Roofing Terms & FAQ's
Our Roofing Terms & FAQ’s is an educational resource on the roofing industry and just another way that we try to help homeowners have a good experience in their search to find a qualified roofing contractor. Our goal here is to help educate homeowners so you can make a roof repair decision that is truly best for you – whether it’s using us as your roofing contractor or not. Our company’s first priority is to treat you as we would our neighbor before we would treat you like a potential sale. Why? Well, because that’s what we’d want for ourselves too.
There are many different roofing terms that we use during our inspections, appointments, and especially on roofing insurance claims. These roofing terms can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the details of your roof structure. We’ve been roofing in Charlotte for almost 10 years with the sole mission of providing roofing services to local homeowners that we would expect for our own homes. To us, that means educating homeowners on common roofing terms and offering transparency to frequently-asked roofing questions.
How much does a roof inspection cost?
Our roof inspections are free of charge and include a detailed report and, if applicable, a free estimate for your roof repairs!
How fast can I schedule a roof inspection?
Once you fill out our free roof inspection form or give us a call, our office staff will gather information necessary to add you to our system. From there, our scheduling team will evaluate the next best time that we’ll have our certified inspectors in your area – while also working around your schedule and availability. In most cases, and depending on the ever-changing Charlotte weather – we’ll send our representatives to your property within 1-3 business days.
How long do roof inspections take?
Our roofing specialists perform comprehensive evaluations or your home’s roofing, gutter, and siding inspections. We take a lot of photos and put together a detailed report and, if needed, a free estimate! After the inspection, we’ll walk you through our findings and answer any questions you have. Our scheduling team allots 2 hours for these inspections but the timing can change depending on the size and pitch of your roof.
Do I need to be home for a roof inspection?
In order for our Charlotte certified inspectors to perform the most accurate and comprehensive roof inspection we can – we’d strongly prefer to have you home to provide interior access so we can check your attic space for any water intrusion. Our Charlotte office staff will do the best they can to work around your schedule to make our inspection as convenient for you as possible. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity for you to really show us where your main areas of concern are so we can ensure we’re offering you the best solutions.
What do you look for during a roof inspection?
Our certified Charlotte roof inspectors perform thorough evaluations of your home’s interior and exterior. We work to identify any potential storm damage, improper installation of materials, deterioration due to age, maintenance issues such as nail pops and potential leak sources throughout your roofing, siding and gutter systems. Don’t worry – we take a lot of photos throughout these inspections to share with you – so you can see it all for yourself, too!
Does my roof have hail damage?
Hail damage on roofs can cause dents and tears in your shingles and causes granule loss which serve to protect the life of the shingle. Identifying hail damage to a roof is not too difficult, often only requiring safe roof access and a bit of chalk. Hail damaged roofs are often covered by roof insurance claims.
How much does a roof repair cost?
The quickest way for us to give you an accurate and fair quote on your roofing, gutters, or siding is to have our inspector complete their inspection of your property. We do this to ensure that we’re accounting for all required materials and measurements prior to providing you a quote – it is just more accurate this way.
What do I look for when I hire a roofing contractor?
It’s important to hire a roofing professional that is both licensed and insured. How long have they been in business? We highly recommend reading customer reviews, too! Signature Exteriors is the most-reviewed roofing company in North and South Carolina – check out some of our reviews here!
Are there warranties for roof repairs?
Our repairs are always backed by our 1-year workmanship warranty. Depending on the type of repair and shingle manufacturer you choose (as most offer their own warranty, which we always honor), there can be additional warranties included.
Note: We stake our reputation on offering high-quality roof repairs. Always give us a call with any roofing issues you experience, even after our repairs, so we can work to make it right!
Do I repair or replace my roof?
Not all leaky roofs need a full roof replacement but, depending on the circumstances, it may be worthwhile to invest in a roof replacement. Our inspectors first need to complete their inspection but afterward, we will always be honest and upfront about the roofing solutions we think would work best for you and will provide free estimates for the cost of roof repairs or replacements.
We wrote an in-depth article in our blog titled: “Should I repair or replace my roof,” if you’re looking for more information.
Can I repair my own roof leak?
DIY roofing is always an option but we recommend doing a fair share of research prior to starting your repair. As you know, your house is likely your biggest investment and your roof is the main defense system against the elements. We recommend having a professional roofing company assist with your roof repairs but we know that isn’t always an option for everyone.
Repairing your own roof leak is always an option, read more here.
Do you accept credit cards?
Once your roof, gutter or siding repairs or replacements are completed, we’ll send you your invoice via. email. Our preferred method of payment is that you send us a check in the mail. However, we do accept credit card and debit card payment over the phone. Please note, there is an additional 3% processing fee for all credit card and debit card transactions – so you’ll likely prefer to mail in a check too!
How much does it cost for a roof replacement?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single set price for a roof replacement (and there shouldn’t be, so be wary of contractors offering such a deal). The cost of a new roof depends on the square footage, roof pitch, access level, and the type of roof material needed. It’s important to have a qualified roofing contractor perform an inspection so they can provide you an accurate roof replacement quote.
How long does it take to replace a roof?
On average, a residential roof replacement can take 1-2 days with the exception of larger roofs, any structural repairs, and the type of material being installed. Our operations team will offer a fairly accurate estimate of how long your roof replacement will take after we complete your free roof inspection.
How much does shingle roofing cost?
To keep it straight-forward, not all roofs are made the same and not all roofers charge the same price. Prices vary depending on the market, the size of the roof, the pitch of the roof, the materials needed, and the labor cost. That said, on average, most contractors will charge between $3.50 and $5.50 per square foot for an asphalt shingle roof replacement.
There are handy tools that can help you calculate the cost of a roof replacement but your best bet to get an accurate quote for your home is to schedule a free roof inspection with a reputable local contractor.
What's the roof cost: shingle vs metal?
There are a lot of factors that influence the cost of shingle roof vs metal roof. Most roofing materials are priced by square (100 square feet) or by bundle (33.3 square feet). Asphalt shingle averages $60 – $90 per square before installation whereas metal often ranges $100 – $200 per square before installation.
On top of the material cost, there is also the cost of labor (unless you’re a DIY-er). Depending on your area and local demand, labor costs can average around $200 – $300 per square to install asphalt shingle material onto your home. In contrast, metal roofing labor costs can range from $300 – $500 per square foot.
To get an accurate quote for your home, contact a local roofing contractor with experience in metal roofing to put together a comprehensive quote.
How do I prepare for a roof replacement?
We wrote an in-depth article outlining how to prepare for a roof replacement!
- Remove fragile items from your walls: think pictures, mirrors, anything shakey on your shelves. The vibrations from roof replacements can often cause items to fall from hangers.
- Clear the perimiter of your home: think patio furniture, barbeques, plants, sculptures.
- Prepare for noise: There will be constant hammering on your roof during your roof replacement.
- Parking: park your car on the street or a nearby cul-de-sac so the materials may be delivered.
- Work Area: Keep children and pets away from the immediate work areas until after the cleanup crews have finished sweeping for debris and nails.
- Cleaning: Our crews use the most up-to-date cleaning equipment such as rolling magnets, pin magnets, and metal detectors. Stubborn nails may remain hidden in brush and grass around the home. Exercise caution for a few days after your roof replacement.
- Material Removal: We will send more material than is noted on your contract. Our goal is to ensure that we can complete your project in a timely manner, so we send extra material to account for any unexpected hiccups (damaged shingles, etc). We willhave this material removed by our supplier within 1-3 days after your roof replacement.
Will insurance pay for hail damage on a roof?
Roof insurance claims vary depending on the insurance carrier and the hail damage on your roof. We recommend checking your policy to see what your insurance provider will cover. Although we can’t guarentee that your insurance will pay for a roof replacement, we will do everything we can to identify any hail damage or storm damage, provide pictures and documentation, and even attend the adjuster meeting with your insurance carrier to make sure they’re documenting everything correctly. This gives you the best chance for an approved roof insurance claim!
We work with all home insurance providers. Our in-house roof insurance claims specialists will make sure that the claim will cover any and all related damages so you can restore your home to its pre-loss condition.
What's the difference between 3-tab shingle vs Architectural shingle?
Asphalt shingle roofing is the most common and, generally, the least expensive roofing material. Asphalt shingles are durable, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. They offer a wide variety of colors and styles, ease of installation, and they’re suitable for different climates and weather patterns. Asphalt shingle roofs should last about 20 years on average.
There are two general types of asphalt shingle roofs: 3-tab shingle and architectural shingle.
3-tab shingle vs Architectural shingle
3-tab shingle: composed of 1 flat layer and do not have a dimensional look. 3-tab shingles cost less than architectural but typically have a shorter life span.
Architectural Shingle: shingle tabs with various sizes and shapes and are thicker than 3-tab shingles. Generally a bit more expensive but offered with a longer life-span.
Residential roofs can also be made of tile, wood, slate, and metal.
What's the difference between shingle roofs versus metal roofs?
Metal roofing and asphalt shingle roofing typically have different installation costs due to the material. Installation costs are generally higher with any metal, tile, or slate roofing but they offer a much longer life span.
Types of Metal Roofing: Aluminum, Copper, Corrugated Metal, Metal Tile, Metal Slate, Standing Seam, Steel, Tin, and more.
Types of Shingle Roofing: Asphalt 3-tab Shingles, Asphalt Archictectural Shingles, Coal & Tar Shingles, Clay Shingles, Concrete Shingles, and more.
We wrote an in-depth article on the difference betweeen shingle roof vs metal roof!
How long do residential roofs last?
Most new residential roofing systems are designed with a life-span of 20-30 years. This varies depending on the type of shingle you select. The lifespan of a roof also varies depending on the quality of the material and the installation.
Why are there streaks on my residential roof?
As shingles age they can show discoloration or streaking. Often seen on portions of the roof that receive less sunlight, these streaks are typically caused by algae growth. Discoloration or streaking is often just an aesthetic concern and does not always impact the life-span or waterproofing characteristics of your roof.
Can I install new shingle over my old shingles?
Although some do, we don’t recommend installing new shingle over the old shingle roof system. This practice is typically not covered by warranty, can cause unusual shaping, and it makes it impossible to inspect the decking underneath for rotting or deterioration.
What are different pitched roof types?
A pitched roof is a roof with a sloping surface or surfaces. For a complete guide on different pitched roof types, check out our blog!
What is commercial flat roofing?
Flat roofs are one of the most common types of roof for commercial buildings. Typically, building and re-roofing flat roofs is more cost effective than building or re-roofing other types of commercial roofing. There are many types of flat roofing materials such as EPDM, TPO, Modified Bitumen, and Built-Up Roofing.
Maintenance and drain cleaning is easiest on flat roofs since there is no pitch, they can walk easily and safely regardless of weather conditions.
Flat roofs experience a common issue with poor drainage since there is no pitch on the roof for water to run off. Standing water on flat roofs is a common cause for leaks on commercial buildings.
What is commercial low-sloped roofing?
Often found on warehouses, factories, and apartment buildings. Low-slow roofing can appear flat but does have a slight pitch compared to commercial flat roofing. Low-sloped roofing for commercial buildings is designed to allow for water runoff. Low-sloped roofing materials often include EPDM, TPO, and Modified Bitumen.
What is the best flat roof material?
There is no one roof system that works best for all applications. The answer to this varies on your specific building structure. Manufacturers for low-sloped roofing may not offer warranties on their material so it’s critical you work with a professional roofing contractor to get a detailed proposal for your unique flat roofing needs.
What commercial roofing systems do you offer?
Our technicians are certified in EPDM, TPO, and modified bitumen.
What maintenance does a flat roof require?
Commercial roofing maintenance requires routine checks of sealant, membranes, caulking, and flashing.
How often should I inspect a commercial roof?
If you’re noticing major water damage or interior staining, you should notify your local roofing professional immediately. In general, we recommend inspecting your commercial roof after a large storm, before any severe weather, and at the change of each season.
How often should I clean my gutters?
Getting debris like leaves and twigs out of your gutter system is crucial for them to retain functionality. Debris can cause clogs, cracks, and holes in the gutter system. It’s generally recommended to clean your gutters atleast twice a year (Spring and Fall), but we recommend doing so more frequently if your gutters are located near trees or after a heavy storm.
Gutter cleaning can be made easier by installing gutter guards.
Do I need to have gutters installed?
We always recommend homeowners have a functioning gutter system on their home as they’re built to re-route water away from your siding and foundation. They are essential to divert water away from your home and, if left neglected, can cause basement flooding, foundation issues, and even mold!
What are the gutter installation costs?
On average, gutter installation costs $4 to $9 per linear foot depending on the type of gutter material. However, not all gutter cost quotes are created equal. The price of gutter installation can vary depending on the size of the home and any other accessories you’re needing. As always, to get the most accurate quote, reach out to your local roofing and gutter contractor for a free estimate!
What is the best gutter material?
The best gutter material varies depending on your budget, climate, and if you want to add any flare to your home. Standard vinyl gutters are typically the most inexpensive option while copper tends to be the most expensive. Most homewoners opt for aluminum gutter material which has a mid-price point while still offering durability and decorative elements.
How long do gutters last?
With proper care and maintenance, most gutters last between 15-20 years without needing any replacement. Copper gutters have a lifespan of up to 50 years! Small holes or cracks can often be sealed but if you’re noticing multiple areas with gutter damage, it may be time to opt for a new gutter system.
What are gutter guards?
A gutter guard is any piece that attaches to the gutter and prevents unwanted material such as pine needles, leaves, and branches from entering the gutter system. Gutter guards prevent clogs and cracks in your gutters.
A type of roof shingle that uses asphalt for waterproofing. It’s the most commonly used shingle in the United States and has a lifespan of 20-30 years.
A roofing term referencing the published regulations prescribing procedures and construction details for structures.
A material used to seal joints or seams against leakage in various structures.
Horizontal rows of shingles or tiles. A course of shingle describes how the shingle was attached to the decking underneath and varys depending on the shingle type.
An L-shaped strip, usually made of metal, that is installed along roof edges to help control the flow of water away from the fascia and to protect the underlying roofing components.
A roofing term defining the wooden boards that run along the lower edge of the roof that most gutter systems are fixed to and, in certain circumstances, the fascia board is used to support the bottom row of tiles or slates.
A roofing term for the materials fitted around chimneys, air vents and valleys on the roof to provide an airtight and waterproof seal against moisture.
Small pieces of different colored rock that are coated onto an asphalt shingle using a tar-like substance that give asphalt shingles their visible texture.
Also called gutter slope, is the amount the gutter tilts down to let rainwater flow out of it.
A laced valley, or woven valley, is a continuous run of shingles where two sloping roofs meet.
A roofing term to describe the structural wood, usually slanted, to which the decking is attached.
The rigid material (also referred to as decking) which is nailed to the rafters and to which shingles are secured.
The area that encloses the underside of that portion of the roof that extends out beyond the sidewalls of the house.
The material (usually roofing felt) laid on top of sheathing before shingles are applied.
The flashing located at the juncture of the top of the sloped roof and a vertical wall or steeper-sloped roof. Used at transitions such as a dormer or chimney.
A low-slope or flat roof covered with alternating layers of roofing felt and hot-mopped asphalt and topped off with a layer of gravel.
The wood or metal finishing at ends or edges of building, including a fascia or rake.
The surface, like plywood or OSB (oriented strand board), that roofing materials are applied to. They are the strength that holds the entire roof together.
What is a roof eave? Roof eaves, or house eaves, describe the roof sections or edges which extend out over your home’s exterior walls and are made up of two main components – the fascia and the soffit.
A sheet of asphalt-saturated material (often called tar paper) that is used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof decking. It’s applied underneath all other roofing materials and serves as an added layer of protection.
In residential roofing, a horizontal (or angled, if installed on gables) trim board installed flat against the wall which covers the gap between the top of the siding and the soffit.
The channels along the eaves, or edges, of your roof that collect and direct water to the nearest downspout which directs this water away from your home and foundation.
The external angle at the junction of two sides of a roof whose supporting walls adjoin.
Slatted devices installed in a gable or soffit (the underside of eaves) to ventilate the space below a roof deck.
Rake of a Roof
Rake of a roof is the slanting edges of a gabled roof extending beyond the end wall of the house. Rake boards cover the top edge of your siding.
Shingle flashing is flashing that is laid in strips under each shingle and bent up the edge of a chimney or wall.
One hundred square feet of roof, or the amount of roofing material needed to cover 100sqft when properly applied.
Where two sloping roof sections come together. Shingles in the valley are cut in a “V” direction exposing the valley flashing fabric.
An asphalt shingle that provides a dimensional appearance due to the various shapes and sizes of the shingle tabs. Tend to cost slightly more than 3-tab shingles.
An individual package of shingles. Each bundle includes enough shingle to cover 33.3 sqft of roof area. 1 bundle is typically enough for 1 sheet of roof decking.
The flashing that’s applied to the masonry wall designed to shed water off of the wall and down to the roof surface
The structure that projects from a sloped roof, usually with a window. These are commonly used to increase the usable space within the home.
An extremely durable synthetic rubber membrane (ethylene propylene diene monomer), used on low-slope and flat roofs. EPDM roofing is available in both black and white and varying thickness.
A roofing term describing the system for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C, with Class A materials having the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.
A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches. The shape of the gable depends on the structural system used.
A roofing term to describe a material used to keep debris from infiltrating your home’s gutter systems while still allowing the run-off water to filter through.
In a flat roof, a horizontal structural member over which decking is nailed.
A roofing term to describe any vents, pipes, stacks, chimneys-anything that penetrates a roof deck.
The horizontal line at the top edge of two sloping roof planes. This is the highest point on the roof.
The number of inches of vertical rise in a roof per 12-inches of horizontal distance (also referred to as pitch).
A truss provides additional strength and support to your roof’s rafters. They are typically made of steel or wood.
The metal or fabric in valleys, extending in under the shingles on both sides.