Glossary of Commercial Roofing and Sheet Metal Terms

When you’ve been in the commercial roofing business as long as we have, you sometimes forget not everyone speaks our language. At least we do. To help make sense of some terms and acronyms commonly used in the business, we’ve compiled this glossary of the commercial roofing and sheet metal terms found throughout our website. If we’ve missed anything, please feel free to let us know. We are committed to being not only the most trustworthy commercial roof installation and repair contractor in Wisconsin, but also the most understandable.

Contact Wisconsin roofing and sheet metal specialists today for more information on our dependable services.

Aggregate:
Gravel or crushed stone used to cover some BUR systems
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Ballast:
Smooth river bottom stone used to weigh down EPDM systems
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Bitumen:
Built-Up-Roof, using layers of felt and bitumen (asphalt)
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Cant Strip:
A beveled support used at a junction of a flat surface and a vertical surface to prevent bends and/or cracking of the roof membrane
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Carlisle:
Syntec has led the single-ply industry for over 45 years
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Curb:
An elevation on a roof to accommodate HVAC equipment
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Deck:
The base surface to which a roof system is applied
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EPDM:

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer” rubber membrane

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Felts:
Fiberglass or polyester fleece impregnated with bituminous material
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Firestone:

Firestone Building Products Company is a driving force in the commercial roofing industry

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Green Roof:
The addition of a growing medium (soil) and succulent plants over a roof membrane, may be a modular system
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Hardboard:
(Fiberboard) high-density fiberboard made out of wood fibers
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ISO:
Polyisocyanurate Insulation Board
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Kettle:
The device that heats up bitumen to 400o to 500o for application to a roof
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Loose Laid:
A single ply membrane or insulation not adhered or secured by itself
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Membrane:
Description or term for a single or multiple layers used to create a roof system
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Nailer:
Wood secured to the edge of a roof deck to terminate roof system and used to secure metal edging
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Oil Canning:
Metal roof panels that distort out causing a look of a tin can
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Parapet:
A short wall at the edge of a roof
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Paver:
A concrete slab usually 2’x 2’ used to create walkways on roofs
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Pitch Pocket:
A pan placed around a roof penetration and filled with a pourable sealer that hardens to seal
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RUSS Strip or RPFS:
“Roof Perimeter Fastening Strip” installed at all base terminations to secure membrane
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Scupper:
An outlet in a parapet wall for drainage of water
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Square:
A surface area that is 10’x 10’ or 100 square feet
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Vapor Retarder:
A barrier placed between the insulation and the roof deck
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Weld:
In thermoplastics, it is the fusing of a lap by use of heat
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