The roof deck, also known as roof sheathing, is a strong layer of wood boards attached to the roof’s trusses and joints. Although you can’t see them, these boards provide a flat surface onto which the shingles and other roofing components are installed on.
Different Types of Roof Decking
Roof decks are generally made from plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). OSB is an engineered wood composed of interwoven wood strands bonded together using waterproof adhesives and compressed at a high temperature. OSB is a popular option because it’s lightweight and costs less.
Plywood is a bit more expensive than OSB, but it’s denser and more durable. Plywood is a better option when working with heavier roofing materials such as tile and slate.
Why is the Purpose of the Roof Deck?
The roof deck serves several essential purposes, including:
- Supporting the roof: The decking is the groundwork for your entire roof system. It provides a sturdy support system shingles, and other roofing materials attach to.
- Fewer leaks: While shingles are primarily responsible for keeping moisture out, a roof deck acts as your home’s second line of defense against leaks.
- Weather protection: Roof sheathing helps distribute weight throughout your home’s structure. It can also help your roof stand up to severe weather, windblown debris, and fallen branches.
- Structural Integrity: Decking ensures your home’s structural integrity by ensuring rafters maintain proper spacing over the years.
How to Tell if Your Roof Deck is Good or Needs Help
While roof decking is designed to last decades, it can be damaged by high winds, moisture, and age. Since roof decking is made from wood, it’s susceptible to water damage and rotting when exposed to moisture. Water seeps into your decking through overflowing gutters, old and worn-out shingles, torn flashing, or poor ventilation in the attic.
Common signs of a damaged roof deck include:
- Roof leaks
- Visible holes in your roof
- Stains on the ceiling and interior walls
- Mold and mildew in the attic
- Water stains on rafters
- Roof sagging that’s visible from the attic
Also, a standard roof is typically good for two installations. It isn’t recommended to use it a third time because it would be too perforated. Your roofing contractor will assess the condition of your roof deck to determine if it needs to be replaced. StormForce is your leading provider of quality roofing services in Jacksonville, FL. When you choose us for your roof replacement or installation, we’ll ensure your roof deck is properly secured to support the weight of the roof system and withstand the elements. Contact us today to learn more about the roof anatomy and to schedule a free roof inspection.