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Talk to your roofer with confidence

Having repairs done to your roof or replacing your roof can be a complex business. Talk to your roofer with confidence using this handy guide to roofing terminology.

Glossary of roofing terms

  • Asphalt: This is a mixture of bitumen and other minerals that is hot-trowelled onto roofing. Asphalt is most commonly seen on car parks and other commercial building roofing.
  • Bonnets: The name given to rounded, quadrant-shaped tiles.
  • Corrugated iron roofing: This form of roofing is most often used on functional structures like military hangars or farm buildings like barns, for its low cost and strength.
  • Eaves: The eaves refers to the area under the overhanging part of roofing.
  • Flashing: The technical term for the protective layer, often made of lead, that covers the joints where the wall and roofing meet.
  • Gable: The vertical end of a building with a pitched roof, where the end wall goes up to form a triangle.
  • Nail sickness: This is what can happen to copper nails used to fix slates when they corrode. Nail sickness is caused by the acid effect of rainfall, particularly in Large towns & cities.
  • National Federation of Roofing Contractors: A trade association whose members work to high standards throughout the industry.
  • Pitched roofing: Where two slopes meet the ridge of a roof.
  • Ridge: The top line of the roofing.
  • Sarking: The waterproof felt laid immediately under the roof tile battens to keep out rain, dust and snow.
  • Slate roofing: Slate can be made from natural slate or manufactured slate using pressed fibre. Slates are secured with nails onto wooden battens.
  • Soffit: The under-surface of any part of a building such as the arch or eaves.
  • Valley: This is the line where two sloping roofs meet.

We can help you

We are more than happy to chat about any of the services you have seen on our website or meet with you in person if you have a new project in mind which requires professional advice. Whether it’s a small job or a larger installation, we are confident we can help you.


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    Mark Butcher
    November 28, 2016 REPLY

    Love the checklist you have included in the blog, its going to be really useful for me, I actually printed this blog post out to use on site! Thanks for the advice!

      Claire Eden Claire Eden
      December 06, 2016 REPLY

      Hi Just found your website on google. Thank you for that. It all looks quite clear and I can understand whats what from it. I was checking around because I’ve got a leak on a room ceiling in a bungalow I’ve recently bought and wondering exactly what the cause is and the likely cost to put it right. Errrm…not good news then….as according to what you say I might be looking at a bill of around £5,000 for roof replacement, when I wasn’t aware of/expecting any roof problems at all when I bought the place! Anyway….if there’s a horrible, fair-size unexpected problem to be face (and I have the sinking nasty feeling that I’ll be lucky to get away with having to pay out an unexpected few hundred £s) then its as well I can gauge the extent of this unexpected problem. I’ll just wander off and curse that damn vendor of this house a bit more….

    Lloyd Jenson
    December 15, 2016 REPLY

    Well done Scott, this site is really informative, and there are very few like it. I am facing re-covering a roof which keeps shedding slates. The property is a small terrace, but with somewhat complicated. Two contractors have quoted well over £8,000 for re-covering with concrete tiles, Which seems excessive. Do your estimates include VAT?


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