A Glossary of Roofing Terminology and Definitions

If you need Iowa City roof repair, it's important you familiarize yourself with all the common terminology. That way, you can clearly articulate your issue to an Iowa City roofing contractor.
So to assist you, here's a glossary of frequently used terminology and definitions. See if you know them all and learn more about what protects your home.

Roofing Elements

Before you start talking shop, you need to know the basics. Here are the essential elements of any Iowa CIty roofing.


Ventilation is the mechanism through which air can pass in and out of your home. Ventilation is essential for keeping your Iowa City roofing in good condition year after year.


Typically made from woods like plywood, decking is the building block on which all the other parts are built.


Underlayment is the first layer of protection that sits on top of the decking and supports the shingles. Underlayment is usually made of asphalt or fiberglass.


Designed to assist with attic ventilation, eaves are the parts of your roofing that hang over the edge of the building.


Shingles sit at the surface of your Iowa City roofing. Made from a range of different materials, such as slate and rasphalt, they have been designed to protect your home against water damage and exposure to sunlight.


Flashing protects the vulnerable parts of your roofing, such as the edges of slopes and the joints between different slopes. It is typically made of a rust-free variety of metal and directs water away.


Ridges are the straight strips along which two slopes meet. Since they tend to be more vulnerable than other elements, different shingles are often used here to provide an added layer of protection.


Valleys are the parts where water flows when it rains. For this reason, they are prone to leaks and often require Iowa City roof repair for maintenance.

Types of Roof

There are three common types of Iowa City roofing. Knowing what type you have will help when you speak to an Iowa City roofing company about what your home needs.


This type is common in small, one-story buildings like a shed or a garage. It features one slope in a single direction, such that one of the walls in the building is taller than the other.


This is the most popular type of Iowa City roofing. The design type has a triangle-shaped system with two slopes that meet in the middle.


Often found in areas that experience higher volumes of snowfall, this type has a slope on each of four sides that form a ridge when they join together at the top.

Contact an Iowa City Roofing Contractor Today

If you need Iowa City roof repair, get in touch with an Iowa City roofing company today.
They'll be able to walk you through the different roofing terminology in more detail and help you assess which parts of your property are in most urgent need of repair.

Learn more about Residential Roofing Iowa City, Iowa