Four Things You Need To Know About Roof Decking
Roof Decking….This is a roofing term you might not be familiar with, but did you know it’s quite literally the groundwork for your entire roofing system? Your roof is more than what you see from the street. It’s a combination of multiple roofing materials and components that protect your home or business from weather elements. If the decking is not strong or supportive enough, it will compromise your roof.
Unfortunately, because the wood under the shingles isn’t visible, damage can easily go unnoticed. By the time you become aware of the problem, catastrophic repairs might be needed costing you a lot of time and money. However, by being proactive, you can save your home or business money by making sure your roof is intact, giving you the peace of mind that your most valuable asset is well protected.
Below are 4 things every homeowner and/or business owner should know about plywood decking.
1. What Is Roof Decking And What Does It Do?
Roof decking, also commonly called sheathing, is the layer of lumber attached to the trusses and joists. It adds an additional layer of protection between your roof and the rest of your home and/or building and provides a flat surface for the underlayment and roofing system.
Roof decking is the load-bearing portion of your roofing system. Asphalt shingles, for example, are heavier than you might expect, with a single shingle weighing in at 2.5 lbs. In addition, there are other layers between the shingles and decking, such as tar paper or felt. All of this weight adds up, and plywood sheathing provides support for all of the weight on a roof.
Although plywood decking cannot fully protect against a fire, flame retardants are often sprayed on the plywood as an extra line of defense. Talk to your roofer about their policies on this practice, as some believe that flame retardants decrease the decking’s overall performance.
Decking helps distribute weight throughout the structure of your home, and can help your roof stand up to fallen branches, and severe weather. Mother nature can strike your home anytime, so it’s best to have as much support as possible.
It’s no secret that water is your roof’s number one enemy. Water leaks can and will happen. Roof deck is made from wood composites, making your roofing decking susceptible to rotting and water damage. While shingles are primarily responsible for keeping moisture out, sturdy plywood decking is another line of defense against leaks.
2. Rotting Roof Decking Can Cause Issues.
Rotted plywood cannot support the weight of a roof the way healthy wood can, nor can it safely grip the nails put into the roof and keep them held firm.
- Moisture causes wood to rot, and rotten wood absorbs water even more readily than fresh wood. The shingles are most likely letting moisture in if there is rotten decking. If it isn’t already, it’s only a matter of time until that rotten wood lets water into your attic and ceilings. If you fail to repair a leak as soon as you notice it, this can lead to mold, damage to the structure of your home and/or building, and even fire if water comes in contact with electrical wiring.
- Trying to apply shingles on rotten wood can cause the roof to shift, which can, in turn, lead to more leaks.
3. Does Roof Replacement Include Plywood Decking?
No, roof replacement contracts typically do not include roof decking replacement in the total contract amount. When you sign the contract for your roofing project, there will be a section of the contract that says something like “replace wood as needed”, meaning it will be in addition to the agreed-upon amount for your roof replacement. This is why you should always budget more than you may think you need for your new roof.
Discuss with your roofing contractor in advance about the cost of replacing wood per sheet, so you don’t have any surprises when you get your final invoice.
While the added cost of replacing plywood can be expensive, it will still be far less expensive than the problems that rotting or leaking sheathing will cause. It’s best to absorb the cost now to save money and prevent damage down the road.
4. The Cost to Replace Roof Decking
There is no hard and fast rule about how much your roof sheathing will cost to replace. It can very wildly be depending on the current rate for materials, as well as the amount of wood that will need to be replaced on your roof.
Depending on the quality of your previous roof, the age of your roof, and if you had any major leaks, you could have to replace a large amount of plywood decking or possibly none at all.
Contact Our Experts
Now that you have a better understanding of your roof deck, you know it’s vital to ensure it is in excellent condition to get the most life out of your roof. Our roofing experts at Bone Dry Roofing are here to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you live in Athens, St. Simons, or Charleston, give us a call to schedule a complimentary inspection. We work with hundreds of homeowners and business owners each year who are looking for a reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable roofing company, just like you.
We stand by our experts, who know all of the best practices and procedures for removing and re-applying roof sheathing when getting your new roof. Your home and/or business will thank you!