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What Are Eaves, Roof Decks & Other Terms Used In Roof Estimates?

Roofing isn’t something most people think about unless there is an issue with their roof. As such, most homeowners are educated by whomever they’ve contacted to help with their roof problem. The problem with that is, it is very difficult to know whom to trust, especially if you don’t know them and have no idea what they are talking about.

Having at least basic knowledge of your roofing system will help you understand a problem more clearly and and assist you in making an informed decision when it’s time to talk to the pros.

The following are a few basic terms that you should know to help you understand the different components of your roof and some of the services roofing contractors may offer when they give you an estimate:


Most people know what roof shingles are. They are the individual, overlapping, typically rectangle elements that cover most residential roofs from the bottom edge and up. They are made from various materials such as slate, asphalt-saturated mat covered with aggregate (asphalt shingles), wood and sometimes even concrete or clay. Available in a variety of colors and styles, these are what most typical residential roofs in Metro Atlanta consist of.

Leak Barriers

Leak barriers are watertight seals we place on the most vulnerable areas of your roof typically around valleys, eaves, vent pipes, chimneys, flashing, and other areas. Basically any area more prone to leaks.

Roof Deck

The roof deck is the surface of your roof, below the shingles and underlayment, (usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB)) to which roofing materials are applied.

Roof deck protection is basically referring to using materials such as a fiberglass felt or a synthetic underlayment to add an additional layer of protection between the shingles and roof deck preventing damage from rain, ice, wind and/or moisture build up.

Attic Ventilation

Attic ventilation refers to how well air and moisture is circulating in your attic and is one of the most important aspects of a roofing system. Proper attic ventilation should keep air circulating throughout the attic year around, preventing moisture build-up and reducing energy costs. Symptoms of poor attic ventilation include moisture buildup in the home and/or attic sometimes mimicking a roof leak!


Basically the horizontal lowest edge of sloped roofs, usually where gutters are installed.


Flashing is a weatherproofing component of roofs. Primarily comprised of sheet metal, flashing is installed along areas prone to leakage such as around breaks in a shingled roof-line or around chimneys (stepflashing), skylights, or other areas. Installed properly, they shouldn’t be seen and will seal exposed areas preventing moisture from entering your home.


Asphalt-based rolled materials designed to be installed under the main roofing material for added protection.

Knowing more about your roof will help you navigate roofing estimates as well as helping you not get ripped off by someone who takes advantage of people’s ignorance. Knowledge is power!

Atlanta Roofing Specialists has been providing full service roof contracting services to homeowners and commercial building owners in the Metro Atlanta area since 1993! Call us today for a no-obligation estimate on your next roofing project at 770-419-2222.

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