Roofs are built with several components that work together to protect your home from the elements. These roofing components also perform other functions, such as stabilizing the structure of your roof and providing additional insulation.
Roof decking is one of the numerous parts that help your roof do its job and keep its form. However, like any component of your roof, it can get damaged or compromised, which can lead to costly repairs or replacement.
To help you address roof decking issues promptly, here are some of the signs of damaged roof decking that you should look out for on your system.
What Is Roof Decking?
Also known as sheathing, roof decking is typically a sheet of wood or oriented strand board (OSB) that is placed between the support structures of your roof and the shingles. OSB is a material similar to particle board, which is composed of wood strands mixed with adhesives that are compressed together to create a solid material.
The main purpose of roof decking is to provide additional protection and create a layer onto which underlayment and shingles can be fastened. It also serves as a path for a roofing contractor to walk on during installation or repair. Furthermore, it adds to the roof insulation and acts as a final layer protecting your indoor spaces from moisture.
Most homes typically use wooden sheets, planks or OSB since these materials are easy to procure. They are also flexible when exposed to strong winds, can perform in different types of climates and are cost-effective. However, there are also other types of decking available on the market, such as:
Concrete decking is another choice for residential properties, but is mainly used in commercial buildings. This type of decking material boasts several advantages, such as superior durability and resistance to leaks. It lasts longer than other roof deck materials and comes in three forms:
- Structural Concrete
Typically utilized in cast-in-place construction, this kind of normal-weight concrete is a crucial component of the roofing structure. It often has insulating panels on the top side and is made to handle extremely heavy loads. However, this decking material costs a lot more than the typical wood decking options, so make sure to get a reliable contractor for your roof estimate.
- Structural Concrete Composite
When future expansion above the roof level is possible, this kind of concrete decking is typically utilized as a part of the building design. It is a steel panel deck system with normal weight or structural lightweight concrete.
- Lightweight Insulating Concrete
This kind of concrete roof decking can be laid on various structural deck systems that have been built to support heavy loads. This type of concrete can be used directly on top of a properly supported corrugated steel deck system. It is low-density, lightweight and non-structural.
Steel Roof Decking
Lightweight, durable and energy-efficient, steel roof decking is a popular choice among commercial properties due to its great versatility and heat reflective properties. Its low weight also makes it ideal for structures that have multiple stories as it brings down the entire weight of the construction significantly, which can allow for lower foundation sizes. However, one important thing to remember about this material is that it requires a very skilled roofing contractor for the installation and high-quality fabricated steel in order to last.
Causes of Damaged Roof Decking
Residential roof decking is susceptible to moisture, which is the number one enemy of wood. Most decking issues are due to water infiltration through damaged shingles. Heavy rainfall, snow buildup, ice and punctures caused by high-speed debris are the usual culprits behind roof decking damage.
However, shoddy re-roofing and improper maintenance can also cause roof decking damage. When a contractor cuts corners, doesn’t remove the old layer of shingles and lays new shingles on top of old ones, this increases the weight of the shingle layer. This can damage the roof decking as it is not designed to bear that much load. So, when looking for professional roofing services, always hire reputable roofers that have a track record of quality services.
Signs of Damaged Decking
Damaged decking can cause several issues on your roof. Here are some of the signs:
- Holes in the roof
- Stains on the ceiling or walls
- Significant changes in heating or cooling bills
- A sagging ceiling or roofline
- Damage to flashing around chimneys and other roof protrusions
- Growth of mold or mildew in the attic
If left unaddressed, your roof is at risk of developing structural issues and more, which could result in costly repairs and replacements. So, if you notice any changes or other alarming signs on your roof, immediately contact a roofer to get your roof inspected to prevent further damage.
Repair vs. Replacement
In some cases, roof repair is enough to address an issue. However, when it comes to roof decking damage, replacing the material is the best approach. Failure to fix the damage permanently can put your roof at risk of developing various issues, such as:
- Undetected damage
- Compromised durability
- Inconsistent roof performance
- More expensive roof services in the future
- Growth of mold or mildew
A roof decking layer that has already been damaged needs to be fully replaced because moisture can remain unseen and cause significant damage by promoting wood rot. Wood rot or wet rot causes cellulose-based materials to deteriorate at an alarming rate. This is why a thorough inspection is needed before any repairs or replacements are done.
Moreover, getting multiple patch jobs on your roof is more expensive than having the whole roof decking layer replaced in one go. In the end, replacing your roof is the best way to deal with damaged roof decking.
Get a Roofing Quote Today!
When it comes to quality residential roofing services, you can always trust LePage and Sons Roofing LLC for all your roofing needs. With over 15 years of industry experience, our roofers can provide you with excellent workmanship and great value. To request an estimate, call us at (508) 295-6483, or fill out our contact form.