15 Roofing Terms To Know Before Your DIY Roofing Job

When it comes to any industry, there are a variety of industry-specific terms associated with it. If you are looking into having repairs done on your roof, or looking into doing your very own DIY roof project, there are a number of roofing specific terms that you need to know. Knowing these roofing specific terms will ensure that there isn't confusion when you are working with your roofing contractor. Knowing these terms will also ensure you don't get lost or confused by instructions if you are completing your own DIY roof project.

Barge Rafter

On the gable end of a home on a fascia board is a barge rafter. A barge rafter is an extension of the roof that goes beyond the confines of the roof itself to provide coverage to your gutters.


A bleeder strip, which is also referred to as a rake strip, is a strip that is placed along rake edges to disguise the metal and ensure that asphalt shingle roofing appears aesthetically whole and pleasing.


Burnout is a phenomenon that occurs when roof shingles are spaced too close together. They can rub together and cause friction, causing them to easily wear out.


Compo refers to "composition shingles". Composition shingles are made from a variety of different products, but they are made to resemble wooden shingles and often do a very good job at emulating their look.


Very similar to a saddle. This is a device that is used to divert water away from a roof and towards the curb, chimney, platform, or other projections.


A diverter, or rain diverter, is used to divert rain from entering the valley of a roof and keeps rain from pooling or puddling on top of the roof.

Double Felt

Felt is often used as an underlay for roofs, which helps maintain its integrity and disallows moisture from making its home on the roof. Double felt is even sturdier.

Dormer Vent

A dormer vent, usually referred to merely as a dormer, is a projection that is framed that is located through the sloping plane of a roof.

Dry Rot

Dry rot is a common occurrence in roofs. This usually happens when moisture is allowed to build up underneath the shingles and allows for fungus to grow, which feeds on the shingles, essentially "rotting" them.


Interwoven fibers known as "felt" serve as the basis as roofing sheet. This can help to serve and protect shingles from suffering from water and moisture damage.


This refers to any device or component that seals the roof wherever the "roof" is interrupted. This is to say where the roof meets the gutter, chimney, etc.


Any parallel horizontal beams that exist from wall to wall to support the boards of a floor, ceiling or roof of a building.


Describes the slope of the roof. For example, if a roof is flat, it has a flat pitch, if it is an A-frame, its pitch is an A-frame.

Roof Jack

A roof jack is a steel component used to connect the roof to either a joist or a toe board.


An underlayment refers to that which is installed over a roof deck prior to the application of the roof covering. This usually consists of 15 to 30 pounds of felt.

Learning the new terms of any industry can be overwhelming, but it is helpful in the end. You will be able to understand what your roofer is talking about, as well as understand the steps you need to take if you are doing your own roofing project, as long as you take the time to know these roofing terms.