The Basic Roofing Glossary: Part 2

In the first part of two-part blog about roofing terms and concepts, we discussed the roof pitch (definition, how to measure and what’s makes a 12/12 roof more expensive than a 10/8 roof), the soffit and the fascia. Now, in the second part, we will be discussing these three other basics of roofing in Winston-Salem NC: the roof vents, the square, and the tear off.

Roof Vents

A roof vent is something that serves as an outlet for air through the roof deck. This may also be installed on the roof itself, the gable or on the soffit. It’s the most basic and most essential part of your home’s ventilation system. Furthermore, your vents are the ones responsible for balancing the outdoor and indoor temperatures so that you can avoid having ice dams form.

There are many kinds of roof vents that you may choose from like: (1) wind turbines, (2) power vents, (3) ridge vents, (4) soffit vents, and (5) box vents – this may be another topic for another time.


A square is a kind of roof measurement wherein it takes 100 square feet of roof area to have one of these. There are many kinds for calculations, and these are just a few:

  • 10 feet by 10 feet is equivalent to 100 square feet or a square.
  • 5 feet by 20 feet is also equivalent to a square.
  • 2 feet by 50 feet is also a square.
  • 50 feet by 50 feet is equivalent to 2500 square feet, or 25 squares.


When your roofing contractor says that your roof should undergo a tear-off, it means complete removal of the roof to your deck. This is usually one of the last options when your situations calls for a new roof, along with a simple shingle overlay.

Thing is with tear-offs, it’s highly dependent on the situation of your roof. Here are some situations where it may be best to tear it off rather to overlay:

  • You already have too many shingle layers per building code.
  • Your roof has been extensively damaged by ice dams.
  • You have installed inappropriate shingles.
  • Your basic structure can’t support the weight of another layer.

We hope ABC Roofing’s two-part blog post about the basics of roofing in Winston-Salem NC has been informative. If you have any questions about the other basic terms of your roof, don’t hesitate to explore our website further or call us.