Your roof is one of the most foundational parts of your house that helps fortify your home and protect it from the weather.
The base of your roof is called the roof decking and it is typically compromised of plywood. Decking is what secures your trusses and fortifies your home’s roof, ultimately allowing roofers to install a roofing material like asphalt shingles.
In most cases, you will never have to worry about your roof decking, unless your previous roof shingles were compromised and you had long-standing moisture access to your roof decking.
Today, we will do you a solid and break down everything you need to know about roof decking replacement!
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Why is your roof deck important?
Roof decks are vitally important because they not only serve as the foundation that bridges the gap between the roof and your house but also serve as the base for your roofing material.
The roof deck is multi-faceted and dynamic as it is made up of composite material that has moisture protection layers to block out unnecessary amounts of moisture that could spawn mold and mildew, causing roof leaks and other decking damage.
Without your home’s roof decking and all its properties in fortifying your roof, there would be pervasive structural issues that would lead to costly repairs. Replacing shingles is easy, replacing your entire roof and truss system isn’t so easy, or affordable.
The downside to roof decking is that it isn’t very obvious when you should consider replacing the plywood decking. However, there are a few signs that can indicate whether or not you need to replace the decking, starting with:
Obvious Signs to Replace Roof Decking
The most obvious sign it is time to replace old roof decking is when you see a low spot which is a sign of rooting roof decking.
#1 Sign: Rotted Roof Decking Material
Rotten roof decking is actually quite easy to identify in most respects as the symptoms can be obvious; however, there are some tell-tale signs that lurk below the service. According to roofing experts, here are the signs you should watch out for inside of your home:
- Sagging ceiling and/or prevalence of wet spots
- Stains on walls due to excessive interior moisture
- Water Stains on rafters and interior walls
- Brittle and peeling wallpaper
- Roof Leaks
One of the biggest threats to a roof deck due to the fact it is made up of wood roofing material and wood composites is excess moisture. When there is sustained or excess moisture, wood gradually breaks down and over time will be compromised, leaving you in a tough situation!
How does water intrusion compromise your roofing system and lead to damaged roof sheathing? Well, you should know alright!
- Rising heat in the attic causes excessive humidity and inadequate roof ventilation.
- High winds and heavy snow loads (damage roofing shingles which expose inner layer)
- Torn flashing along with your chimney
- Overflowing gutters
- Worn out, loose, or missing shingles
- Low spots in your roof that are visible
- Exposed roof decking
Damaged roof decking is made possible when you least expect it! Keep your eyes peeled for any of these tell-tale signs, and for the more complex ones, feel free to reach out to a roofing contractor to be able to identify whether your roof’s decking is rotting.
Types of Roof Decking
There are a few types of roof decking including:
- Plywood (most common amongst homes)
- Wood plank (phased out almost entirely at this point for homes)
- Metal (typically used for commercial roofs)
How often do you replace roof decking?
Roof decking actually has quite a large lifespan of an average of 20+ years; however, keep in mind that is relative as there are confounding variables such as geography, climate, and quality of installation of your shingles and roof decking material to take into account.
In Northern Virginia, most homes have roof decking made out of oriented strand board, but some are made out of plywood. Expect replacing roof decking more frequently with plywood given the nature and composition of the material. It is an antiquated sheathing that does not have the same thickness as the former, which there lowers its durability.
How to hire professional roofers for roof replacement?
Professional roofers or roofing contractors can be easily found with a simple search online. Keep a running list of local roofing companies in your area as they will be much more suited to your area’s local needs and or demands. Depending on your area, it is recommended to get your roof inspected regularly if the weather is habitually severe.
Most roofing services often come with free estimates to help you know cost projection. Take full advantage of that! Huge green flag when you are looking into roofing companies outside of necessary certification, licenses, insurance, etc.
How much does roof decking replacement cost?
Roof decking replacement has gone up in price due to the cost of plywood and lumber increases since 2020. That said, most roofing companies price decking replacement per board. An 8×4 sheet of plywood starts at $75 retail and installed can vary per roofing company.
That said, it is based per board as need and here at Legacy Roofing of Idaho, we have a rule that we will never put new shingles on the damaged roof decking. However, before replacing we always communicate and show how much decking will need to be replaced.
At most, it is usually just a few boards!
What’s the verdict?
Roof decking plays a role like no other in ensuring your roof is in functioning order down the road. It’s foundation adds value to both the interior and exterior of your roof with its multiple lines of protection against excess moisture and although hidden from the public eye, it needs your attention from time to time. If you don’t, rotted roof decking will creep up on you and you will see it from many angles!
You can never be too proactive with your roof decking and when all is said and done, being so, will save you time, money, and peace of mind. When you think long-term and plan ahead, you’ll be in the clear! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us and we will be glad to service your needs.