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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Roofing Questions Answered

Are you considering new roofing material for your home but you’re hesitant to call a roofer because you don’t know anything about roofing?

This should not be a problem. Most people have never replaced or purchased a roof

before. You have roofing questions and need answers before investing in a new roof.

Home Improvement & Repairs turned to the experts at DaVinci Roofscapes, who talk

to homeowners every day about their roofing questions. They understand that adding roofing material to your home is a major decision, both financially and aesthetically, impacting the resale value of your home. Making an informed decision is crucial.

The DaVinci teams answers their 11 most common roofing questions:

1. What is a square?

In roofing, a square isn’t the same space measured for carpet. Rather, a roofing square

is 100 square feet (about the same area as an apartment bedroom). For example, if your home is 1600 square feet and only one story, your roof would be roughly 16-18 squares.

Of course, because all roofs have a different pitch, the steepness of the pitch will determine if the surface area is greater or less than the square footage of your home. Your roofer will calculate the number of squares on your roof when providing a bid for synthetic roofing


2. What is a pitch?

The pitch of a roof is your roof’s rise over run. In other words, if your roofer says that

your roof is a 7:12, then your roof rises 7 inches for every 12 inches it runs.  One of the easiest ways to figure this out yourself is to examine (or measure, if accessible) the profile of your roof.

3. What is a valley?

A valley is where two separate planes of a roof join and water is diverted. The more valleys, the more labor involved. Care must be taken when shingling a valley. If it isn’t done right, you will most certainly have leaks in your synthetic shake or slate roof.

4. What are open or closed valleys?

Your roofer may suggest an open valley or a closed valley, based on tile placement. A closed valley has tiles touching and no flashing is exposed. An open valley has flashing exposed.

5. What is flashing?

Flashing are pieces of metal used in valleys, vent pipes, chimneys, dormers, and adjoining walls to prevent water from coming into your building or home. The more angles your roof has, the more your labor and material will cost.

6. What is the ridge?

Your home’s ridge is the uppermost horizontal part of your roof where an angle forms from the intersection of two sloping roof planes. The ridge piece is essential because water hits your roof there first and then runs down the slopes. It also tops off your roof and makes your roof look finished.

7. What’s a hip piece?

The hip is the area where two sloping planes come together, whereas the ridge

is the very top of the roof. For your home to be protected from the elements and

also to have an aesthetically finished look, hip, ridge and starter tiles are essential parts of it.

8. What is a starter tile?

The starter course is the first layer of roofing that is applied at the bottom eave line. Starter tiles are always covered by the first course of shingles.

9.What is needed for the roof deck?

For all DaVinci synthetic shake and synthetic slate roofing projects, the manufacturer recommends that you use 1/2-in. plywood decking to ensure a stable roof. To achieve a Class A fire rating and a Class 4 impact rating, you must use this roof decking in conjunction with the synthetic roofing material.

10. What is underlayment and which product do I need for synthetic roofing materials?

Underlayment is an asphalt-saturated felt or other sheet material installed between the roof deck and the roof covering. Underlayment is used to separate the roof covering from the

roof deck, to shed water, and to provide secondary weather protection for the roof area of the building. While there are many different options that can be used to obtain a Class A fire rating, the DaVinci team recommends one layer of Eco Chief Solarhide to achieve the rating.

11. What is synthetic roofing material?

DaVinci Roofscape composite roofing is made of an engineered polymer, which

is impregnated with fire retardant and advanced UV and thermal stabilizers, specifically formulated for the demanding conditions tiles are exposed to in all climates throughout the year. DaVinci roof tiles use only virgin resin to ensure consistency, and DaVinci Slate and Shake is backed by a Lifetime Limited Material Warranty.

DaVinci Slate and Shake have a 1/2" profile, which is twice as thick as any other synthetic tile, showing more surface detail on the leading edges from almost any viewing angle.

If you’d like to learn more about high-quality synthetic roof products, contact the experts at DaVinci Roofscapes at 1-800-328-4624 or visit

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