangular. This configuration is found on 3- or 4-sided roofs.

DOLPHIN: an element placed in the lower part of the downspout to prevent the downspout from being crushed. Traditionally, it is cast iron. 

DEMOUSSAGE or DEMOUSSAGE: cleaning of moss, algae, and lichens that develop on the cover.

RAINWATER DOWNSPOUT: the set of elements (bend, pipe, dolphin) that lead rainwater from the gutter (or gutter) to the ground. It is made of metal (zinc, copper, aluminum) or PVC.

BEHIND THE STUMP or PIEDDROIT: a metal sealing element that returns the water to each side of the chimney stack. 

SCREEN UNDER ROOF: a rigid or flexible sealing element placed under the roof. 

SEWER: lower part of a roof section.

RIDGE: the highest roof line, located at the meeting of 2 sides of a roof.

RIDGE or RIDGE TILE: specific tile (semi-cylindrical or angular) which covers the ridge and provides water tightness. 

GUTTER: metal or PVC structure that collects rainwater from the roof drain. It is often confused with the gutter. 

LAUZE: traditional roofing material consisting of flat stones generally obtained by cleaving.  

LITEAU: a piece of wood, of rectangular or square section, nailed to the counter-laths or the rafters of the frame used to fix the tiles or slates.

LITEAUNAGE or LITTONNAGE or LATTIS  : installation of all the battens.

SKYLIGHT: structure in masonry, stone, or wood protecting an open window on the roof. It allows lighting and ventilation in the attic. Generally, it is projecting, that is to say, it protrudes from the roof. There are many shapes of skylight: the bull’s eye (circular), the slatted window (triangular), the nasturtium (with 2 sides and 1 hip), rampant (in the extension of the slope of the roof), etc.. 

VALLEY: the re-entrant angle formed by the meeting of the slopes of two roof sections. The valley is the opposite of the hip. 

PANNETONNAGE: Fix the tiles to the battens by hooking, screwing, or nailing.

SLOPE: the angle formed by a roof section in relation to its base, which is horizontal. The angle of the slope is important in determining the type of cover.

GABLE: upper triangular part of a building side.  

SQUARE PLAN: the surface of a cover or a slope on which there is neither cut nor penetration.

DRY INSTALLATION: installation technique avoiding any sealing with mortar on the ridge and hips. It allows excellent ventilation. 

BUREAU: the visible part of a flat tile or slate on which rainwater flows. The false gauge is the hidden part covered by the tile located above. 

CRAWLING: part of the roof between the ridge and the gutter. Also called pan or slope. 

EDGE: roof edge delimiting a slope laterally, in penetration, in the hip. In practice means the side bank. 

SHINGLE: synonym of bitumen shingle. 

FLASHING: work generally made of mortar which provides the seal between the roofing and masonry work in penetration (chimney stack, skylight, wall). It is carried out either directly on the cover or on a strip of flashing.

STEM: part of a chimney that rises above the roof.

ROOF: upper part of a building ensures its protection against bad weather. By extension also means the covering of the roof (tiles, slates, etc.).

ROOF: all the roofs of a building.

TILE: roof covering material. Traditionally, the tile is made of terracotta. Today, it can be concrete. In mountainous regions, there are also wooden tiles.

FLAT TILE: rectangular tile model. On the back, it has a lug that allows it to be hooked to the batten. It covers roofs with steep slopes.

CANAL TILE or STEAM TILE: the model of a semi-circular tile. It covers low-slope roofs. 

INTERLOCKING TILE or MECHANICAL TILE: industrial tile in terracotta or concrete which has an interlocking system. It can imitate the flat tile or the channel tile.  

DECK: pieces of wood serving as a support for laying slate roofing, canal tile, or metal roofing.

CLIMATE ZONE: France is divided into 3 climatic zones according to the geographical location more or less close to the coast and the altitude. For each zone, the roof must meet technical specificities in terms of slope and roofing material.

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