Roof decking is a crucial component of a roofing system and supports the roof’s weight over your home. Typically, a roof’s decking offers a more stable base for your entire roof system. Therefore, proper maintenance and installation are essential to ensure that the roof is sturdy and lasts long, withstanding the outdoor elements.
You should know certain things about roof decking so that you can take appropriate steps to repair and maintain it as needed. This will ensure that your roof lasts a long time and stays strong.
It’s important to work with roofing contractors who understand roof decking. Your roofing materials should be the best possible to protect your building. Roof decking is one of the crucial structural components to consider. Let’s learn more!
What Is Roof Decking?
A solid roof deck is a layer of material that’s found over the roof frame. It offers a level and flat surface for your new roofing materials. Overall, it’s the foundation for your roof and will support the weight of it and other loads, including rain and snow. Likewise, roof decking creates a stable and rigid platform to work on for repairs of other roofing components and during the installation process.
Advantages of Roof Decking Materials
Roof decking helps with many things, and here are the primary benefits of installing it:
- Ease of Installation – Roof decking is easy to install, and a professional can do it efficiently and quickly. Therefore, it’s a more cost-effective option for residential buildings and commercial properties.
- Protection from the Elements – Roof decking is the barrier against wind, extra moisture, and damaging weather that could cause leaks and other issues.
- Strength and Stability – When you choose roof decking, you have a stable foundation for your roofing structure, which acts as a base for the other roofing materials and will distribute the weight more evenly.
- Versatility – Roof decking comes from many roofing material options, such as oriented strand board (OSB), CDX plywood, metal, and wood. The goal is to provide a solid sheathing customized to meet your home’s specific needs.
- Improved Insulation – When roof decking is installed properly, it will improve the energy efficiency of the building because it adds another layer of insulation.
- Enhanced Structural Integrity – Roof decking creates a stable and rigid platform, supporting the roof structure and preventing the roofing components from collapsing or sagging with time. Solid sheathing is crucial to avoid roof replacement or costly repairs later.
Roof decking is a crucial component of your roofing system and offers many benefits that will ensure durability, longevity, and structural integrity for your new roof.
Roof Decking Versus Roof Underlayment – Do You Need Both Roofing Materials?
The roof underlayment is the material layer installed over your roof sheathing, offering a moisture barrier. It’s often made from a self-adhering membrane, synthetic materials, or asphalt-saturated felt. The purpose is to protect the decking from damage and moisture while offering a smooth surface for applying the roofing system materials.
Underlayment and decking have different functions but are crucial for the roofing system. Proper roof installation of both will ensure that you have something water-resistant and structurally sound.
You should work with a roofing contractor because they have experience in both and will ensure that the roof meets your state’s building code rules.
Types of Roof Decking
There are various types of roof decking, and each one works differently to protect your home. Regardless, they are required for an entire roof system and will help it function better. Hiring a roofing contractor expert is wise to help you choose what will work best.
CDX Plywood Roof Decking
CDX plywood is one type of plywood, and it’s often used for sheet decking but differs from traditional plywood.
Overall, CDX means C-D Exposure 1,” indicating that it features a front veneer of C-grade materials and a back veneer of D-grade products. It’s used when it will likely get exposed to moisture but isn’t directly exposed.
Typically, CDX plywood is made of wooden boards and can be relatively affordable and durable. This type of plank sheathing is often used in commercial and residential applications.
Likewise, CDX plank decking features thin wood veneer layers that get glued together. It’s available in many thicknesses and is cut to the shape and size needed.
Traditional Plywood Decking
Everyone knows what plywood is; these rectangular wooden boards create a durable, strong, lightweight material for sheet decking. Overall, this plank decking material is available in various grades. High-quality plywood sheet decking will have a smoother surface, but lower-grade plank decking has imperfections.
Plywood plank decking is a great option because it’s versatile, durable, and strong.
Metal Roof Decking
Another type of roofing material used for decking is metal. Typically, the roof decking material is made with aluminum or steel because it’s resistant to fire, durable, and strong. Plus, it comes in various profiles, finishes, and thicknesses, so it’s easily customizable to meet any needs.
Oriented strand board is another sheet decking option used in residential and commercial applications. It’s durable and cost-effective, so it’s a great alternative to plywood plank decking. OSB gets made by gluing and compressing strands of wood planks. They’re often arranged in various layers to create something strong.
What’s Rotted Roof Decking?
Roof deck rotting is a serious problem. It often happens when moisture penetrates the roof decking and isn’t dried out or ventilated correctly.
When the decking gets saturated with moisture, it will deteriorate and rot. This will compromise the roof’s integrity, damaging the roofing materials.
Common causes of rotting roof sheathing include:
- Exposure to the elements
- Poor ventilation
Signs of Rotted Decking
Here are a few signs that your roof decking might be rotting:
- Dipping or sagging sections in the roof
- Discoloration and dark spots on the decking
- The spongy or soft feeling while walking on the roof
- Cracks and splits
- Roof leaks and water infiltration
- Water stains or moisture on the walls and ceiling in the building
- Loose or unstable roofing materials
- Visible mildew or mold growth
If you notice these signs, it’s crucial to call a roofing contractor to get an inspection and determine the issue.
Repair and Maintenance of Roof Decking
Routine inspections and maintenance of your roof decking will protect and keep it working properly. This will help you avoid the price associated with a new roof.
Average Roof Decking Cost
The cost of roofing decking ranges significantly based on many factors. For example, wood prices in 2021 skyrocketed, bringing the price higher, but that’s slowed down.
Plank decking is about three times more expensive per square foot than traditional sheet decking. Therefore, CDX and OSB might be wise choices.
What Is the Difference Between Roof Sheathing and Decking?
Technically, roof sheathing and roof decking are the same thing. However, decking materials usually include wood planks, plywood, metal, tongue-and-groove boards, and OSB (oriented strand board). Both plywood and OSB roof decking are common options for homeowners and builders because they’re strong, flexible, and generally affordable.
Where Is the Decking on a Roof?
The roof decking isn’t visible from the outside of the home. Instead, it’s underneath your roofing components. It’s the dividing layer between the outside and inside of the house.
The roofing system gets on top once the wooden frame and decking are in place. Each part is layered over the previous one. This is the order in which roofing components are installed:
- The leak barrier
- The roof deck protection (often called underlayment)
- The starter strip shingles
- The shingles
- The ventilation
- The ridge and hip cap shingles
How Do I Know If My Roof Decking Needs Replacing?
You should know the symptoms of rotten decking to ensure you address issues quickly. Watch for these signs that might indicate a compromised roof sheathing system:
- Spongy or flaky wood
- Mold or discoloration
- Stains and moisture on the walls, rafters, and ceilings
- The strong smell of mildew
- Frequent roof leaks
Contact a Reputable Professional Roofing Contractor Today
Have you experienced signs that might indicate the roof decking is bad? You may need to get a roof replacement or repairs made. Austin Roofing & Water Damage | WDR can help commercial and residential owners with their roof system needs.
You may not need a new roof right now, but getting things checked and repaired is crucial. Austin Roofing & Water Damage | WDR can handle any roofing project. Call (512) 820-6505 to request help today!