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Words can have a number of meanings and can even change meanings with time. This is especially true of terms specific to a technology or industry. Following are definitions of a few roofing and paving terms that people outside those trades (such as board members) may hear and not fully understand.

Overlayment – Placement of a new roof over an older covering or placement of a new asphalt surface course over an existing pavement.

Resurface – Install a new layer of asphalt (overlay) onto an existing pavement. Should not be confused with seal coat.

Seal coat – Apply a coal tar or asphalt slurry over asphalt pavement.

Tar – Stuff that dinosaurs got stuck in; the nasty stuff in cigarettes. Should not be confused with asphalt used in paving and roofing.

Coal tar – A byproduct of steel smelting used for producing pavement seal coating and interply waterproofing in some roofing systems.

Fishmouth – What a fish eats with; distorted membrane lap in roofing, resulting in an opening.

Shark fin – A closed fishmouth in roofing.

Spud – Tool for removing aggregate surfacing from a roof; the act of removing the aggregate; tater.

PRMA roof – Protected Roof Membrane Assembly, wherein the membrane is adhered, applied or laid onto the roof deck and is covered with a layer of insulation and ballast.

Ballast – Heavy materials (typically stone, concrete pavers, etc.) placed on a roof to hold down insulation or loose-laid membranes that might otherwise be blown off by wind.

Loose-laid – Not fastened or adhered.

Mud – Roof cement.

#$%! Gooey %&*@ – Roof cement.

Alligatoring – Interconnected cracking in pavement; pattern characteristic of depleted asphalt flood coat in roofing.

Flood coat – Hot (liquid) asphalt applied over top ply in built-up roofing system, usually followed by small aggregate surfacing.

Stoning – Installing aggregate surfacing in a flood coat on a built-up roof.

Resaturant – Material intended to rejuvenate asphalt in pavement or roofing by replacing depleted volatile constituents; waste of money.

Consultant – Someone who knows a hundred ways to make love, but doesn’t know any women.

Pitch pocket – Roof flashing consisting of a receptacle for sealant (or pitch), placed around an opening through which utility lines or other items penetrate a roof.