Your home's roof consists of more than just shingles. Not only is framing a key part of its construction, but your roof also requires a layer of sheathing. Roof sheathing, which is also known as roof decking, are strong boards affixed to the joists and trusses of your roof. Shingles are secured to the sheathing, creating a strong bond over your home. Damaged or missing shingles are visible in most cases. However, knowing if your roof sheathing is in distress is a bit more complicated. This guide will help you understand the benefits of proper roof sheathing and if it is in need of repair or replacement.
The Importance of Roof Sheathing
Sheathing acts as a protective barrier between your shingles and the interior of your house. This protective layer is important for many reasons.
Obviously, the sheathing blocks moisture, working in conjunction with your roof shingles to keep rain, snow, sleet, and humidity out of your home. This reduced risk of leaks protects your home from moisture damage, which can be costly, and the growth of mold and mildew, which can be hazardous to your health.
Sheathing also aids in your home's energy efficiency. Not only does it help keep moisture out, but it also helps reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. This improves the overall energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
Finally, the roof sheathing/decking also helps support your roof's construction. Because it is secured to your roof's strongest supporting beams — the joists and trusses — the sheathing protects the overall durability and support of your roof system. This is especially important when excess weight from rain, sleet, and snow or tree limbs and other debris accumulates on the roof.
Signs You Need New Roof Sheathing
If your roof is showing visible signs of distress, such as broke, warped, or lost shingles, you know repairs are necessary. However, knowing if your sheathing is in distress and needs to be repaired or replaced can be more challenging, since it is not visible.
If you are repairing or replacing shingles, have your contractor inspect the underlying decking to determine if new sheathing is necessary. Replacing the roof sheathing can increase the cost of your roof repair by up to $5,000, but it will be a smart investment.
If the roof contractors see the plywood decking is broken or cracked, they will recommend replacing your sheathing. Another sign that the sheathing should be replaced is visible water damage. Dark water spots or discoloration on the sheathing indicate moisture has started to soak the plywood, indicating a replacement is crucial.
If you are in the attic and notice light is shining through the roof, your sheathing is most likely worn and needs to be replaced. Another way to check is to go into your attic and shine a flashlight directly into the attic's roof. If light is shining through different holes, the sheathing needs to be replaced immediately.
Finally, inspect the actual look and feel of your attic ceiling. If it is sagging or feels hollow, the sheathing of your roof may be worn and damaged with moisture. It is imperative to replace the roof decking as soon as possible to ensure the roof/attic ceiling does not fall completely. Many homeowners will also see some areas of the roof sagging from the exterior of the house.
Help is available if your roof is in distress. Even though many homeowners choose to cover their existing decking with new shingles, this guide will help you understand your roof sheathing, its benefit, and if it is time for a complete replacement. Contact a roofing company in your area for more information.
Hi, I'm Dwight Eberstark. I am crazy about all of the different types of roofing materials available today. While upgrading the roof on my home, I looked into the material options in great detail. I studied all of the different metal materials used to create modern shingles. I also looked into switching to asphalt, wood or tile shingles. I eventually settled on bronze shingles designed to last for decades. Instead of aging, the bronze finish just continues to improve. I also switched to metal gutters that make a beautiful sound when the rain falls onto the surface. I would like to share my passion for roofing materials through this site. Thank you for coming by. Visit again soon.