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Common Terms Your Roofing Contractors Might Use

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If you’ve ever had work done on your roof, it might seem like your roofing contractors are speaking a different language. Before you have a new roof installed, learn about some of the terms you might hear from your roofing contractors. Understanding just what they’re talking about can help you know what’s going on, as well as make the right choice regarding which contractor you should hire.


Blow Offs


If you experience a blow off, this doesn’t mean that your roofing contractors won’t return your phone call! Instead, this refers to a shingle or group of shingles that have blown off the roof in a storm. Depending on the damage, it may be possible to have these shingles simply replaced, but if the damage is extensive, it may be necessary to have the entire roof replaced.


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Sometimes the word deck refers to a raised patio or the area around a pool. However, if your roofing contractors tell you that you that you need a new deck, they’re not talking about a patio! Instead, the deck on a roof refers to the material that’s beneath the shingles and above the home’s structure. It’s typically made out of plywood, but it can be made out of wood boards. The decking is sometimes called the sheeting or sheathing.




Another common term you’ll hear from roofing contractors is flashing. This is the material that is used to waterproof around a joint, such as a chimney or a vent. It’s made out of a waterproof material and can be exposed or concealed, depending on the roof’s style.


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Gable Roof


A gable roof is one where both sides of the roof slope upward and meet in a peak. It’s possible for a home to have more than one gable, depending on the style of the roof.


Ice Dam


Ice dams can happen in cold climates. They’re caused when the warm air rises to the top of the attic, melting the snow and ice that are already on the outside of the roof. This water runs down until it’s stopped by unmelted snow and ice. This causes the water to sit behind the ‘ice dam,’ which eventually allows it to seep underneath the shingles and decking, causing problems to the home below.


Nail Pop


Eventually nails could work their way up above the shingle line. When this happens is called a nail pop. If you have a lot of nail pops on your roof, you may need repairs or a total replacement.


If you have questions for our roofing contractors in the Chicagoland area and Suburbs get a free quote today!