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Glossary Of Roofing Terms


Abutment:  A junction of a roof surface with a wall, or any other structural feature, which arises above it

Barge Board:  A Timber/Upvc board fixed along the edge of a gable.

Batten:  Horizontal small section timbers that are nailed to the rafters and to which tiles/slates are fixed/secured.

Back Gutter:  A gutter formed in lead at the back of a chimney, or any other structure, which penetrates the roof to disperse water onto tiles/slates.

Cold Roof:  A roof that has insulation laid horizontally at ceiling level and a void between the insulation and its outer roof structure and covering.

Course:  A horizontal row of tiles/slates.

Dormer:  Framed window unit, which projects through the sloping plane of a roof.

DownPipe:  Drainage Pipe which takes water away from guttering to drains.

Eaves:  The horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof – where the first course of tiles/slates are laid/fixed on the fascia board.

Fascia Board: The horizontal timber/Upvc trim attached vertically at the eaves that covers the rafter ends, the wall plate or the wall face – the guttering is fixed to this and upon which the first course of tiles/slates are laid

Felt/Underlay: Breathable membrane, untearable bituminous or PVC sheet material, supplied in rolls and laid over rafters

Flashing:  Strip/s of lead, used at abutments, to stop water penetration, The ‘Code’ of lead means the thickness.

Gable: The upper portion of a sidewall, which comes to a triangular point at the ridge of a sloping roof.

Gauge:  The length of tile/slate exposed after it has been installed. It equals the distance between the top of one batten/slate/tile and the top of the next.

Gutter:  The trough that channels water from the eaves to the down pipes.

Headlap: The amount by which a tile/slate overlaps the course below it.

Hip: The meeting of two pitched roof surfaces, which meet at an external angle.

Hip Iron:  A metal hook, which is secured to the roof structure to support the hip tiles and stop them from moving or slipping

Mortar:  Sand and cement mix consisting of 3/4/5 parts sand to 1 part cement.

Parapet:  Low protective wall that extends above the roofline for support.

Pitch: Also known as ‘slope’, is the measure of how steep a roof is. The pitch of a roof is a big factor in determining the kinds of materials that can be used and the longevity of the roof. Usually, a steeper roof will last longer due to its better draining capabilities.

Purling:  Main structural roof support timber: usually situated half way up the roof span: to which rafters are nailed.

Rafter:  The supporting framing timber, sloping from ridge to wall plate.

Raking Cut:  A diagonal cut across courses of tiles/slates.

Ridge:  The uppermost horizontal junction of two slopes forming the apex of a pitched roof.

Saddle: A piece of impervious flexible sheet material (usually lead) dressed to shape, fitted to provide weather protection.

Secret Gutter:  A gutter formed at an abutment and effectively hidden from sight.

Soaker:  A small piece of sheet (usually lead), shaped and inserted between the roof covering and the sub-structure (see felt)

Soffit Board:  A timber/Upvc board fixed to the feet of rafters, which forms the underside of projecting eaves.

Undercloak: Title or fibre cement strip, fixed at the verge beneath the battens, onto which the verge tiles/slates are bedded.

Underlay:  A layer of material acting as a barrier between the roof covering and the sub-structure (see felt)

Valley:  The junction of two inclined roof surfaces at an internal angle to provide water run-off;

Channel: To allow roof slopes at different pitches to join together and discharge water into gutters.

Valley Gutter:
 A visible gutter running down the valley.

Verge:  A free end of a roof surface; for example that at the end of a gable or dormer.

Warm Roof: A roof that has insulation and a vapour barrier laid above or between its supporting structure (normally on the pitch of the rafters) and immediately below its waterproof membrane.


Annual Property Maintenance programmes available. You have seen the craftsmanship & heard the reputation, call us today and receive a no obligation quotation from a large Re-roofing project to a leaky roof or leaking roofs repair.

Remember, all our work is fully guaranteed-all with Warranties-even small repairs.

Call or email us for free advice & quotations.

Call or Text 24 hour-
07922 635920(England) or 07783 870676(Scotland)

or -
01506 639085 Office


BPC Roofing Services,                     BPC Roofing Services
Unit One, Radfordmill Farm,           32 Redhouse Court,
Timsbury, Somerset,                        Bathgate, West Lothian,
BA2 0QF.                                          EH47 7BU.

07922 635920(England)                 07783 870676(Scotland)

Proprieter: Mark Brown
Contracts Manager : Peter Stoney
Firestone Roofing Epdm Installers
Members of Federation of Small Businesses. ( FSB)
Members of The Federation of Master trades and Craftsmen.
Members of The Business Federations Group. (BFG)

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