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Roofing Terminology

  • Aggregate: Crushed stone, crushed slag, water-worn gravel used for surfacing a built up roofing system; any granular mineral material.

  • Algae: Gloeocapsa magma, blue - green algae that thrives in moist, humid environments and receives its nutrients from dust in the air. It is more likely to appear on the north and west sides of the house.

  • Application Rate: The quantity (mass, volume, or thickness) of material applied per area.

  • Apron Flashing: A flashing system that is located at the juncture of the top of a sloped roof and a vertical wall, chimney or steeper-sloped roof. This type of flashing makes a water tight junction, basically forming a right angle which starts up behind the cladding, comes down and out and over the roof. In the case of shingles, it comes out in between shingles.

  • Architectural Shingle: Shingle that provides a dimensional appearance

  • ARMA: Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association: a group of natural, fibrous, impure silicate materials used to reinforce some products.

  • Asphalt Roof Cement: Asphalt roofing cement is a composition of minerals, solvents, fillers and mostly asphalt. The combination of these ingredients makes it adhere to the asphalt shingle surface.

  • Bitumen: (1) a class of amorphous, black or dark colored, (solid, semi-solid, or) cementitious sub-stances, natural or manufactured, composed principally of molecular weight hydrocarbons, soluble in carbon disulfide, and found in asphalts, coal tars and pitches, wood tars and asphalts; (2) a generic term to denote any material composed principally of bitumen, typically asphalt or coal.

  • Blister: An enclosed pocket of air, which may be mixed with water or solvent vapor, between impermeable layers of felt or membrane, or between the membrane and substrate.

  • Bond: The adhesive and/or cohesive forces holding two components in positive.

  • Bond, Chemical: Adhesion between surfaces, usually of similar materials, resulting in a chemical reaction or cross-linking of polymer chains.

  • Bond, Mechanical: Adhesion between surfaces resulting from interfacial forces or interlocking.

  • Bonding Agent: A chemical substance applied to a suitable substrate to create bonding and a succeeding layer.

  • Boot: (1) A covering made of flexible material, which may be pre-formed to a particular, used to exclude dust, dirt, moisture, etc. from around a penetration; (2) material used to form a closure, sometimes installed at inside and outside.

  • Built-Up Roof Membrane (BUR): A continuous, semi-flexible multi-ply roof membrane, of plies or layers of saturated felts, coated felts, fabrics, or mats between alternate layers of bitumen are applied. Generally, built-up roof membranes are with mineral aggregate and bitumen, a liquid-applied coating, or a surfaced cap sheet.

  • Butt Joint: A joint formed by adjacent, separate sections of material, such as where neighboring pieces of insulation abut.

  • Butyl: Rubber-like material produced by copolymerizing isobutylene with isoprene. Butyl may be manufactured in sheets, or blended with other materials to make sealants and adhesives.

  • Butyl Coating: An elastomeric coating system derived from polymerized isobutylene. Coatings are characterized by low water vapor permeability.

  • Butyl Rubber: A synthetic elastomer based on isobutylene and a minor amount of. It is vulcanizable and features low permeability to gases and water vapor.

  • Cap Flashing: Usually composed of metal, used to cover or shield the upper edges of membrane base flashing, wall flashing, or primary flashing. (See Flashing)

  • Cap Sheet: A granule-surface coated sheet used as the top ply of some built-up or bitumen roof membranes and/or flashing.

  • Caulk: A material (usually a composition of vehicle and pigment) used for/sealing joints or junctures, where no elastomeric properties are required. 

  • Caulking: (1) The physical process of sealing a joint or juncture; (2) Sealing and weather-tight the joints, seams, or voids between adjacent units by filling with sealant.

  • Chalk Line: A line made by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk. Used for alignment purposes.

  • Chalking: The degradation or migration of an ingredient, in paints, coatings, or other.

  • Chemical Resistance: The ability to withstand contact with specified chemicals without significant change in properties.

  • Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE): A thermoplastic material, used for single-ply roof, composed of high molecular weight polyethylene which has been vulcanized; a process that yields a flexible rubber-like material.

  • Clip: An individual (discrete) cleat.

  • Coated Base Sheet: A felt that has previously been saturated (filled or impregnated) asphalt and later coated with harder, more viscous asphalt, which greatly improves its impermeability to moisture.

  • Cold Process Built-Up Roof: A continuous, semi-flexible roof membrane, consisting of a ply or plies of felts, mats or other reinforcement fabrics that are laminated together with alternate layers of liquid-applied (usually asphalt-solvent based) roof cements or installed at ambient or a slightly elevated temperature.

  • Coping: The covering piece on top of a wall which is exposed to the weather, usually of metal, masonry, or stone. It is preferably sloped to shed water back onto the.

  • Copper: A natural weathering metal used in metal roofing; typically used in 16 or 20per square foot thickness (4.87 or 6.10 kg/sq m).

  • Counterflashing: Formed metal sheeting secured on or into a wall, curb, pipe, rooftop, or other surface, to cover and protect the upper edge of the membrane base or underlying metal flashing and associated fasteners from exposure to the.

  • Course: (1)The term used for each row of shingles of roofing material that forms the, waterproofing, or flashing system; (2) One layer of a series of materials applied to a surface (e.g., a five-course wall flashing is composed of three applications of roof with one ply of felt or fabric sandwiched between each layer of roof cement.)

  • Cricket: An elevated roof substrate or structure, constructed to divert water around.

  • Curb: (1) A raised member used to support roof penetrations, such as skylights, equipment, hatches, etc. above the level of the roof surface; (2) A raised perimeter relatively low in height.

  • Cure: A process whereby a material is caused to form permanent molecular linkages due to exposure to chemicals, heat, pressure, and/or weathering.

  • Cure Time: The time required to effect curing. The time required for a material to reach desirable long-term physical characteristics.

  • Dead Valley: A point on a roof where two slopes meet in such a way that makes it difficult for water to run off.

  • Dew Point Temperature: The temperature at which water vapor condenses in cooling at the existing atmospheric pressure and vapor content. Cooling at or below the point will cause condensation.

  • Double Coverage: Application of asphalt, slate, or wood roofing such that the lapped is at least 2 inches (51mm) wider than the exposed portion, resulting in two layers of roofing material over the deck.

  • Double Lock Standing Seam: A standing seam that utilizes a double, overlapping between two seam panels. (See Standing Seam.)

  • Downspout: A conduit used to carry runoff water from a scupper, conductor head, or of a building to a lower roof level, or to the ground or storm water runoff system.

  • Drain: An outlet or other device used to collect and direct the flow of runoff water from roof area.

  • Drip Edge: A metal flashing, or other overhanging component, with an outward lower edge, intended to control the direction of dripping water and help underlying building components. A drip edge also can be used to break the contact between the roof perimeter and wall components to help prevent action.

  • Dry-In or Dry-In Felt: Usually the underlayment or the process of applying the felt for steep roofing.

  • Dutch Roof: A Dutch gable roof or gablet roof (in Britain) is a roof with a small gable at the top of a hip roof. The term Dutch gable is also used to mean a gable with parapets. Some sources refer to this as a gable-on-hip roof.

  • Edge Stripping: Membrane flashing strips cut to specific widths used to seal/flash edge metal and the roof membrane.

  • Edge Venting: The practice of providing regularly spaced or continuously protected(e.g., louvered) openings along a roof edge or perimeter, used as part of a ventilation to dissipate heat and moisture vapor.

  • End Lap: The distance of overlap where one ply, panel, or piece extends beyond the end of the immediately adjacent underlying ply, panel, or piece. 

  • EPDM: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (See also Ethylene Propylene Diene.)

  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM) (Rubber Roof): Designated nomenclature of ASTMa terpolymer of ethylene, propylene, and a diene. EPDM material is a synthetic elastomer.

  • Expansion Joint: A structural separation between two building elements that allows movement between the elements without damage to the roofing or waterproofing.

  • Exposed-Nail Method: A method of asphalt roll roofing application in which all nails driven into the adhered, overlapping course of roofing. Nails are exposed to the weather.

  • Exposure: (1) The traverse dimension of a roofing element or component not by an adjacent element or component in a roof covering. For example, the of any ply in a built-up roof membrane may be computed by dividing the felt minus 2 inches (51mm) by the number of shingled plies; thus, the exposure of 36(914mm) wide felt in a shingled, four-ply membrane should be approximately/2 inches (216mm)(See Figure 3) ; (2) the dimension of sidewall or roofing covering is not covered or overlapped by the upslope course of component. The typical for a standard-size, 3-tab shingle is 5 inches (127mm), depending upon specifications. 

  • Factory Seam: A splice/seam made by the manufacturer during the assembly of materials into large sheets.

  • Fasteners: Any of a wide variety of mechanical securement devices and assemblies, nails, screws, cleats, clips, and bolts, which may be used to secure various types of a roof assembly.

  • Felt: A flexible sheet manufactured by the interlocking of fibers through a combination of mechanical work, moisture, and heat. Roofing felts may be manufactured principally with wood pulp and vegetable fibers (organic felts), asbestos fibers (asbestos felts),fibers (fiberglass felts or ply sheet), or polyester fibers.

  • Field Seam: A splice or seam made in the field (not factory) where overlapping sheets joined together using an adhesive, splicing tape, or heat- or solvent-welding.

  • Fire Resistance: The ability of a building component to act as a barrier to the spread of fire and confine it to the area of origin.

  • Flame Retardant: A substance which is added to a polymer formulation to reduce its tendency to burn.

  • Flashing: Components used to weatherproof or seal the roof system edges at, penetrations, walls, expansion joints, valley, drains, and other places the roof covering is interrupted or terminated. For example, membrane base covers the edge of the field membrane, and cap flashings or counter flashings the upper edges of the base flashing.

  • Flashing Cement: As used by the roofing industry, an ASTM D 2822 Type II roof that is a trowelable mixture of solvent-based bitumen and mineral stabilizers may include asbestos or other inorganic or organic fibers. Generally, flashing is characterized as vertical-grade, which indicates it is intended for use on surfaces. (See Asphalt Roof Cement and Plastic Cement.)

  • Flashing Collar: (Sometimes referred to as a Roof Jack or Flashing Boot) an accessory used to cover and/or seal soil pipe vents and other penetrations.

  • Gable Roof: A gable roof is the classic, most commonly occurring roof shape in those parts of the world with cold or temperate climates. It consists of two roof sections sloping in opposite directions and placed such that the highest, horizontal edges meet to form the roof ridge.

  • Gambrel Roof: A gambrel or gambrel roof is a usually symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. The upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle, while the lower slope is steep.

  • Galvalume: Trade name for a coating, used over metal, which is composed of aluminum for corrosion protection.

  • Galvanized Steel: Steel coated with zinc for corrosion resistance.

  • Granule: (Also referred to as Mineral or Ceramic Granule) Opaque, natural, or colored aggregate commonly used to surface cap sheets, shingles, and granule-surfaced roof coverings.

  • Gravel Stop: A low profile upward-projecting metal edge flashing with a flange along the roof side, usually formed from sheet or extruded metal. Installed along the edge of a roof to provide a continuous finished edge for roofing material. Acts as a stop during mop application of hot bitumen along a perimeter edge.

  • Gutter Apron: A Specialized Drip Edge designed to direct water into the gutter system. Gutter Apron is installed over the roof edge and hangs in the gutter.

  • Headlap: The distance of overlap between overlapping shingles or tiles. 

  • Heat Welding: Method of melting and fusing together the overlapping edges of sheets or sections of polymer modified bitumen, thermoplastics or some thermoset roofing membranes by the application of heat (in the form of hot air open flame) and pressure.

  • Hip Roof: A type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls.

  • Ice & Water Shield: Ice and water shield, is a waterproof roof underlayment membrane developed to protect vulnerable areas on a roof from ice and water damage.  These areas include the eaves, valley, chimneys and all penetrations. Ice and water shield is made with polymer-modified bitumen. The self-adhesive backing surface of the membrane bonds to the roofs deck.

  • Ice Dam: A mass of ice formed at the transition from a warm to a cold roof surface, formed by refreezing meltwater at the overhang of a steep roof, causing ice water to back up under roofing materials.

  • Infrared Thermography: A practice of roof system analysis where an infrared camera is used to measure the temperature differential of a roof surface to locate areas of wet or moist insulation.

  • Insulation: Any of a variety of materials designed to reduce the flow of heat, either from or into a building.

  • Intake Ventilation: The fresh air that is drawn into a passive ventilation system typically installed in the soffit or eave of a roof.

  • Interlayment: A felt, metal, or membrane sheet material used between courses of sloped roofing to improve the weather- and water-shedding characteristics of the  roof covering during times of wind-driven rain and snow. Typically used with shakes.

  • Lap: That part of a roofing, waterproofing, or flashing component that overlaps portions of the same or another type of adjacent component.

  • Lap Seam: Occurs where overlapping materials are seamed, sealed, or otherwise.

  • Layover: See Re-Roof

  • Leak Barrier: See Ice and Water Shield

  • Lichen: Lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of multiple fungi species in a mutualistic relationship. Lichens have properties different from those of their component organisms. It doesn't trap as much water against the surface of the roof as moss, but it can be acidic and has strands that can penetrate into the shingles. Lichen can sometimes be confused with hail damage because of the granule loss.

  • Mansard: A decorative steep-sloped roof on the perimeter of a building.

  • Mastic: See Asphalt Roof Cement.

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): A written description of the chemicals in a, and pertinent other data including such things as safe handling and procedures. In accordance with OSHA regulations, it is the manufacturer’s to produce an MSDS and the employer’s responsibility to communicate contents to employees.

  • Mechanically-Fastened Membranes: Generally used to describe membranes that been attached at defined intervals to the substrate. Mechanical fastening may be with various fasteners and/or other mechanical devices, such as plates or.

  • Membrane: A flexible or semi-flexible material, which functions as the waterproofing in a roofing or waterproofing assembly.

  • Metal Flashing: Accessory components fabricated from sheet metal and used to terminate roof covering edges. Frequently used as through-wall, cap flashing (coping), counterflashing, step-flashing, etc. (See Flashing.)

  • Metal Valley: A metal valley is a pre-bent roof material that protects vulnerable areas of your roof prone to water damage or leaking. The proper way to install a metal valley is on top of an ice and water shield, creating an effective passageway for rainwater into your gutter and keeping your roof dry and well-protected.

  • Mineral-Surfaced Roofing: Roofing materials whose surface or top layer consists of granules.

  • Model 750: A three sided louver to allow more air to flow through the vent which in turn will remove more heat and moisture from an attic.

  • Modified Bitumen: (1) A bitumen modified through the inclusion of one or more (e.g., a tactic polypropylene, styrene butadiene styrene, etc.)

  • Mopping: The application of hot bitumen, with a roofer’s hand mop or mechanical, to the substrate or to the felts of a bituminous membrane.

  • Nailer: (Commonly referred to as Blocking) A piece or pieces of dimensional lumber/or plywood secured to the structural deck or walls, which provide a receiving for the fasteners used to attach membrane or flashing. Generally, it is that nailer’s be the same thickness as the adjacent insulation, and may be treated with a non-oil-borne preservative, and be of sufficient width to fully support horizontal flashing flange of a metal flashing (where used).

  • Nailing: The application of nails. May be: (1) exposed nailing of roofing wherein nails are exposed to the weather; (2) concealed nailing of roofing wherein nail heads concealed from the weather by an overlapping material.

  • Nailing Zone: The area of the shingle where the nails are to be installed. The nailing zone helps eliminate human error, in such as high or low nailing, and speeds up the installation process.

  • Neoprene: A synthetic rubber (polychloroprene) used in liquid-applied and applied elastomeric roof membranes or flashings.

  • NRCA: National Roofing Contractors Association

  • Parapet Wall: A barrier that is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony, walkway or other structure.

  • Partially-Attached: A roofing assembly in which the membrane has been “spot” to a substrate, usually with an adhesive or a mechanical device.

  • Penetration: Any object passing through the roof.

  • Pipe Boot: Prefabricated flashing piece used to flash around circular pipe.

  • Polymer: A natural or synthetic chemical compound of high molecular weight, or of such compounds, formed when monomers (small individual molecules) are to form large long-chain molecules.

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): A synthetic thermoplastic polymer prepared from. PVC can be com-pounded into flexible and rigid forms through the plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, and other modifiers; rigid forms are used in pipes; forms are used in the manufacture of sheeting and roof membrane materials.

  • Ponding: The excessive accumulation of water at low-lying areas on a roof.

  • Positive Drainage: the drainage condition in which consideration has been designed for all loading deflections of the deck, and additional roof slope has provided to ensure drainage of the roof area within 48 hours of rainfall, during drying conditions.

  • Power Vent: Electric-powered attic vents use a thermostat and humidistat control to monitor heat and moisture buildup inside the attic. Featuring a low-profile dome, the power attic vent is unobtrusive when installed on the roof slanting away from the front of your home. It's an efficient option to replace wind turbines or roof pots already in place.

  • Primer: (1) A thin, liquid-applied solvent-based bitumen that may be applied to improve the adhesion of subsequent applications of bitumen; (2) a material is sometimes used in the process of seaming single-ply membranes to prepare surfaces and increase the strength (in shear and peel) of the field splice.

  • Re-Cover: The addition of a new roof membrane or steep-slope roof covering over a portion of an existing roof assembly. This process does not involve removal of the existing roofing.

  • Re-Roof: Re-roofing or Layover is a process in which the second set of shingles is layered over an existing set of shingles on a roof without taking off the existing layer of old shingles on a roof.

  • Ridge Cap: A material or covering applied over the ridge of a roof.

  • Ridge Course: The last or top course of roofing materials, such as tile, roll roofing, etc., that covers the ridge and overlaps the intersecting field roofing.

  • Ridge Vent: A ventilator located at the ridge that allows the escape of warm and/or air from the attic area or rafter cavity. Most ridge vents are either metal or flexible, shingle-over type.

  • Roll Roofing: Smooth-surfaced or mineral-surfaced, coated, prepared felts.

  • Roof Assembly: An assembly of interacting roof components (includes the roof deck, retarder [if pre-sent], insulation, and roof covering).

  • Roof Curb: Raised frame used to mount mechanical units (such as air conditioning or fans), skylights, etc.

  • Roof Seamer: Machine that crimps neighboring metal roof panels together, or that laps membrane sheets together using heat, solvent, or dielectric energy.

  • Roof Slope: The angle a roof surface makes with the horizontal, expressed as a ratio of units of vertical rise to the units of horizontal length (sometimes referred to as run). English units of measurement, when dimensions are given in inches, the slope may be expressed as a ratio of rise to run, such as 4:12, or as a percent.

  • Roof System: A system of interacting roof components, generally consisting of primary roof covering and insulation (not including the roof deck) to weatherproof and, sometimes, to improve the building’s thermal.

  • Seam: A joint formed by mating two separate sections of material.

  • Shed Roof: A shed style roof, also known as a skillion or lean-to roof, is a roof that slopes down in one direction. It is flat with a steep slope

  • Side Lap: The continuous longitudinal overlap of neighboring like materials. 

  • Single-Lock Standing Seam: A standing seam that utilizes one overlapping interlock to seam panels, in contrast with the double interlocking used in a double seam.

  • Single-Ply Membranes: Roofing membranes that are field applied using just one layer membrane material (either homogeneous or composite) rather than multiple layers.

  • Single-Ply Roofing: A roofing system in which the principal roof covering is a single flexible membrane, often of thermoset, thermoplastic, or polymer modified compounds.

  • Single-Ply System: Generally, there are six types of single-ply roofing systems:

  1. Fully-adhered
    2) Loose-laid
    3) Mechanically-fastened
    4) Partially-adhered
    5) Protected membrane roof
    6) Self-adhering

  • 634 Broan Vent: Steel roof cap for 6" round duct for range hoods, losone fans, and bath ventilation fans, black

  • 636 Broan Vent: Steel roof cap for 3" or 4" round duct for bathroom ventilation, laundry ventilation, home gym, etc…

  • Split Boot: An adjustable rubber pipe boot flashing that simplifies the replacement of deteriorating flashings around electrical masts on shingle roofing.

  • SquareOne roofing square, or square of roofing shingles, is the amount of material needed to cover 100 square feet of roof area

  • Standing Seam: A metal roof system that consists of an overlapping or interlocking that occurs at an upturned rib. The standing seam may be made by turning up edges of two adjacent metal panels and overlapping them, then folding them in a variety of ways.

  • Starter or Starter StripA starter strip is an asphalt based shingle utilized to waterproof the eave and rake edges of your home during a re-roof.

  • Static Vent: Static ventilation uses non-powered ventilation products to cool the home. These products work with the natural flow of air and temperature. Here's how static ventilation works: As air heats up, it rises and becomes less dense. The wind movement around and over a home creates areas of low and high pressure.

  • Steep-Slope Roofing: A category of roofing that includes water shedding types of roof installed on slopes exceeding 3:12 or 25%.

  • Step Flashing: Step flashing is a rectangular piece of flashing bent 90 degrees in the center. It is used for roof to wall flashing. Multiple pieces of the flashing will be installed in layers with shingles to ensure the water flows away from the wall.

  • Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBS): High molecular weight polymers having rubber-like, formed by the random copolymerization of styrene and butadiene. Used in class 4 impact rated shingles and manufacture’s hip and ridge shingles.

  • Substrate: The surface upon which the roofing or waterproofing membrane is applied (e.g., in roofing, the structural deck or insulation).

  • Synthetic Underlayment: Synthetic underlayment is a roofing accessory created by weaving/spinning together polypropylene or polyethylene and a polymer to form an all-over protective barrier to put between the roofing material and the roof deck. The purpose of underlayment is to absorb asphalt from the shingle and provide an extra level of water resistance.

  • Tapered Edge Strip: A tapered insulation strip used to (1) elevate and slope the roof to the perimeter and at curbs, and (2) provide a gradual transition from one layer to another.

  • Taping: (1) The technique of connecting joints between insulation or deck panels with tape; (2) the technique of using self-adhering tape-like to seam or splice single-ply membranes.

  • Tar: A brown or black bituminous material, liquid or semi-solid in consistency, in which predominating constituents are bitumen’s obtained as condensates in the coal, petroleum, oil-shale, wood, or other organic materials.

  • Termination: The treatment or method of anchoring and/or sealing the free edges of membrane in a roofing or waterproofing system.

  • Thermal Barrier: A material applied over polyurethane foam designed to slow the rise of the foam during a fire and delay its involvement in the fire. Thermal for use with SPF must have a time rating of not less than 15 minutes.

  • Thermal Block: A compression-resistant insulation block installed between the steel and the panel to maintain insulation value.

  • Tobacco Juicing: A result of water solubles leaching from the oxidized surface of exposed asphalt and/or air contaminants and may be seen on all asphalt-based products.

  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO):  A single-ply roofing membrane that is one of the fastest growing commercial roofing systems on the market. TPO roofing systems are made up of a single layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim that can be used to cover flat roofs.

  • Turtle Vent: Turtle vents are non-mechanical curved vents (yep, like a turtle shell) that allow hot air to escape the attic space. 

  • Underlayment: An asphalt-saturated felt or other sheet material (may be adhering) installed between the roof deck and the roof system, usually used in a slope roof construction. Underlayment is primarily used to separate the roof from the roof deck, to shed water, and to provide secondary weather protection for the roof area of the building.

  • Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL): An organization that tests, rates and classifies assemblies for their resistance to: fire, impact, leakage, corrosion of metal, and wind uplift.

  • WhirlybirdSee Wind Turbine.

  • Wicking: The ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces

  • Wind Load: Force exerted by the wind on a structure or part of a structure.

  • Wind Turbine: Wind turbines, also known as Whirlybirds, are a type of attic exhaust vent that make up half of a balanced attic ventilation system for each roof. Intake vents make up the other half of the system.

  • Wind Uplift: The force caused by the deflection of wind at roof edges, roof peaks or, causing a drop in air pressure immediately above the roof surface. This is then transmitted to the roof surface. Uplift may also occur because of the air pressure underneath the membrane and roof edges, where it can cause the membrane to balloon and pull away from the deck.

Siding, Soffit & Gutter Terminology

  • Acrylic: A synthetic resin and a mild alkaline polymer substance (methyl isobutyl ketone) used to make high-quality and durable acrylic coatings or paintings. Partnering with a world leader in acrylic technology, Kaycan Products has developed a process to fuse a protective acrylic layer to a vinyl base.

  • Application Rate: The quantity (mass, volume, or thickness) of material applied per area.

  • Apron Flashing: A term used for a flashing located at the juncture of the top of the roof and a vertical wall or steeper-sloped roof.

  • Band Board: The band joist and sill plate are the set of boards (in wood frame houses), or blocks (in a brick house) that sit on top of the foundation wall and run in a band around the house.

  • Batten: A strip of wood that seals joints in wooden siding. Modern “board and batten” siding refers to the old wood siding that had “boards” and “battens” to fill the gaps between the boards. Battens are the smaller part that go between the boards.

  • Bead Board Siding: Beadboard siding is a term that many people have heard of, but are not sure what beadboard truly is. Beadboard is a type of narrow, vertical, wood siding that usually comes about 1/3 up the wall. There is a small ridge between each plank of wood, also known as a “bead”, hence the name “beadboard”.

  • Bond: The adhesive and/or cohesive forces holding two components in positive.

  • Buttlock: The bottom portion of a panel of vinyl siding that locks into a previous panel that was just installed. This keeps the siding from moving around.

  • Butt Joint: A joint formed by adjacent, separate sections of material, such as where neighboring pieces of insulation but.

  • Carbon Black: A material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as FCC tar, coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, or vegetable matter. Carbon black is found in dark colored vinyl siding and it absorbs approximately 95 percent of Solar IR.

  • Caulk: A material (usually a composition of vehicle and pigment) used for/sealing joints or junctures, where no elastomeric properties are required. (See.)

  • Caulking: (1) The physical process of sealing a joint or juncture; (2) Sealing and weather-tight the joints, seams, or voids between adjacent units by filling with sealant.

  • Cellulose Insulation: Fiber insulation, primarily made from recycles newsprints, used in enclosed existing walls, open new walls, and unfinished attic floors.

  • Chalk Line: A line made by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk. Used for alignment purposes.

  • Chalking: The degradation or migration of an ingredient, in paints, coatings, or other.

  • Chemical Resistance: The ability to withstand contact with specified chemicals without significant change in properties.

  • Counter Flashing: Formed metal sheeting secured on or into a wall, curb, pipe, rooftop, or other surface, to cover and protect the upper edge of the membrane base or underlying metal flashing and associated fasteners from exposure to the.

  • Course:  A course of siding refers to one row of siding that runs the length of an exterior wall. Multiple “courses” of siding are used to fill up an exterior wall.

  • Delta E A unit of measurement that gauges and measures the difference between two colors. A Delta E of one is virtually naked to the visible eye when two colors are placed side-by-side.

  • Downspout: A pipe to carry rainwater from a roof to a drain or to ground level. The purpose of a downspout is to allow water from a gutter to reach the ground without dripping or splashing down the building structure.

  • Downspout Adapter: A downspout adapter is used to change the shape of the downspout where it attaches to another pipe or an underground drain system.

  • Drain: An outlet or other device used to collect and direct the flow of runoff water from roof area.

  • Drip Edge: A metal flashing, or other overhanging component, with an outward lower edge, intended to control the direction of dripping water and help underlying building components. A drip edge also can be used to break the contact between the roof perimeter and wall components to help prevent action.

  • Drip Cap: Another word for head flashing, it’s a piece of trim that deflects water away from the top of vertical siding.

  • Dutch Lap Siding: A style of vinyl siding that creates overlapping horizontal rows. It is designed to resemble hand-carved, Old World-style wood siding.

  • Eaves: The part of your roof that overhangs over the exterior walls. See Soffit.

  • EavestroughSee Gutter

  • Elbow: An elbow on a rain gutter is a piece of downspout used to turn around the contour of the home. The elbow allows you to go from the eave back to the wall and then back down to the ground. The gutter elbows turn sections of a downspout to the left, right, forward and backward down the wall.

  • End Cap: A gutter end cap is the fitting that attaches to and closes off the end of the gutter. It can be crimped, riveted, or screwed in place before applying

  • End Lap: The distance of overlap where one ply, panel, or piece extends beyond the end of the immediately adjacent underlying ply, panel, or piece.

  • Exposure: Sometimes called “reveal”, the exposure refers to the width of a board of siding.

  • F-Channel: Molding that is shaped like the letter F that is used to trim siding that’s installed at a 90 degree angle.

  • Face: The part of the siding that is visible after it is installed.

  • Face Nail: Face nailing is most definitely frowned upon! It’s when siding is installed by putting nails through the “face” of the siding, exposing the nails rather than hiding them.

  • Fade Factor: See Hunter’s Scale.

  • Fan Fold: A thin perforated, extruded polystyrene foam board faced on one side with a plastic film facer to enhance the application of new or replacement siding while also adding insulation.

  • Fasteners: Any of a wide variety of mechanical securement devices and assemblies, nails, screws, cleats, clips, and bolts, which may be used to secure various types of a roof assembly.

  • Fascia: Fascia or fascia board is a board that runs horizontally and covers the joint or intersection of the top of an exterior wall and the overhanging lower edge of a roof.

  • Ferrule: A small metal sleeve placed inside a gutter at the top. The ferrule acts as a spacer in the gutter to maintain its original shape.

  • Fiberglass Insulation: Blanket or rigid board insulation, composed of glass fibers together with a binder, faced or unfaced, used to insulate roofs and walls.

  • Fire Resistance: The ability of a building component to act as a barrier to the spread of fire and confine it to the area of origin.

  • Flame Retardant: A substance which is added to a polymer formulation to reduce its tendency to burn.

  • Flashing: Components used to weatherproof or seal the roof system edges at, penetrations, walls, expansion joints, valley, drains, and other places the roof covering is interrupted or terminated. For example, membrane base covers the edge of the field membrane, and cap flashings or counter flashings the upper edges of the base flashing.

  • Flange: The part of a piece of siding where the mounting holes are located, usually at the top.

  • Frieze Board: A kind of trim that is usually installed between the soffit and the top of a house's siding. The primary function of the frieze board trim is to finish and beautify seams and corners of the house's exterior.

  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council): FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

  • Furring Strip: Furring strips are wooden strips that are sometimes attached to the exterior of a house for the siding to attached to. They can also be used to straighten surfaces on the exterior of your home that are not perfectly flat.

  • Gable: A gable is usually the triangular part of a wall where the pitch of your roof intersects.

  • Gable Vent: Gable vents offer passive ventilation of the attic space and roof. When the outside air is moving perpendicular to the gable vents, it’s like two windows on opposite sides of a room: cool air into one side, and hot air out the other. 

  • Gutter: A trough along the eaves to catch and carry off rainwater.

  • Gutter Apron: A Specialized Drip Edge designed to direct water into the gutter system. Gutter Apron is installed over the roof edge and hangs in the gutter.

  • Gutter Strap: A custom formed and prefabricated piece of metal that secures the downspout to the wall of the property.

  • Head Flashing: A piece of trim that’s meant to deflect water away from the top of vertical siding. This is to prevent water from getting behind the siding, preventing the backerboard from rotting over time.

  • Hidden Hanger: Fastening System for gutter systems that are installed at the center of the gutter trough, making them invisible from the ground.

  • House Wrap: A lightweight, paper-like material that is most often used to completely cover the house, directly on top of the sheathing and behind the vinyl siding. Its primary purpose is to prevent air and water leaks that may have seeped past the vinyl exterior.

  • Hunter’s Scale: The Hunter’s scale is way of measuring small—almost infinitesimal—differences in pigment to tell whether or not a surface is faded. It’s used by the siding industry to determine whether or not fading is within the range of expected deterioration.

  • Insulation: Any of a variety of materials designed to reduce the flow of heat, either from or into a building.

  • Intake Ventilation: The fresh air that is drawn into a passive ventilation system typically installed in the soffit or eave of a roof.

  • J-Block: Also known as a mounting block, is a durable, maintenance-free, U.V. stabilized siding component which is used for installing exterior light fixtures on vinyl siding

  • J-Channel: J-channels are used around windows and doors, on inside corners and where the siding meets the soffit or roof at an angle.

  • Lap: Lap is short for “overlap”. When one panel of siding overlaps another, it is called a lap joint. Naturally, laps are necessary on siding so that you don’t see the nails that fasten the siding to the exterior of your home.

  • Lap Siding: A type of siding that is installed horizontally on your home.

  • Lock: A part of siding that locks in with a locking leg to join siding panels together.

  • Locking Leg: Slips into the lock and creates a tight fit between two siding panels.

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): A written description of the chemicals in a, and pertinent other data including such things as safe handling and procedures. In accordance with OSHA regulations, it is the manufacturer’s to produce an MSDS and the employer’s responsibility to communicate contents to employees.

  • Metal Flashing: Accessory components fabricated from sheet metal and used to terminate roof covering edges. Frequently used as through-wall, cap flashing (coping), counterflashing, step-flashing, etc. (See Flashing.)

  • Miter: Miters, or corner pieces, are the gutter fittings that connect two gutters at a corner. Box Miters are the corner pieces made up of two pieces of gutter that are seamed together. Strip Miters require the two adjoining gutters to be cut on 45 degree angles.

  • Miter Joint: The intersection of two panels at a 90 degree angle. Usually each panel is cut at a 45 degree angle. Soffit is sometimes cut in this way at corners to provide an overall better appearance.

  • Nail Hole Punches: The holes in the flange of a piece of siding that nails go through to fasten the siding to a wall.

  • Nailing: The application of nails.

  • Outlet: Gutter outlets, or gutter drops / goose necks are parts installed in a gutter to direct water to a downspout or elbow.

  • Pop Rivets: A fastening metal pin intentionally distorted and clamped as an alternative to the long-term reliance upon the holding capability of a threaded screw.

  • Plumb or Square: Perfectly perpendicular measurement of an object that is exactly 90 degrees from a level, horizontal surface. A “square” or “speed square” is also a tool used to achieve a perfect 90 degree level between two objects.

  • Plywood Backerboard: Backerboard is the panel that is nailed to the studs of the exterior walls of your home. The backerboard (usually plywood) allows for siding to be fastened to it.

  • Profile: The shape or “profile” of the face of the siding.

  • PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride.

  • R-Value: The resistance to heat transfer of a material. Insulators have relatively high R.

  • Side Lap: The continuous longitudinal overlap of neighboring like materials. 

  • Scoring: A “light cutting” of a piece of siding so that when bent, the siding will snap into two pieces with a clean edge for each piece.

  • Shadow Line: The shape of the shadow that is cast by your home’s siding profile.

  • Siding Square: Usually refers to a 10 foot by 10 foot piece of siding.

  • Soffit: The enclosed underside of any exterior overhanging section of a roof eave.

  • Soffit Vent: A premanufactured or custom built air inlet source located at the eave or in the soffit of a roof assembly.

  • Splice: Bonding or joining of overlapping materials.

  • Split Block: Also known as a Split Recessed Mounting Block or a Spigot Block, is a siding accessory that splits apart to fit around existing pipes and vents.

  • Spike: A spike fastener that is driven through the front upper lip of the gutter into the ferrule, which passes through the back portion of the gutter into the fascia board to hold the gutter in place. The ferrule acts as a spacer in the gutter to maintain its original shape.

  • Splash Block: Splash blocks are rectangular pieces of plastic or concrete placed underneath the end of the downspout. Their purpose is to direct water as far away from your home as possible while preventing the soil from eroding and causing foundation issues.

  • Splash Guards: Splash Guards are designed to keep water from over shooting gutters during heavy rain fall and allow for maximum efficiency for water flow. Splash Guards are placed in areas of a gutter system—usually valleys, also known as miters—where overspilling may occur.

  • Starter Strip: Refers to the piece that secures the first panel or course of siding to a wall.

  • Strapping: Another term for furring strips, strapping is a piece of wood or metal placed on the exterior wall of a home so that siding can be attached to it.

  • Tongue and Groove: A type of interlock that joins two pieces of siding together. A “tongue” slips into the adjacent “groove” on another piece of siding.

  • U-Value: A measure of the heat transmission through a building part (such as a wall or window) or a given thickness of a material (such as insulation) with lower numbers indicating better insulating properties.

  • UL Label: An identification label or seal affixed to a roofing product or package with authorization of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. The presence of the label indicates the product has met certain performance criteria.

  • Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL): An organization that tests, rates and classifies assemblies for their resistance to: fire, impact, leakage, corrosion of metal, and wind uplift.

  • Vapor Barrier: Material installed to impede or restrict the passage of water.

  • Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI): The Vinyl Siding Institute, Inc. (VSI) is the trade association for manufacturers of vinyl and other polymeric siding and suppliers to the industry.

  • Weep Holes: Small openings whose purpose is to permit drainage of water that inside a building component (e.g., a brick wall, skylight frame, etc.).

  • Wicking: The ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces

Window Terminology

  • AAMA: The American Architectural Manufacturers Association. When a window passes the AAMA certification program, it means the window is likely to perform at a high level for a long time. An AAMA certification requires stringent performance tests conducted by an independent and accredited AAMA lab.

  • Argon Gas: Argon gas is clear, natural gas that is denser than the earth’s atmosphere. Therefore it acts as a better insulator than natural air and provides a better thermal efficiency.

  • Awning Window: Awning windows are hinged on the top and open outward from the bottom, allowing for ventilation and protection from the rain. Often placed higher on walls for privacy or in combination with large stationary windows for a better view.

  • Balance: A balance is a device in single- and double-hung windows that uses a spring mechanism to help you with the weight of the sash as you open and close your window. Balances sit inside the window frame so they are somewhat hidden.

  • Bay Window: A bay window is a three sectioned window that bows outward. The center window is a picture window and on either side of the picture window is another style of window. The side windows are usually the same type of window. Bay windows are usually canted (angled/oblique line or surface particularly which cuts off a corner) at most commonly 45 or 90 degrees.

  • Bow Window: Is a curved window that is designed to create space by projecting beyond the exterior wall of a building, and to provide a wider view of the garden or street outside and typically combine four or more windows, which join together to form an arch

  • Brickmold: A milled wood trim piece that covers the gap between the window frame and the exterior of the building. On traditional wood windows, the brick mold is nailed through to attach the window to the wall.

  • Cam Lock: A cam lock is the piece that pulls your window sash together to keep it locked and secure.

  • Cap Stock: Various materials used to coat wood, vinyl, metal, composite or other building materials. Provides a durable layer that protects against environmental exposure such as ultraviolet light.

  • Casement Windows: A casement window hinges at the side and opens outward to the left or right. They are also known as crank windows, since they are opened with a handle that cranks the supporting arm of the window outward.

  • Casing: Casing is a type of molding used as trim for the perimeter of windows and doors. Just as their names state, interior window casing is installed on the interior walls of a house to frame the window on the inside for aesthetic purposes, and exterior window casing is the trim or molding that frames the window on the exterior of the house.

  • Caulk: A material (usually a composition of vehicle and pigment) used for/sealing joints or junctures, where no elastomeric properties are required. (See.)

  • Caulking: (1) The physical process of sealing a joint or juncture; (2) Sealing and weather-tight the joints, seams, or voids between adjacent units by filling with sealant.

  • Cellulose Insulation: Fiber insulation, primarily made from recycles newsprints, used in enclosed existing walls, open new walls, and unfinished attic floors.

  • Chalking: The degradation or migration of an ingredient, in paints, coatings, or other.

  • Condensation: Water which collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it. Often seen on the exterior of energy efficient windows and can occur near ceiling vents that flow into the attic. 

  • Condensation Factor: Condensation can occur with any line of vinyl replacement window. Many factors go into this. Let alone from the window being manufactured with items that may be a conductor, you also have to look at the internal makeup of your home, as well as the outside weather conditions, that may contribute to this as well. The AAMA has stated that a window must have a condensation rating factor of at least a 35 for a thermally improved replacement window. The way to understand and read this factor is the lower that the stated number is; the higher the chance is for condensation to occur.

  • Double Hung Window: Double-Hung windows have two operating sash that move up and down allowing for ventilation on the top, bottom or both.

  • Double Pane Glass: Double-pane means having two panes of glass, which typically contains an insulating gas between the panes.

  • Egress: A window opening providing a secondary means of escape or rescue in an emergency.

  • Factory Mulled: A process, performed at the manufacturing facility, that combines units to fill large fenestration openings. These combinations can be multi-wide, multi-high, or even both.

  • Fasteners: Any of a wide variety of mechanical securement devices and assemblies, nails, screws, cleats, clips, and bolts, which may be used to secure various types of construction materials. 

  • Fixed Unit Window: A fixed window (often called a picture window) is a standard window that is non-operational. As such, these windows do not have a handle, hinges, or any operable hardware.

  • Flashing: Components used to weatherproof or seal the roof system edges at, penetrations, walls, expansion joints, valley, drains, and other places the roof covering is interrupted or terminated. For example, membrane base covers the edge of the field membrane, and cap flashings or counter flashings the upper edges of the base flashing.

  • Fusion Weld: A manufacturing process for fusing sash or frame components together. The lineal ends are thermally softened with a hot plate, then welded to form a structural bond.

  • Garden Window: A garden window or greenhouse window is a type of fenestration constructed as an exterior projection from a building, providing display space in the window. As the name suggests, small potted plants are often displayed in a garden window.

  • Glazing: Usually refers to the glass system used by a window, including the glass, glass coating, insulating spacer, and glass sealants

  • Glazing Beads: Glazing beads are wood or vinyl pieces around the perimeter of the glass that cover the space between the glass edge and sash/panel.

  • Glazing Gasket: Glazing gaskets provide sealing and insulation and can help hold window glass in place. They are made of rubber materials and installed along the edges of stationary windows

  • Grid: A grid is the framework of spaced bars that form a pattern in a window.

  • Hardware: Window hardware is all the devices, fittings, or assemblies that are used to operate a window. Window hardware may include catches, cords, fasteners, hinges, handles, locks, pivots, pulls, pulleys, and sash weights.

  • Hopper Window: A hopper window is a small window that opens downward and inward. It is commonly installed as a bathroom or basement window. The upward tilt of the window glass pane blocks open dirt and debris from getting into your home. It usually can be opened with a crank or hinge.

  • Infiltration: The term used to describe the tendency of a window to allow air or water to move into or out of the building through or around the product's weather stripping or joints.

  • Innergy Rigid Thermal Reinforcements: A high-performing, energy efficient alternative to aluminum inserts for the meeting rails. Made from advanced fiber-reinforced polyurethane that is custom designed for greater support and insulation.

  • Insulated Glass: Two or more pieces of glass with a space between them that are hermetically sealed to provide insulating characteristics.

  • Insulation: any of a variety of materials designed to reduce the flow of heat, either from or into a building.

  • Intercept Spacer: A unique, one-piece, tin-plated or stainless steel, U-channel design that creates an effective thermal barrier to help reduce conducted heat loss through the window.

  • Jamb: The main vertical parts forming the sides of a window frame.

  • Jamb Cover: Material used to trim off visible surfaces on windows and doors.

  • Jamb Extension: Wood or another material that adds width to the jamb so that the window fills the entire opening depth from the exterior to interior sheathings.

  • Jamb Liner: A jamb liner is a strip which goes on the sides of a window frame that provides a snug fit for the window sash.

  • Keeper: The hardware piece where the lock engages on the sash.

  • Krypton Gas: Odorless, colorless, non-toxic inert gases that can be used instead of air between panes of glass to increase insulation and energy efficiency. Argon is the cheaper, more readily available gas, but Krypton is a better insulator.

  • Laminated Glass:  A type of safety glass; two or more sheets of glass with an inner layer of plastic which holds the glass pieces if the glass is broken.

  • Low – E Coating: Low-E, which stands for low emissivity, is a thin transparent metallic coating, sometimes tinted, that reflects heat while allowing sunlight to pass through.

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): A written description of the chemicals in a, and pertinent other data including such things as safe handling and procedures. In accordance with OSHA regulations, it is the manufacturer’s to produce an MSDS and the employer’s responsibility to communicate contents to employees.

  • Muntins: Muntins are the actual bars that create a grid pattern in windows. They are permanently stuck to the interior and exterior of the window.

  • Nail Fin: Nailing fins, sometimes called mounting flanges, are the thin strips installed on the exterior sides of a window. The purpose of nailing fins is to secure the window to the wall sheathing and hold it in place while the shims and screws are being installed.

  • Nailing: The application of nails.

  • NFRC: National Fenestration Rating Council. An independent agency established in 1992 to test and rate window and door products.

  • Obscure Glass: One of several types of specialty glazings that are textured for privacy, light diffusion, or decoration (frosted, etched, etc.).

  • Parting Stop: A narrow strip that separates and secures two sash in the window frame.

  • Picture Window: See Fixed Unit.

  • PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride.

  • R-Value: The resistance to heat transfer of a material. Insulators have relatively high R.

  • Rail: A rail is the horizontal component that runs at the bottom of the lower sash and the top of the upper sash.

  • Rough Opening: The opening in a wall where a window or door will be installed.

  • Sash: A sash is the part of the window unit inside yet separate from the frame. It is the part of the window you open and shut or it can also remain stationary. On a typical single-hung window, the lower or bottom sash is the one that can be opened or shut while the upper sash on a single-hung window doesn’t move. On a double hung window, you can have two sashes that are functional. The sash consists of the stiles, rails, bars, and muntins.

  • Sash Lock: A sash lock is the locking device which interacts with the sash to keep the window from rattling. In a double-hung window, it fixes both sashes to a locked position.

  • Sash Reinforcement: A metal or fiberglass reinforcement located in the meeting rail of a double hung window. This allows reinforcement and strength due to the face that the clamping load of the window is placed right on that lock in a double hung and there is the possibility for distortion at the rail.

  • Shim: A thin slip of material for straightening jambs and leveling window and door frames. Shims are also used to adjust hardware positioning.

  • Sill Failure: Sill failure occurs when the insulator between the panes of glass has begun to escape. This can occur due to a stress fracture in the glass or when the spacer system fails. When this occurs the window will appear foggy between the panes of glass.

  • Single Pane Glass: One layer of glass.

  • Single Hung Window: A single hung window has a fixed top sash and an operable bottom sash that moves vertically.

  • Sliding Window: Often referred to as a slider or gliding windows, sliding windows have sashes that slide either left or right in a single frame. A two-lite sliding window has two independent sashes that slide horizontally. Both sides of the window can be opened at the same time, which allows for optimum ventilation throughout your home.

  • Solar Heat Gain (SHG): The portion of solar heat passing through a window. This occurs when the solar energy is conveyed directly and/or absorbed, and radiates as heat inside a home. What this means is that the lower the SHG, the less heat from the sun is passing through. The higher the SHG, the more heat from the sun is coming in. In northern climate areas the best window to have is one with a low U-Value and higher SHG to allow sunlight to help heat the home in the winter months.

  • Spacers / Spacer Systems: Spacers separate multiple panes of glass  in a window and maintain the space  between them.  Spacers and the sealants used to hold them in place are referred to as spacer systems,  and efficient ones help deliver the benefits consumers want. They seal the space between the glass panes to avoid fogging and prevent efficiency-boosting gases from leaking out. They expand and contract along with the rest of the window. In cold climates, spacer systems can reduce heat loss, condensation, and water damage

  • Stiles: While rails are the components that run horizontally at the top and bottom of a sash, stiles are the components that run vertically on the sides of a sash.

  • Storm Window: A seasonal second window installed on the outside or inside of a window to provide additional insulation or protection from bad weather and allow ventilation.

  • Super Spacer: A non-metal, pre-desiccated, structural foam spacer system which provides excellent perimeter insulation for sealed glazing units, whilst significantly simplifying insulating glass production.

  • Tempered Glass: Treated glass strengthened by reheating and then sudden cooling; up to 4 times stronger than regular glass.

  • Thermal Conductivity: Refers to a physical property that affects the extent to which heat or cold is transferred by a material.

  • Thermal Expansion: A term that describes the expansion a material exhibits when exposed to high temperature, or the shrinkage (contraction) that results when exposed to low temperatures.

  • Three Lite Slider: 3-Lite slider windows have three panels (or sashes) within one master frame.

  • Tilt LatchWindow tilt latches are found along the top rail of the sash and allow you to secure your tilt window in the upright position.

  • Triple Pane Glass: Triple-pane means having two panes of glass, with two air spaces between.

  • U-Value: A measure of the heat transmission through a building part (such as a wall or window) or a given thickness of a material (such as insulation) with lower numbers indicating better insulating properties.

  • United Inch: Term used to describe a method of calculating the size of a window, by adding the height to the width and expressing the sum in inches.

  • Vinyl Clad Window: A window with exterior wood parts covered with extruded vinyl.

  • Warm Edge Spacer: A warm edge spacer is a type of spacer bar used in insulated glazing. It separates the panes of glass in double or triple glazing, or curtain walling and seals off the air cavity between each. Recent warm edge spacers are generally made from plastics, although stainless steel can meet the definition.

  • Weather Stripping: Weather stripping is a strip of resilient material designed to seal the sash and frame members in order to reduce air and water infiltration.

  • WDMA: Organization established by window and door manufacturers to create industry standards and advocate self-monitoring.

  • Weep Holes: Small openings whose purpose is to permit drainage of water that inside a building component (e.g., a brick wall, skylight frame, etc.).

  • Window Apron: An apron is decorative trim installed against the wall immediately beneath the stool of a window. It accentuates the look of the window inside the house; almost a like a piece of moulding.

  • Window Frame: The framework that surrounds and supports the entire window system – comprised of the head, jamb and sill. It is what makes up the perimeter of the window.

  • Window Pane: A window pane is the plate of glass that fills the sash. When you hear the terms single-pane, double-pane, triple-pane, or even quadruple-pane, it refers to how many plates of glass are built into the window for added insulation. You will also hear these terms interchanged with double-glazed, triple-glazed, or quadruple-glazed. Just know those terms mean the same thing.

  • Window Stool: The window stool is the part of the window commonly called the window sill. However, a stool and a sill are two different things. The sill of the window is the bottom horizontal portion of the window. The stool is the more visible piece of wood, metal or stone attached to the window sill that you might sit your plants on.

  • Window Wrap: See Cap Stock.

  • Witch Window or Coffin WindowA Witch Window of Coffin Window is a window placed in the gable-end wall of a house and rotated approximately 45 degrees leaving it slanted diagonally.  The name "witch window" comes from an old superstition that witches can not fly through a window if it's tilted. Therefore, if you had a house with a witch's window, you could live without fear that a witch could soar into the room on a broomstick at any moment.  The term Coffin Window comes from another widely believed piece of folklore. Because older homes typically had narrow or twisty staircases, it was difficult to maneuver a coffin up or down the stairs if a family member died. Folklore says that these windows were placed into homes so undertakers could remove coffins more easily via the window.

Entry Door Terminology

Frame Parts

  • Brick Molding / Trim / Architrave: A molding used on an exterior door, typically applied to pre-hung units, put on the outside of the frame as a stop, or to hide brick, siding, stucco or concrete.

  • Casing / Trim: Wood paneling or molding that surrounds the interior edge of a window or door frame. Used to cover the gap between the door frame and wall.

  • Door Stop:  Limits the door's opening swing. It is part of the frame and the door rests on it when closed.

  • Head Jamb: The top horizontal piece of the door frame.

  • Jamb: The surrounding wood frame to which a door is hinged to create a door unit. It also allows the door to be installed into a wall.

  • Mullion: Strips of material used to hide seams between glass panes, or between door frames, side-lites, and transoms.

  • Sill / Threshold: The bottom or piece of a door. Usually made from aluminum or wood. 

Door Parts

  • Astragal: A profile of material and weather-stripping that covers the seam between doors in a two-door system.

  • Bore Hole: A hole drilled through the door for the hardware.

  • Bottom Rail: The bottommost rail of the door.

  • Center Stile: A vertical element used within a door to provide support.

  • Core: The innermost layer or center section in component construction of the door.

  • Dentil Shelf: A shelf added onto the exterior of a door, typically below a quarter lite and part of the craftsman style of doors.

  • Door Shoe / Door Sweep: A form of weather-stripping attached to the bottom of a door that prevents infiltration beneath the door.

  • Frieze Rail / Intermediate Rail / Cross Rail: A horizontal rail located within a door below the top rail.

  • Hinge Stile: The vertical edge piece that sits opposite to the lock and the hinges are attached to.

  • Lock Rail / Middle Rail: The horizontal rail located within a door at the height of the lock.

  • Lock Stile: The vertical edge piece that sits opposite to the hinges and holds the lock.

  • Panel: The part of the door which is raised above or sunk below the level of the rest of the door to create depth.

  • Rail: The horizontal components of the door.

  • Stiles: The vertical pieces or edges of a door. These and rails form the frame of the door slab.

  • Sticking: The profile of the edge of the stile or rail that gives it definition and allows it to hold panels.

  • Top Rail: The topmost rail of the door. 

Hardware

  • Clavos: Decorative nails attached to a door that are meant to be seen.

  • Ball Bearing Hinge: A hinge type that has ball bearings between the hinge knuckles to reduce friction and increase longevity.

  • Cylindrical Lock: A lock type that utilizes only the bore hole to be installed.

  • Flush Bolt: A bolt used on a non-active door to keep it stationary. It is flush with the face or edge of the door when retracted.

  • Hinge: The joint mechanism that holds the door and allows it to swing freely. Generally, one hinge should be used for every 30” of door.

  • Knob Closure:  A type of door handle that includes a knob to twist to open the door.

  • Lever Handle: A type of door handle that includes a lever to push down upon to open the door.

  • Lockset / Hardware: All of the mechanisms that keep the door shut and secured.

  • Mortise Lock: A lock type that requires a pocket to be milled into the door for it to sit.

  • Multi-Point Locking System: A 3 or 5 point lock system controlled by levers in multiple places in the door panel and frame. Used for protection against high pressure winds caused by hurricanes and/or storms, as well as added security for the entryway.

  • Radius Hinge: A hinge type that has rounded corners and edges.

  • Sill Pan: A pan flashing that rests beneath the sill and is sealed or sloped to the exterior.

  • Strap Hinges: Long, horizontal metal pieces attached to doors, typically decorative to mimic holding the door.

  • Strike Plate: A metal plate attached to be flush with the door jamb that will receive the door bolt or the flush bolt, depending on location.

  • Square Hinge: A hinge type that has sharp corners and edges.

  • Thumb Latch: A type of door handle that includes a lever to be pressed by the thumb to open the door.

  • Weather Strip: A narrow strip that is flexible which surrounds the door to protect from moisture and air coming in when the door is closed.

 Door Types / Construction Types

  • Active Door: In a door-two system, the door that typically is operated.

  • Direct Set: A type of construction for sidelites or transoms that has the glass directly mounted into the frame.

  • Double Acting Door: Door which is hinged so that it can be opened both inward and outward.

  • Dutch Door: A door composed of two halves, cut horizontally, that allows separate operation.

  • Fiberglass Door: An alternative to wooden doors composed of a molded fiberglass skin filled with an insulating foam.

  • Flush Door:  A door that is designed to appear flat and does not contain any panels.

  • French Door: A door with glass panes throughout its length. A French door could be a pair or not.

  • Ledge Door / Batten Door: A door composed of, or appears to be composed of, only vertical boards fixed by horizontal / diagonal boards.

  • Paneled Door: A door composed of, or appears to be composed of, stiles, rails, and panels or lites.

  • Passive Door: In a door-two system, the door that typically stays closed.

  • Steel Door: An alternative to wooden doors, composed of a molded steel filled with an insulating foam.

 General Door Terminology

  • Backset: The distance between the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole.

  • Came, Caming: Metal stripping which is soldered at the joints, used between cut-glass pieces to assemble the pieces into a decorative glass panel. Cames are mostly made of lead, zinc, copper, brass or brass-capped lead.

  • Distressing wood: A texturing technique which makes the wood look old or worn.

  • Door Lite(s) / Glazing: The glass panel(s), or glass window(s) that are mounted inside a door.

  • Door Slab: Only the door, no jamb, hinges, threshold, or door hardware.

  • Door Unit: A door with a jamb, hinges, and is bored for door hardware. Exterior door units also include casing, brick molding, astragal and weather strips and are pre-hung.

  • Mortise & Tenon Joinery: A method of locking or joining / bonding two pieces of wood together through holes (mortise) and extrusions (tenon).

  • Mull Post: The post between the door and sidelite which is created by the door frame.

  • Muntin / Uprite: A supporting vertical strip of wood or metal between panes of glass.

  • Ogee: A type of sticking that is characterized by decorative curves.

  • Operable Sidelite / Vented Sidelite: Sidelites that can be opened like a second door to allow airflow.

  • Pre – Hung: A full door unit with the door hinged, jamb, frame, sill and moulding.

  • Prefinished: Products that are stained and sealed at the factory or warehouse before distribution.

  • Primed: An undercoat that can be applied during the construction process that prepares the piece for painting.

  • Rabbet: A stepped recess cut into the edge of the jamb pieces that allow them to fit at a right angle.

  • Rough Opening: An opening in the wall made by standard framing materials, sized around a pre-hung unit. This is usually 2" taller and 2" wider than the door unit size.

  • Sash In Frame: A type of construction for sidelites or transoms that has the glass held in a designed frame within the piece.

  • Shaker / Square: A type of sticking that is characterized by a single right angle.

  • Shim: A thin strip of material, typically wood, wedged between the jamb and the rough opening to secure and align.

  • Sidelite: The side panels on either side of the door. Filled with glass or wood and usually appear in pairs, though can exist solo.

  • Tempered Glass / Safety Glass: Treated glass that will crumble instead of breaking into shards.

  • Transom: A mounted piece of glass or wood above the door unit. This is a decorative piece and sometimes comes with the door unit.

  • Transom Lite: The glass panel(s), or glass window(s) that are mounted inside a transom.

  • Trim: The covering over a door jamb that gives the finished look. This is usually a strip of wood.

Insulation Terminology

  • Baffle: A small piece of cardboard, plastic or PVC. They are small, but they can have major effects on your home. Baffles fit between the rafters and underneath the roof's sheathing near the soffit vents. They keep the insulation from blocking the airflow into the attic.

  • Batt Insulation: Batt insulation comes in pre-cut panels and is generally made of fiberglass; it is sometimes used in conjunction with roll insulation.

  • Blanket Insulation: A batt and roll insulation system, blanket insulation typically consists of fiberglass but sometimes mineral (rock and slag) wool or natural fibers (cotton and sheep’s wool).

  • Cavity: A cavity is the empty space between the wall studs or joists where insulation can be added.

  • Cellulose Insulation: Consisting of up to 80 percent recycled material (mostly newspaper), cellulose is one of the most environmentally friendly types of insulation and has superior soundproofing abilities; it is typically blown in.

  • Conduction: Conductive transfer of energy occurs within or between areas (within your home and between the interior and exterior) of different temperatures; thermal insulation is superior at stopping conductive heat loss.

  • Convection: Convective heat transfer occurs through liquids or gases.

  • Faced Insulation: This type of insulation (batt style) has a vapor barrier attached, typically kraft paper or foil-backed paper.

  • Fiberglass Insulation: An insulation material consisting of thin strands of glass fibers, fiberglass is widely used; today, about 90 percent of homes have fiberglass insulation!

  • Foam Insulation: Foam insulation is ideal for tiny gaps and crevices behind the walls and can be sprayed, injected, poured or foamed-in-place.

  • Heat Loss: Heat is lost from a home or building through one of three methods: conduction, convection, or radiation.

  • Insulation: Insulation is a product used to block sound and heat transfer, keeping your home more comfortable (and increasing its energy efficiency). Its effectiveness is rated in terms of thermal resistance (R-value).

  • Intake Ventilation: The fresh air that is drawn into a passive ventilation system typically installed in the soffit or eave of a roof.

  • Loose-Fill Insulation: Loose-fill is a type of insulation that is shredded and blown into the designated area (also called “blown-in insulation”). Cellulose is typically installed as loose-fill.

  • R-Value: The R-value is used to rate different insulation materials; it refers to the resistance to heat flow—the higher the R-value, the better!

  • Radiant Barrier: Radiant barriers are installed in attics and used to increase your home’s ability to reflect the sun’s energy; options are reflective foil, metal roof shingles, laminated roof sheathing and chips.

  • Radiation: This refers to radiant heat transfer that is caused by a release of electromagnetic waves (also called thermal radiation).

  • Retrofit Insulation: Used for re-insulation projects, retrofit insulation is installed in existing homes, compared to new construction or new build insulation, which is installed in new homes.

  • Roll Insulation: Ideal for unobstructed spaces, roll insulation can be cut to fit any cavity and is generally made of fiberglass; it is sometimes used in conjunction with batt insulation.

  • Unfaced Insulation: This type of insulation has no vapor barrier attached.

Patio Cover & Awning Terminology

  • A-Rail: One part of a two piece hinge for attaching to fascia that is not plumb.

  • Attached: Awning attaches to house/structure either at the wall, eaves/fascia or roof top. Note: To attach to eaves/fascia your eaves must meet the engineering for your awning.

  • Balcony: A platform, usually on the outside of a building.

  • Balustrade: Ornamental rail supported by baluster posts.

  • Barge: Cover strip running down the side of a timber pergola.

  • Batten: A lesser cross member fixed between two more significant members, such as rafters, in order to give additional support.

  • Beam Overhang / Cantilever: The distance a cover goes past a header/support beam, typically 1' to 2'.

  • Bell Footing: An engineer-designed concrete base for the support of a post set into the ground where a concrete slab is absent.

  • Boundary Clearance: The distance between the patio cover and the property boundary.

  • Carport: An open-sided structure consisting of a roof and supporting posts, for the purpose of accommodating a vehicle.

  • Clear Span: The distance from the house to the beam supporting the posts.

  • Collarless Tie: A gable designed without a collar tie.

  • Collar Tie: The beam extending from one side of a gable to the other, tying in the two opposing posts.

  • Colorcoated: In simple terms, sheet metal (or aluminum) is rolled off a large coil and electrostatically heated (heated by electricity).

  • Columns (Fluted FRP Classic): Fiberglass Reinforced Classic Round Columns with vertical lines/grooves, used to support the patio cover.

  • Columns (FRP): Fiberglass Round Columns.

  • Columns (Non-Fluted FRP): Fiberglass Round Columns without vertical lines/grooves, used to support the patio cover.

  • Composite: A type of patio cover made up of a lamination of two metal sheets separated by an insulative fire-retardant foam core

  • Conventional projection: A Patio Cover design that is attached onto the Fascia of the house below the guttering.

  • Deck Cover: Similar to a Patio Cover; an engineered roof built of a structural sheeting (not roofing iron such as corrugated or Trimdeck) and designed specifically for an existing or proposed deck.

  • Deflection: The amount of allowed sag to be expected of a beam or particular Patio Cover brand in spanning an intended distance.

  • Design Consultant: Certified individual professionally trained in designing, drafting, engineering and costing of many brands of patio covers.

  • Double Pitch: Two sloping back to back roof sections forming a triangular design shape.

  • Downspouts: From the Gutter the water runs through the downspout(s) to the ground usually the downspouts will be attached to a post and secured with a strap.

  • Eaves: The overhang that extends from most house roofs; an extension of the rafters or trusses.

  • Enclosure: Side walls, windows and doors added to an existing roofed area.

  • Engineering Specifications: Engineering tables pertaining to each brand of Patio Cover.

  • External 'L': Refers to a patio to be roofed that forms an ‘L’ shape as it wraps around the corner of a house.

  • False Rafter Tails: Decorative rafter ends on a patio cover.

  • Fascia: Usually a flat surface beneath the gutter, made of a timber plank or thin ColorBond metal strip that hides the end of the trusses or rafter tails.

  • Fascia Bracket: Largely superseded, an elbow-shaped support stub fixed to the Fascia board of the house.

  • Finial: An ornament at the apex of a gable.

  • Flashing: A cover or infill to cover a gap.

  • Flat Pan: The flat shape of a Patio Cover sheet usually associated with lightweight brands.

  • Flyover: A design where the Patio Cover is attached to a supporting beam and post system raised above the house gutter.

  • Foam Insert: Styrofoam stuffed inside side plates to provide additional structural support.

  • Footing: A supporting structure, usually below the surface and used in the absence of a slab. Made of concrete, it will be a bell-shaped block from which the post will stand.

  • Freestanding: Freestanding Awnings use no other structure to help support the awning and relies solely on the posts. For this reason the posts must be poured into a concrete footings, footing size will be determined by the engineering.

  • Gable: A pitched section of roof rising above the height of the patio cover.

  • Gable End: Either end of a gable, either left open or enclosed.

  • Gauge: The thickness of sheet steel or aluminum used by a brand.

  • Gloss: Surface shine.

  • Gutter: Attaches to the end of the awning pans, water runs in and is diverted to the downspout.

  • Gutter Guard: A galvanized sieve component designed to prevent leaf matter blocking the guttering of the Patio Cover.

  • Gutter Strap: A thin metal strip shaped and riveted to connect the Patio Cover gutter to the structural sheet.

  • Hanger: Wall or eave attachment applications, hanger holds the pans at the house.

  • Header: Load carrying beam with post connected under.

  • Hip Joint: The merging of two Patio Covers usually at 90 degree angles, and usually of the same slope.

  • IBC: International Building Code

  • Internal 'L': Refers to a patio to be built that forms an 'L' as it follows the inside perimeter of two right-angled walls of a house.

  • IRP: Insulated Roof Panels, 3" foam filled panels used in lieu of flat pans to make a solid cover. IRP's aren't a deck however can be walked on.

  • J-Hanger: One part of a two piece hinge for attaching to fascia that is not plumb.

  • King Post: The center post standing vertically between the collar tie and the apex of the gable.

  • Laminar Flow: The ability of water to flow across a surface in relation to the amount of friction encountered.

  • Lattice: A crisscross design often used within a gable end to add appeal.

  • Leading Edge: The first edge of the Patio Cover fixed to the house fascia.

  • Ledger Board: A horizontal lumber beam attached to an existing wall and used to tie in construction elements such as porch roofs and decks.

  • Lift: The effect wind will have upon the finished Patio Cover. (Design Wind Pressure x Bearing Dimension = Uniformed Distributed Load in kN).

  • Light Rafter: An identical colored metal rafter spanning out to the load bearer, placed to affix electrical lights and to conceal the electrical cable.

  • Live Load: Term referring to an engineering requirement of most building municipalities whereby the patio cover can withhold a certain per square foot live load, usually measured in pounds.

  • Load Bearer: The trailing edge (outside) beam supporting the outside edge of the patio cover.

  • Mill Finish Aluminum: Aluminum surface that is finished to a smooth surface brushed or rubbed with various papers by machine; some brackets and other materials will come with a Mill Finish.

  • Nature Light: A thin polycarbonate lighting strip cut into the Patio Cover roof during the construction period, in order to allow light penetration.

  • Noise Reduction Profiling: Aimed at reducing noise caused during rain, additional contouring or shaping to the pan of a patio cover brand (usually 'W' profiles as further manufacturing costs are imposed).

  • Orb: The corrugated shape.

  • Orientation: The aspect of the Patio in relation to West.

  • Overspan: Exceeding the projection capabilities as stated by the brand engineering specifications.

  • Overhang: General term for one object such as a rafter to attach on top of another object such as a beam and part of the rafter to project beyond the beam; the amount of the rafter projecting beyond the beam is the overhang.

  • Partial Enclosure: A Patio area which has a side wall adding additional engineering ramifications (lift) to your patio design.

  • Patio: This is simply the ground or floor area. It may be a concrete slab, grassed or paved

  • Patio Cover: An engineered system, forming the roof over the Patio. The structural sheeting is usually more sophisticated than simple roofing iron. It is the modern evolution of the maintenance-intensive timber pergola.

  • Pergola: A frame only, usually consisting of timber, though modern Pergolas can be made of powder-coated metal (steel or aluminum).

  • Pitch: The degree or angle of a slope.

  • Pooling: The undesired collection of water on top of a Patio Cover due to the incorrectly designed slope promoting leakage and or eventual collapse in some Patio Cover brands.

  • Pop Rivets: A fastening metal pin intentionally distorted and clamped as an alternative to the long-term reliance upon the holding capability of a threaded screw.

  • Porte-CochèreA covered entrance large enough for vehicles to pass through, typically opening into a courtyard.

  • Positive Lock: The sheet locking system associated primarily with the 'W' profile type Patio covers, this engineered joining system of one sheet with another is stronger, water tight and less visible.

  • Powder Coat: This process involves coating a surface with a powder, using compressed air or by electrostatic adhesion. The surface is then heated to melting point, evenly flowing and covering the surface. When it dries, it forms a very durable long-life finish.

  • Post: Typical support structure for traditional aluminum patio covers. Vertical member holding up the supporting beam(s).

  • Profile: The engineer-designed shape of a particular brand of Patio Cover which will have consequential effects upon that brand’s engineering ability and suitability for design variations.

  • Projection: The distance out from the attachment point to the outside face of the gutter for solid roof patio covers or the end of the rafter for arbor lattice pergolas.

  • Rafter Brackets: Steel plate and threaded rod connecting the Patio Cover to the trusses of the home’s roof.

  • Rafter Tails: The very ends of the top cords of the house trusses.

  • Rear Receiver: The component responsible for fixing the structural roof sheeting of a Patio Cover to the house fascia.

  • Relaxation: Pertaining to the requested construction of a design not complying with the standard building regulations, thus requiring the local Council to grant a dispensation.

  • Reverse Pitch: A Patio Cover design with the roof sloping back towards the house.

  • Rising Sun: A fan design used to style a gable end.

  • Roof Rise: The amount the roof rises over its total projection or the amount of rise per foot also known as pitch or roof angle. Typically a roof rise is spoke in terms of how many inches per foot; an example of this would be displayed as 4/12 rise for a 4" rise per 12" distance.

  • Rubble Pit: Approximately 1 cubic meter ground cavity filled with a 20mm aggregate to accommodate storm water runoff not able to be connected to existing storm water.

  • Sag: Also known as 'deflection', it is the amount of bend a Patio Cover brand will experience over a projected distance.

  • Screened Enclosure: A Patio Cover incorporating side walls constructed from insect mesh frames and doorways.

  • Side-Plates: Side-Plates or Sideplates 'sandwich' the 3" x 3" Post, the sideplates are 2" x 6 1/2" and run from the bottom of post to the top of the 3x8 header.

  • Skydome: An individual brand of skylight and waterproof vent combination used mainly with 'W' profile heat deflective Patio Covers.

  • Slab: A concrete pad to which the posts of the Patio Cover may be anchored.

  • Slope: The fall of the Patio Cover directing flow of rain water off and into a gutter (usually away from the home).

  • Span (Beam): The distance along the load bearing beam between the posts.

  • Span (Roof): The distance the Patio Cover reaches from the initial point (ie, the house fascia) to the load bearing beam at the trailing (outside) edge.

  • Static Louvre: Parallel slats incorporated into a Patio Cover. It may also be used as a vertical screen.

  • Stirrup: Metal loop embedded or bolted to the concrete to support a post usually of timber.

  • Structural Gutter: A higher guage box section guttering product sometimes used in combination with the 'W' profile heat deflective Patio Covers in the absence of a load bearing beam.

  • Swarf: Thin metal shavings caused by drilling or cutting.

  • TEK Screw: A screw designed for fixing into soft or thin metals.

  • Top Cord: A rafter section of the truss angling down and forming the slope of the roof.

  • Trafficable Beam Clearance: The height under the load-bearing beam where foot traffic can occur.

  • Trailing Edge: The outside or finishing edge of the Patio Cover.

  • Trim Deck: A flat roof profile with frequent trapezoidals. Needs to be supported by rafters and purlins.

  • Unenclosed: A Patio Cover without sidewalls.

  • Wall Bracket: A steel support for a load bearing beam that substitutes for a post by fixing to the wall of the house.

  • Watershed: The rain water cast off from the Patio Cover.

  • Wind Rating: The highest potential wind speed allocated to a geographic area or region.

  • Wing: A flat section of the roof located either side of a gable.

  • 'W' Profile: A ‘w’ shaped structural sheeting so designed to increase the spanning limitations associated with flat pan profiles, give less deflection (sag) induced by the weight of rain water and less required slope, thus preserving head height under the beam.

  • Wind Load: Term referring to an engineering requirement of most building municipalities whereby the patio structure can withstand a certain wind speed.

  • 'Z' Flashing: A specifically formed colorbond flashing design to ensure waterproof integrity of Composite roofing panels.