Roofing Glossary of Terms

Roof Vent Pipe Field of Roof System Ridge Flashing Hip Soffit Gable Rake Drip Edge Valley Gutters Underlayment Eave Vent
NAHBNational Association of Home Builders
NailerA piece of lumber, preferably treated, that is secured to the deck, walls, or to premanufactured curbs. Nailers are used to receive fasteners for roof membranes. Generally, nailers are installed wherever it is necessary to secure base flashings and edge metal. Also see Blocking.
Nailing PatternRefers to a specific method or pattern at which nails are applied. For instance, a nailing pattern for base sheets on plywood roof decks can be "Nine and Eighteen". This means one row of nails on the outside edge of the sheet set at nine inches (9") on center, and two rows in the center of the sheet, each set at eighteen inches (18") on center.
NeopreneA synthetic rubber produced by polymerization of Chloroprene for use in liquid-applied and sheet-applied elastomeric roofing.
NestingTo overlay existing shingles with new shingles and butt the top edge of the new shingle up against the bottom edge of the existing shingles.
Net Free Vent AreaThe area permitting unrestricted air flow.
Newton (N)In the meter-kilogram-second system, the unit of force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram one meter per second per second (s².)
NICANational Insulation Contractors Association
Night SealTo temporarily seal the edge of a roof membrane in order to protect it from moisture entry. A.K.A. Night Tie-Off and Water Cut-Off.
Ninety-PoundGranule-surfaced or fiber glass or organic felt roll roofing that has a mass of approximately 90 pounds per 100 square feet.
NISTNational Institute of Standards and Technology
No-Cutout ShingleA shingle made of one solid strip of material.
NobleIn reference to metal, inert or inactive.
Non-Breathing MembraneA membrane that does not permit water vapor or air to permeate it.
Non-FlammableMaterial with no measurable flash point.
Non-FriableRefers to a material’s inability to be crushed or pulverized into a powder.
Non-Volatile ContentThe portion of a material that will not evaporate.
Non-Vulcanized MaterialA material that retains its thermoplastic properties throughout its service life.
Non-wovenRandom arrangement of the reinforcement fibers of a scrim sheet or mat.
NosingMetal flashing bent at a 90º angle and is installed around roof perimeters, curbs, platforms, etc. in order to protect the edge of the roofing system. Nosing should not be used in place of drip edge. To see the difference in the two, click here.
NRCANational Roofing Contractors Association.
NTRMANational Tile Roofing Manufacturers Association.

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Rough Estimator

Roofing contractors have a language all their own. Don’t get bogged down by the jargon. Check out the glossary for clear, simple definitions of roofing terminology.