Roofing Terminology


EPDM stands for ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer. It is a single-ply synthetic rubber often used for roofing systems. It is made by taking ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer and mixing it with carbon black, oils, curing agents and processing aids. It is then calendared into large sheets and vulcanized. Thanks to its composition, EPDM has unmatched resistance to ozone, UV radiation, high and low temperature extremes.

TPO is one of the fastest growing commercial roofing products on the market and has gained wide industry acceptance for their wide range of performance and installation advantages. Due to the increase in demand for heat-reflective and energy efficient roofing systems, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membranes continue to provide great resistance to ozone, ultraviolet, and chemical exposure.

LEED stands for The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a green building rating system which was developed by the US Green Building Council, or USGBC for short, to provide a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable design and construction. As well as the operation of buildings and neighborhoods.

Modified Bitumen Roof is a roof covering that is usually made of factory-fabricated composite sheet which consists of a copolymer-modified bitumen, and it is often reinforced with polyester and/or fiberglass, then installed in one or more plies. The membrane is often surfaced with field-applied coatings, factory-applied granules or metal foil. This type of roofing system may also incorporate rigid insulation.

Cedar Shakes/Shingles are decorative wooden shingles which are made from split logs. In North America, shakes are usually made from western red cedar. There are a wide range of shakes available with the main difference between shakes and wood shingles being that shingles are sawn on all sides while a shake is split. They’re mainly used in residential roofing.

Vegetative Roofs roofing systems that utilize vegetation in unique and highly effective ways. It’s a roof that is completely or partially covered with vegetation and a growing medium which is planted over a waterproofing membrane. It can be made up on several additional layers, like a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems. A vegetative roof provides a building with several upsides: it absorbs rainwater, provides insulation, creates a habitat for wildlife, and it even helps to reduce urban air temperatures and to combat the heat island effect. There are two different types of green roofs available: extensive roofs, which are only covered in a light layer of vegetation and intensive roofs, which are covered in more vegetative and can support a wider variety of plants. Intensive roofs are heavier though and will require more maintenance than extensive roofs.

Green roof can also refer to roofs that include some form of green technology, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaic modules or a cool roof. They’re also referred to as vegetated roofs, living roofs or eco-roofs.

Skylight Systems, also know as Daylighting Systems, consist of roof openings covered with transport or transparent glass or plastic designed to let in daylight. Skylights have been used widely in commercial, industrial and residential buildings due to their ability to admit steady, even light—especially in buildings with a northern orientation. Skylight installations can range anywhere from elaborate aesthetic forms to purely functional. The shape of the roof usually dictates the tape of skylight which can be applied. A skylight on a sloped roof will follow the gradient of the roof, while a Flat-roofed building may have a domed skylight. It is common that a skylight, or at least a portion of it, functions as an operating window to let in air.

Asphalt Shingles which are also known as composition shingles, are made from saturated roofing felts such as asbestos, rag, or fiber glass, and are then coated with asphalt. Mineral granules are then coated on the side exposed to the elements.

Sheet Metal Roofing is a fantastic choice for commercial roofing. The standing seam metal roof is one of the more important breakthroughs in roofing technology in recent years. With it, you have a roofing system that is durable, puncture-resistant and strong enough to withstand all manner of inclement weather.

Metal roofing has a great history in new construction, because it has been used in 50% of all industrial and low-rise commercial buildings erected in the last few years. This surge in popularity has carried over to the re-roofing market, where standing seam metal roofs are now regularly used as a replacement for built up roofs and single ply systems. Standing seam metal roofs are most often used in the retrofit market for factories, warehouses, schools, military facilities and distribution centers.

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