Facts You Should Know about Roof Deck Protection

Are you planning your next roofing project? Whether you’re making a few minor repairs or considering a total replacement, you’ll want to understand a few things about the structure of your roof. While choosing the best shingles does matter, don’t forget the roof deck. The leading experts on roofing materials in Marietta share what you need to know about protecting this critical component of your roofing system.

The Purpose of Roof Decking

When the construction team framed your home, they built the basic structure for the roof from rafters or prefabricated trusses and joists. Rafters provide the necessary framework. Joists provide support and distribute the weight of the roof. The roof decking, also called sheathing, attaches to the trusses and joists. It serves as a protective layer between your home and your roof. Beyond protection, without the roof deck, you couldn’t attach the roofing materials. Underlayment and shingles both get nailed to the decking. A roof deck can also act as a flame retardant.

Fire Prevention and Weather Protection

If you’re replacing your current roof decking and you plan to use plywood, you should talk with your roofing company about fire prevention. Sometimes roofers use fire-retardant plywood, which adds another layer of protection for your home. Your roofing supply company can share their ideas about this type of material. There’s the opinion that using flame retardants may interfere with the performance of the roof decking. As far as weather protection, since decking distributes the roof’s weight, it can help a roof withstand high winds and heavy rainfall.

Different Types of Decking

The age of your home and the type and age of the roof determines the materials used to construct the roof deck. If you live in a pre-1970s home and you still have the original roof, you may have plank sheathing. Plywood is another common decking material. If you have a cedar shake roof, the roofers likely used step sheathing. Today, many roofing contractors use oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing. The point is to use a rigid, moisture-resistant material so that the roof deck can do its job of protecting your home’s structure. Depending on the age of your roof, you may have felt between the shingles and the deck material. Hopefully, you also have underlayment, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

How to Determine Whether You Have Damage

If you find stains on the ceiling or water stains on the rafters, you should inspect for damage to the roof deck. Over time, undetected water seeping through shingles, around flashing, or from a faulty gutter system, could result in mold development. Another sign of damage is a sagging roofline or ceiling. Water is the number one enemy of your roof deck. You should make sure you use the best roofing products to protect against water damage.

Protecting Your Roof Deck from Damage

Talk with your roofing supply company about underlayment. It provides a critical layer of protection between your roof decking and your shingles. You’ll find standard felt and self-adhering underlayment. Self-adhering underlayment helps prevent moisture water damage from wind-driven rain, a typical weather problem here in Georgia. While it’s true that your shingles are the first line of defense for your roof deck, protecting with underlayment can extend the life of your roof decking. For roof decking repair or replacement materials, visit Preferred Roofing Supply, the leading supplier for  Marietta roofing projects. Contact us today and request a quote.