Roofing Explained

Residential Roofing

Questions About Roofing? We’ve Got Answers.

With years of roofing installation experience throughout the Northeast, Premier Home Renovations is a full-service roofing contractor. Our highly skilled roofing technicians have years of experience on the job and strive to provide quality workmanship quickly and efficiently.

If you’ve got questions about roofing, terminology, or help understanding the underlying components of roof construction, we’re here to help. Browse our gallery below for some helpful definitions of several common roofing terms used by professional roof installation companies!

Roofing Explained

Backpan Flashing

The up-hill side of a chimney may have a small gable-like assembly called a cricket with cricket flashing or on narrow chimneys with no cricket, a back flashing, otherwise known as a back pan flashing.

Counter Flashing

(or cover flashing) is a term used when there are two parallel pieces of flashing employed together such as on a chimney, where the counter-flashing is built into the chimney and overlaps a replaceable piece of base flashing.

Eaves Protections

is a layer of felt or plastic placed under the shingles on eaves, in valleys, along ridges, at roof perimeters and at joint flashings. Eave protection is important for the performance of a roof, acting as both a waterproofing membrane and as extra protection against-ice damming.


The foundation or base upon which the entire roofing system is dependent. Types of decks include steel, concrete, cement, and wood.

Flat Roofing Applications

Ridge Cap

(or ridge roll) A round wooden strip with the underside “V” cut; used to finish the upper edges of the roof surface.

Roof Deck

The foundation or base upon which the entire roofing system is dependent. Types of decks include steel, concrete, cement, and wood.

Roof Vent

A device used to ventilate an attic or roof cavity.


A roof-covering unit made of asphalt, wood, slate, cement, or other material cut into stock sizes and applied on sloping roofs in an overlapping pattern.


The visible covering of the underside of flight of stairs or a projecting surface such as projecting eves of a roof.

Step Flashing

(soaker, base flashing) – Pieces of flashing material which overlap each other in “steps”.

Synthetic Underlayment

An extra layer of protection on top of the sheathing

Valley Flashing

Formed by the intersection of two roof surfaces having an external angle less than 180º. The wood member at the intersection is called the valley rafter and the feet of short spars are nailed to the valley rafter.

Wall Flashing

This may be embedded in a wall to direct water that has penetrated the wall back outside, or it may be applied in a manner intended to prevent the entry of water into the wall. Wall flashing is typically found at interruptions in the wall, such as windows and points of structural support.