If you’re researching metal roofing, it’s important to understand the terms and concepts that are involved in the process. From roof slopes to roof underlayment, the terms used when discussing metal roofing can be confusing if you’re not familiar with them. In this article, we will explain the most important metal roofing terms and concepts you should know.

1. Roof Slope

Roof slope is the measure of the incline of the roof. The rise of the roof is compared to the horizontal run of the roof, resulting in a ratio, such as 4:12, which means the roof rises 4 inches for every 12 inches of run. Pitched roofs are more difficult to install on and require extra support, but they are more durable and can handle more rainfall and snow than flat roofs.

Gable Roofs

Gable roofs are two sloping planes that intersect at an angle, and the two sides of the roof come together at an upper point or peak. These roofs are the most common type of residential roof and are very good at shedding rain and snow. Gable roofs are also relatively easy to install and make it easy to add attics or extra rooms.

Hip Roofs

Hip roofs have four sloping sides, as opposed to gable roofs which just have two sides. They are more expensive to install because of the extra construction necessary, but are more durable and have fewer problems with leaking and snow buildup.

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2. Roof Underlayment

Roof underlayment is a layer of protection installed under the metal roofing materials to reduce the risk of water entering the building. It is usually made of felt, rubberized asphalt, or other synthetic materials. The underlayment also helps protect the metal roof from harsh weather conditions and UV radiation.

Felt Underlayment

Felt underlayment is the most common type and is made of organic or synthetic fibers compressed into a mat. It is easy to install and relatively low cost, but it may not last as long as other materials under constant UV exposure.

Rubberized Asphalt Underlayment

Rubberized asphalt underlayment is the most expensive type, but it is very durable and resistant to moisture and UV radiation. It is also easy to install, but it can be difficult to find an installer who can do the job properly.

3. Drip Edge

A drip edge is a piece of metal flashing installed at the edge of a roof. It has a curved edge on the bottom that helps direct water away from the edge of the roof and down the fascia board and onto the ground. Drip edges also help prevent water from gathering at the edges and forming pools which can cause damage to the roof.

Metal Drip Edges

Metal drip edges are the most common type of drip edge and are typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum. They are durable and long-lasting, and are easy to install.

Fiberglass Drip Edges

Fiberglass drip edges are becoming more popular because they are lightweight, easy to install, and more cost-effective than metal drip edges. They are not as durable as metal, so they may need to be replaced more often.

4. Fascia Board

The fascia board is a piece of trim used to cover the edge of the roof. It is typically made of wood, metal, or composite, and helps to protect the edges of the roof from water damage and rotting. It also gives the roof a finished look.

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Aluminum Fascia Board

Aluminum fascia board is the most common type and is very durable, long-lasting, and easy to install. It is also resistant to corrosion and will not warp or rot like other materials.

Wood Fascia Board

Wood fascia board can be cheaper than aluminum, but it is not as durable or as easy to install. The wood can rot and warp over time, so it needs to be maintained and replaced more often.

5. Ridge Cap

The ridge cap is the ridge line of two adjoining roof slopes that meet at the top of the roof. It is typically made of metal, but can be made of other materials such as wood or composite. It helps to protect the roof from water and weather damage, and also helps to give the roof a finished look.

Metal Ridge Caps

Metal ridge caps are the most common type and are very durable, long-lasting, and easy to install. They are also resistant to corrosion and are very low maintenance.

Wood Ridge Caps

Wood ridge caps can be cheaper than metal, but they are not as durable and will require more maintenance and upkeep over time. Wood also need frequent refinishing and may rot or warp over time.

6. Soffit

The soffit is a piece of trim around the eaves of the roof that helps to protect the eaves from weather and water damage. It is typically made of vinyl, aluminum, or wood, and is installed on the underside of the eaves. It can also be used to cover the exposed rafters and joists of the roof.

Vinyl Soffits

Vinyl soffits are the most common type and are very durable and long-lasting. They are also very low maintenance and easy to install.

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Aluminum Soffits

Aluminum soffits are the most durable type and are very resistant to corrosion and weather damage. They are more expensive than vinyl soffits, but they are also very low maintenance and long lasting.

7. Valleys

The valleys are the lines that are formed between two adjacent roof slopes. They are typically made of metal or wooden shingles and help to protect the roof from water and weather damage and add attractive lines to the roof.

Metal Valleys

Metal valleys are the most common type and are very durable and long lasting. They are also very low maintenance and easy to install. They are more expensive than wooden valleys, but they are also more resistant to water damage and corrosion.

Wood Valleys

Wood valleys are usually cheaper, but they are not as durable and may require more maintenance and repair over time. They are also more prone to water and weather damage and may rot or warp over time.

8. Battens

Battens are thin strips of wood or metal that are used to secure the metal roofing materials to the deck. They are typically made of wood, but can be made of plastic or metal. The battens provide extra strength to the roof, and help to evenly distribute the load in high wind or snow conditions.

Wood Battens

Wood battens are the most common type and are easy to install and relatively low cost. They are not as durable as metal, so they may need to be replaced more often.

Metal Battens

Metal battens are more expensive, but they are durable and long lasting. They are also resistant to water and weather damage and will not corrode or rot like wood.

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