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Roof Glossary


The structural base for the roof, usually made of wood or plywood.


The lower border of the roof that overhangs the wall.


Waterproofing construction used at intersections of different planes or at openings in the roof.


The intersection of two roof planes that meet to form a sloping ridge running from the peak to the eave.

Ice and water barrier

A self-adhesive waterproofing membrane used along eaves and valleys to protect these sensitive areas against ice damage and wind-driven rain.

Ice dam

Ice build-up on roofs which can cause water damage to a building structure if the water leaks through the roof.

Metal drip edge

A narrow strip of noncorrosive metal used at the rake to facilitate water runoff.


An intersection of two roof planes forming a horizontal peak.

Ridge vent

An exhaust vent that runs horizontally along the peak of the roof allowing warm, humid air to escape from the attic.

Under-Eave vent

Intake vents located under the eaves of the roof that help draw cool dry air into the attic.


A layer of protective material between the deck and roof covering (i.e. shingles).


The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff.