Learn the official roofing definitions used by insurance adjusters and roofing professionals.
Hail (definition as it relates to insurance claims on asphalt roofs):
Hailstones are chunks of ice produced by the turbulent updrafts of thunderstorms. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness. Thus, hail impact-caused marks on a roof and its surroundings have various sizes, shapes, and depths. Hailstone caused impact marks are generally rounded, but are not perfectly circular.
Mechanical Damage (definition as it relates to insurance claims on asphalt roofs):
Mechanical damage is sometimes caused in order to simulate hail or wind damage. Naturally occurring hail has characteristics which result in damage that is distinctly different from mechanical/tool caused damage. Factors which can be used to differentiate naturally created marks from simulated, mechanically caused marks include the geometry of the individual marks as well as distribution of the marks on a roof. Further, hailstones are not hard enough to pulverize granules to a fine powder. Hard hammer blows, on the other hand, crush and smear granules. Mechanical damage also can be unintentional, caused by human or animal activities on the roof or by inanimate forces (such as tree limbs).
6” Method of Installation: Method of installation in which a full-length shingle is used to start the first course. 6 inches are removed from the starting shingle of the second course, continuing in the same pattern of 6” removal in each subsequent course, then returning in the seventh course to the use of a full shingle to begin the course. Do not install shingles less than 12 inches long (4” and 5” methods of installation are similar).
accidental damage: unintentional damage. Accidental damage is included in roof insurance policy. Damage is implicitly included unless explicitly excluded.
aluminized steel: steel sheet that has been hot-dipped in molten aluminum to provide barrier weathering protection.
arquitechtural roofing : metal roofing system that is non-load bearing. Must be installed over structural decking rather than battens or purlins.
asphalt: A dark brownish-black adhesive material of which the predominate constituents are bitumens that occur in nature but most often are obtained through petroleum processing. It is used as a binder (adhesive and waterproofing agent) for composition roofing.
asphaltic pitch: Asphalt flux that is further refined in a blow still and 6” Method of Installation suitable for roofing applications. Commonly referred to as asphalt.
asphalt plastic cement: An asphalt-based cement used to bond roofing materials. Also known as flashing cement or mastic. The trowelable material is a mixture of cutback bitumen and mineral stabilizers, sometimes with reinforcing fibers.
astm: American Society for Testing and Materials. (www.astm.org)
asymmetrical panel: panels which are designed to snap together (male-female) and can be joined without the use a seam cap.
base flashing: Flashing which transitions from the roof slope and along a vertical surface.
batten: (in metal roofs) wood board used to support and anchor metal panels. Also, can be the metal bar, or cap or cover, on a seam.
bitumen: The generic term for an amorphous semi-solid mixture of complex hydrocarbons. Asphalt and coal tar are the two bitumens most commonly used in roofing applications.
bleeder: Shingles extending below and opposite the direction of courses on a roof, for instance, along rake edges.
bruise: A rupture or fracture in a composition shingle. A bruise may not be obvious visually in the top surface of a composition shingle; however, it can be felt from above with tips of thumbs or fingers as a localized soft spot
builder's gap: Builder's gap can occur at the top of the roof, at the eave of the roof, and at any corner where the decking doesn't meet with the fascia, with the ridge beam, or any supporting beam.
bundle: A package of shingles. Usually there are 3, 4, or 5 bundles per square (one square = 100 square feet) of composition shingles, depending on weight of the shingles.
butt edge: The downslope edge of a shingle.
California Closed Cut Valley: A roof valley constructed with shingles from one side extending across the valley while shingles from the other side are trimmed two inches short of the valley centerline along the edge of a bleeder.
caulking: Elastomeric materials applied to seal junctions between surfaces.
Fire Rating class A: The highest rating of fire resistance issued by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for roofing products. Indicates roofing is able to withstand severe exposure to fire originating from sources outside the structure.
Fire Rating class B: Rating of fire resistance issued by Underwriters Laboratories. Indicates roofing material is able to withstand moderate exposure to fire originating from sources outside the structure.
Fire Rating class C: Rating of fire resistance issued by Underwriters Laboratories. Indicates roofing material is able to withstand minimal exposure to fire originating from sources outside the structure.
closed-cut valley: A roof valley constructed with shingles from one side extending across the valley while shingles from the other side are trimmed two inches short of the valley centerline.
coal tar pitch: A bituminous material produced as a by-product of the coking process. Coal tar pitch may be used in built-up roofing although it is much less common than asphaltic pitch. Commonly referred to as pitch.
coating blisters: Bubble-like voids in the coating asphalt on the surface of a composition shingle.
collar: A pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the penetration around the roof opening. Also called a vent sleeve or jack.
cosmetic damage: is damage. Damage is defined as any physical change to the roof component.
counterflashing: The portion of flashing attached to vertical surfaces to prevent water from migrating behind the base flashing. When atop a parapet wall, known as cap flashing.
course: A row of shingles or roll roofing along the length of a roof and parallel to the roof eave.
cricket: Code requires a cricket to be installed when structure on roof is 30" inches or wider. A peaked saddle construction that assists runoff drainage from a roof. A cricket should be installed at the upslope side of a chimney to prevent accumulation of snow and/or ice and to deflect water around the chimney.
cutout: Open portions of a strip shingle between the tabs.
Damage: Damage is defined as any physical change.
decking: The wood structural panels shall conform to DOC PS 1, DOC PS 2, CSA 0437 or SCA 0325, and shall be identified for grade, bond classification and performance category by a grade mark. The surface to which roofing is applied. Decking is installed over supporting roof framing members.
direct wind damage: Wind damage caused directly by wind. Example: zippering of shingles, breaking of seals, material transfer due to breaking of seals.
dormer: A framed window unit projecting through a sloping plane on a roof.
downspout: A pipe that drains water from roof gutters. Also called a leader or a downcomer.
drip edge: A non-corrosive, non-staining material used along roof eaves and rakes that allows runoff water to drain away from overlying construction materials. Eave metal should be installed under the underlayment and rake metal over the underlayment.
eaves: The horizontal, lower edges of a sloped roof.
eave flashing: A layer of roofing material applied at roof eaves to help prevent damage from water ponding (back-up). Also called an ice/water shield.
edging strips: Boards nailed along roof eaves and rakes during recovers of wood or composition shingles after existing wood shingles have been trimmed back. Provides secure edges for re-cover roofing.
exposure: The portion of roofing material bare to the weather after installation.
exterior-grade plywood: Type of plywood approved by the The Engineered Wood Association (APA) for exterior use.
feathering strips: Tapered wood filler strips placed along the butts of old wood shingles to create smoother surfaces for re-cover roofing over existing wood shingle roofs. Also called horse - feathers
felt: The organic or fiberglass base material that is saturated or impregnated or coated with bitumen to form underlayment materials or, when granule-coated, to make fiberglass mat A sheet of roofing reinforcement manufactured from glass fibers.
flashing: Pieces of sheet metal or membrane roofing used to prevent water migration into a structure around roof penetrations and terminations. Flashing should be installed at all appurtenances — vent pipes, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers, valleys, etc.
flue stack: A vent pipe penetration in the roof surface to evacuate combustion products from fired appliances.
formula for roof ventilation: 1 square foot (or 144 square inches) of net free area (NFA) ventilation per 150 square foot of attic space. FHA and HUD require this rule and they refer to it as the 1/150 rule of ventilation requirements for attics.
gable: The upper portion of a side wall that culminates at a triangular point on the ridge of a sloping roof.
gable roof: A type of roof with planes sloping at the same pitch on both sides of the ridge and a gable at each end.
gambrel roof: A type of roof containing two planes with different slopes on each side of the ridge and featuring a gable at each end. The lower plane has slope steeper than the upper plane. Common to roofs of traditional barns.
granules: Ceramic, color-coated sand or crushed rock that is applied to surfaces of composition roofing products with the purpose of protection volatiles from premature evaporation, helps protect from UV radiation penetration, helps provide impact resistance rating, gives water shedding ability to shingle, helps provide impact resistance rating.
granule loss: Granule loss causes premature evaporation of the volatiles, causes UV radiation to penetrate the home, lessens the impact resistance of the shingle, lessens water shedding ability. Granules also provide color.
gutter: The trough that channels water from roof eaves to leaders or downspouts.
H-Clips: steel devices shaped like an H made for the purpose of connecting sheets of decking to each other. The H-Clips prevent the sheets of decking from damage during the normal course of expansion and contraction of the decking.
Hand nailing: Hand nailing is the referred method of nailing in high wind areas and coastal areas. Hand nailing nails into shingles can ensure accurate nail placement, proper pressure where nail is neither too high or over driven (not enough pressure causes raised shingles and too much pressure tears through the shingle).
head lap: Shortest distance from the butt edge of an overlapping shingle to the upper edge of the shingle in the second course below. An area of triple coverage at top laps of strip shingles.
hex shingles: Individual shingles with a hexagonal appearance after installation.
hip: The external inclined angle along the ridge length to the eaves formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.
hip roof: A type of roof with no gables and with opposite slopes having the same pitch.
hip shingles: Shingles used to cover the external inclined angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. Compare with ridge shingles.
ice dam: Thawing and refreezing of melted snow on roof overhangs that can force water upslope and below shingles and cause interior leakage.
ice and water Shield: Ice and water shield waterproofs the roof by sealing the penetrations on the roof. Protects eaves, valleys, and other vulnerable areas of your roof by preventing ice dams from forming. Also known as ICE AND WATER BARRIER. Depending on the quality of the ice and water shield, it can have the equivalent of two layers of underlayment.
indirect wind damage: An object damaging the roof due to the wind causing the object to be propelled onto the roof component.
inorganic: Matter comprised of something other than hydrocarbons and their derivatives.
interlocking shingles: Individual shingles manufactured with forms that lock together with one another for wind resistance.
individual shingles: Shingles manufactured in three basic types: giant, hexagonal, and interlocking.
International building code (IBC): The principles of this model code are for the protection of public health, safety and welfare. The IBC implements efficient designs providing flexibility for the code official, designer, engineer and architect. The IBC encourages the use of new and smarter technology.
laminated shingles: Strip shingles containing more than one layer of composition shingles for extra thickness. Also called three-dimensional, dimensional or architectural shingles.
lap: Created when the surface of one shingle, or roll, covers another.
lap cement: A pitch-based (asphalt or coal tar) cement that adheres overlapping plies of roll roofing and/or underlayment materials.
low-slope application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes pitched between 2:12 and 4:12 (rise:run).
maLARKEY: Malarkey Roofing Products was founded in 1956 and the company has been credited with many roofing technology breakthroughs; in 1976, Malarkey had the first fiberglass mat for asphalt shingles. In 1977, the first metric fiberglass asphalt shingle; in 1977, the first polymer modified (SBS) base sheet; in 1986, the first polymer modified (SBS) 3-tab shingle; in 1987, the first SEBS roofing asphalt; in 1993, the first to meet Miami Dade County wind requirements; in 1997, the first polymer modified (SBS) architectural shingle; in 2003, the first 3M Scotchgard protector designation.
mansard roof: A type of roof with two planes sloped at a different pitch on each of four sides. The lower plane is pitched much steeper (often approaching vertical) than the upper. There are no gables.
mat: The organic or fiberglass base material saturated or impregnated or coated with bitumen to form underlayment materials or, when covered with granules, to make composition shingles. The mat can be organic (waste paper) or inorganic (fiberglass or polyester or mineral).
material transfer: Material transfer occurs when an asphalt shingle seal is broken and either the top part or the bottom part has torn away with the adhesive and is now on the opposite side of where is should be. Material transfer is covered by roof insurance policies.
mineral stabilizers: Finely ground limestone, slate, traprock, or other inert materials added to asphalt for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering.
mineral-surfaced roofing: Composition shingles and roll roofing covered with granules.
minimum roof installation temperature: The minimum temperature at the time of installation should be 45°F (7.2°C). Shingle manufacturers may or may not issue warranty if they feel the roofing contractor didn't follow proper guidelines.
National Claims Institute: Headquartered at 2650 N. Dixie Fwy, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. NCI is where contractors, public adjusters, engineers, attorneys can go to learn, in great detail, about their respective role within the insurance claim process. NCI raises the education standards by teaching students how to properly document and prepare a file for their clients. NCI provides CLE credits for first party property insurance claims.
no cutout shingles: Strip shingles with a single, solid tab.
normal-slope application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes pitched between 4:12 and 21:12 (rise:run).
open valley: Valley constructed with shingles trimmed along both sides of exposed valley flashing.
organic felt: A reinforcement manufactured from cellulose fibers.
overhang: The portion of roof structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of the construction.
ply: A layer of roofing material (one-ply, two-ply, etc.)
Polymer-modified bitumen: A bitumen, normally asphalt, modified by the addition of a plastic or rubber. Also called polymer mod-bit.
quick-setting cement: A pitch-based (asphalt or coal tar) cement that adheres tabs of strip shingles to the course below. Also used to adhere roll roofing laps applied by the concealed-nailmethod.
r Value (thermal resistance): The inverse of the time rate of heat flow through a body from one of its bounding surfaces to the other surface for a unit temperature difference between the two surfaces, under steady conditions, per unit area.
racking: Method of roof application with shingle courses installed vertically up (rather than diagonally across and up the roof), with joints aligned in alternate courses. The procedure is not recommended by most manufacturers.
rafter: The supporting roof frame member immediately beneath the decking and sloping from the ridge to the wall plate.
rake: The inclined edge of a sloped roof extending beyond a wall.
random-tab shingles: Shingles with tabs of various sizes and exposures.
ridge: The uppermost horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloped roof planes.
ridge shingles: Shingles installed over roof ridges.
roll roofing: Composition roofing products manufactured in roll form.
Roof assembly: A system designed to provide weather protection and resistance to design loads. The system consists of a roof deck or a single component serving as both the roof covering and the roof deck. A roof assembly includes the roof covering, underlayment and roof deck and can also include a thermal barrier, an ignition barrier, insulation or a vapor retarder (International Energy Conservation Code - IECC).
roof repair: Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purposes of its maintenance (International Energy Conservation Code - IECC).
roofing tape: A reinforcement or bitumen-coated reinforcement used in conjunction with roofing cements for flashing and patching.
roof replacement: The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering (International Energy Conservation Code - IECC).
roof ventilation formula: 1 square foot (or 144 square inches) of net free area (NFA) ventilation per 150 square foot of attic space. FHA and HUD require this rule and they refer to it as the 1/150 rule of ventilation requirements for attics.
saturant: Bitumen used to saturate organic reinforcement base materials.
saturated felt: Organic reinforcement that has been saturated with low-softening-point bitumen and used as underlayment between the roof decking and roof materials or as the base for granule-covered composition shingles.
self-sealing strip: Factory-applied adhesive that bonds shingle courses together when exposed to solar heating.
self-sealing shingles: Shingles with factory-applied strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive.
selvage: The portion of roll roofing overlapped by the succeeding course to obtain double coverage. Many roll roofing products are not coated with granules in this region.
shading: Slight differences in granule color that occur often during shingle manufacture.
sheathing: Panels (plywood or oriented strand board, OSB) or boards used as roof decking.
shed roof: A roof with one sloping plane and no hips, ridges, valleys, or gables.
single coverage: One layer or ply of roofing material over the roof decking.
slope: The degree of roof incline expressed as a ratio (typically in inches) of vertical rise to horizontal run. At one time, it was common in the roofing industry to express the slope as a ratio of rise expressed in inches per foot of horizontal run; thus, it was said that a roof had a slope of 4, meaning 4:12 (rise:run). Also called pitch.
smooth-surfaced roofing: Roll roofing covered with ground talc or mica, not granules.
soffit: The underside of an eave.
soffit vents: Roof ventilation devices installed underneath the eaves of a roof that extend past the warm wall line. Soffit vents allow air to enter into an attic creating air flow.
soil stack: A sewer vent pipe penetration through a roof.
square: A unit of measure equalling 100 square feet of applied roofing.
starter strip: Roofing material applied at the eaves to provide protection by filling in spaces under cutouts and joints of shingles on the first course.
steep-slope application: Method of installing composition shingles on roof slopes pitched steeper than 21:12 (rise:run).
step flashing: Method of flashing application where vertical roof surfaces intersect sloping planes on the roof.
strip shingles: Composition shingles approximately three times as long as they are wide.
superficial damage: Superficial damage is any granule loss that lessens the lifespan of the asphalt shingle. Granule loss causes premature evaporation of the volatiles, causes UV radiation to penetrate the home, lessens the impact resistance of the shingle, lessens water shedding ability. Granules also provide color.
tab: The exposed portion of a strip shingle defined by cutouts.
tack coat: The layer of bitumen applied to bitumen-saturated felt into which granules are embedded.
top lap: Portion of a strip shingle covered by the succeeding course after installation.
underlayment: Bitumen-saturated felt used beneath roof materials to provide additional decking protection.
underlayment: Bitumen-saturated felt used beneath roof materials to provide additional decking protection.
unsealed tab: A tab that is not sealed.
valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloped roof planes.
vapor barrier: Material used to prevent passage of water vapor.
vent: Any outlet for air, sewer gas, combustion products, etc., that protrudes through the roof deck. Any device installed on a roof, gable, or soffit for the purpose of venting the underside of the roof deck.
ventilation formula: 1 square foot (or 144 square inches) of net free area (NFA) ventilation per 150 square foot of attic space. FHA and HUD require this rule and they refer to it as the 1/150 rule of ventilation requirements for attics.
wind damage: Any physical change to a roof component caused directly or indirectly by wind.
woven valley: Method of valley construction in which shingles from both sides extend across the valley and are woven together by overlapping alternate courses as they are applied. Woven valleys create the most waste percentage factor (in materials).