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Raleigh Roofing: Article About Understanding Typical Roofing Jargon

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Understanding some common terms contractors use in the roofing industry goes a long way toward saving money during a roof replacement or repair. Although some of the terms sound complicated, they are actually easy to understand once the homeowner determines how the term applies to a particular section of a roof. For example, if contractors or Raleigh roofing companies use the term "square," they simply mean a 10 foot by 10 foot section of a roof totaling 100 square feet.

"Felt" is a term contractors use to describe the underlayment between the shingles or tile and the bare plywood. Compressed fibers such as wool or acrylic form a sheet of paper that contractors use as the underlayment.

Fascia refers to the trim covering the outer edge of a roof. Although contractors use fascia primarily to give the roof added curb appeal, it does provide additional protection for interior sections of the roof. Contractors install a type of metal flashing, known as drip edge, between the outer edge of the roof and the fascia. The drip edge hangs over the fascia, controlling the direction of water running off the roof.

The roofing contractors at Otto's Exteriors of Raleigh can assist you with any questions regarding decks or shingle roofing.

Many contractors use the term "counter flashing," especially when they talk about ways to protect homes from water leaks. This form of flashing is a metal sheet that contractors secure to the wall of any projection, such as a chimney or vent pipe. The flashing directs water away from the projection, protecting joints and intersections from potential water leaks.

When contractors use the term "ply," they are referring to the level of thickness in the felt, or underlayment. Often, contractors refer to the level of thickness as two ply, three ply or four ply. Felt with two ply contains twice the amount of matted fibers than single ply felt. Accordingly, three and four ply felt contain three and four times the amount of matted fibers.

When a contractor uses the term "roof slope," they are describing the amount of vertical rise in a roof for every 12 inches of horizontal run. Also known as pitch, contractors calculate slope using ratios, such as a 4:12 ratio. In the example ratio, four represents the amount of vertical rise in inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run. Typically, the average roof slope has a 3:12 or 4:12 ratio. Contractors usually charge homeowners additional labor costs for any roof with a pitch ratio higher than 5:12 because it is difficult to walk on roofs with a higher vertical slope.

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