Primer on Standard Roofing Components, Part 1

At Roofing Pioneers, LLC, our roofing contractors take pride in working with a variety of home and building owners to provide roofing services. We know some property owners are handier than others, and we offer expertise and advice on certain DIY roofing areas – while providing detailed services in areas where only professionals should be performing major work, such as roofing repairs or replacement.

Whether you’re a handy individual who likes to perform DIY tasks or someone on the opposite end of the spectrum who prefers to leave even minor such concerns to the pros, we’re here to help. And no matter where you sit on this spectrum, it’s important to at least have a basic working knowledge of your roof – its components, plus how they work together to keep you protected while maintaining temperature and other factors. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over every significant component involved in a standard modern roof, plus some basic facts to know about each of them.

primer standard roofing components


The roof needs bones to serve as its foundation, and in the vast majority of cases, rafters are in place to fill this need. Rafters sit on the ridge at the top of the roof, helping connect it to the outside walls present at the bottom.

In most situations, you’ll find rafters to be purchased in sets of two. Rafters will be nailed to each opposing side of the ridge in question, with our roofing contractors ensuring they line up precisely. There may also be certain situations where one rafter or the other needs to be re-aligned to save room for another roofing component – if this is the case, our contractors will inform you ahead of time.

Decking Boards

Connected to the rafters, and serving in most cases as the primary structural component making up the roof, is a variety of decking boards. Generally made from plywood or OSB, but also sometimes found in concrete or metal, roof decking will usually be nailed to the rafters once they’re installed. The boards offer the flat surface on which shingles or other coverings are laid down.

Underlayment Membranes

One of the key functions of any roof is to protect its underlying structure from moisture invasion, and one key component here is the underlayment membranes that will be laid across the entire decking area. Usually made from felt, but also available in fiberglass and other synthetic materials, these membranes sit in between the decking and roof covering to limit moisture seepage. They also serve as excellent signs that moisture is making its way through shingles or other coverings – the membranes can be checked periodically for signs of wear which signal that water is seeping through. For more on the standard components present in a given roof, or to learn about any of our roofing contractors or installation services, speak to the staff at Roofing Pioneers, LLC today.

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