Roof Deck – How Much Do You Know?

It makes sense to say that the roof over your head is much more than the asphalt shingles you see. There are quite a few components, which make up the roofing system, among which is the decking. Consider the roof deck as the basis of the entire roof system – hence, extremely important. But why is this so? And what is roof decking, to start with?

Roof decking in simple words

roof sheathing decking Roof decks are pieces of wood installed under the shingles. They are wooden boards or sheets, which provide the basis for the installation of the rest of the components, like the shingles.

Now, there are two types of roof deck.

•   Roof sheathing – most roofers use this type of deck these days. As implied by the name, this type of deck consists of sheets of wood which form the foundation of the roof. While the most common roof sheathing decking is made of oriented strand boards compressed together to form a sheet, some are made of plywood in various thicknesses.

•   Plank deck – this type consists of long wooden boards put together to form the framing of the roof. This was the common roof building method before the time of plywood.

Which roof decking is best?

Both plank and sheet roof decking are excellent choices, but then it depends on your budget. You see, wood is expensive. Naturally, plank roof decks cost more than sheathing. On top of that, wood is not always available.

When you are considering the cost, also consider your roof replacement needs. For example. If what you have is plank decking and a big part of it is destroyed, you may want to consider switching to sheathing for the entire roof. That’s just due to the expensive price tag of wood.

Now, the question to answer next is this: do you need to replace the roof deck?

When it’s time for roof deck replacement?

When the condition of the roof deck is not good, you should already plan to find a local roofing contractor. Naturally, if we are talking about severe damage or rotting, the sooner you do that the better. Whether you have to change the whole roof decking or parts of it is subject to the extent of the damage. The cost too. Sometimes, a roof problem is a false alarm and the roofer just need to fix the flashing or replace a couple of shingles. But in any case, you need a roofer to check and offer the right solutions. There’s always the possibility that the deck’s integrity has been compromised and that’s not good for the home and your safety. And that brings us to the very vital part of discussing the importance of roof decking.

Importance of roof decking

roof installationIt’s easy to understand the importance of roof decking if you consider that it’s the main framing of the structure. It’s the very foundation – the basis, of the roof. It must be solid, well-installed, and free of any problems. The questions which await answers actually have to do with the consequences of roof deck problems or bad roof installation.

Damaged and rotten decks may give in, causing significant indoor damage and, surely, compromising the safety of the family. Then, the shingles found on top of a rotten or damaged deck won’t perform well. And since the bad condition of the deck won’t allow shingles to be fastened well, they may easily fly away. In short, the roof won’t last for as long as expected and in some case scenarios, it may raise some structural integrity and safety concerns – if not real problems.

What affects the lifespan of roof decking?

Now, let’s see things the other way around. That’s to see the factors, which affect the condition of the roof deck. The prime factor is the work of the roof contractor. That’s in a dual sense. First, you need an expert to tell you if you need the whole or just sections of the current roof decking replaced. The wrong decision will lead to troubles and unnecessary expenses. Then, the way the deck and all roof components are installed is very, very important. This brings us to one more vital thing, which affects the performance and lifespan of the roof deck.

We are talking about roof ventilation. The indoor temp changes and moisture will take their toll on the roof decking. If you noticed that some parts of the roof deck sag, there’s likely poor ventilation. Don’t forget that the roof’s components struggle with both the indoor and the outdoor temps and so, there should be some moisture exhaustion – at the very least. Since prevention is always best than cure but then again, when it comes to important matters, like your roof, it’s never too late to take matters into your hands, do contact local roofers if you feel there’s anything wrong with your roof’s deck.