What’s Roof Sheathing and How is it Important?

Posted by Roofco May 14, 2019

If you’re not a roofing professional, it’s possible you haven’t come across the name roof sheathing. But all the more reason you should always hire a roofing repair company to take care of your roof’s installation and repairs. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll understand what roofing sheathing is and why it matters.

The role of roof sheathing in the roofing system

You see, your roof is made up of more than just shingles and gutters. The roof sheathing is a strong layer of skeleton formed with rafters and trusses to support and provide sturdy support to the rest of the roofing system. The roof sheathing achieves this by dispersing extra weight across the rafters. This is what prevents the roof from sagging and collapsing. In addition, it’s the trusses and beams that give the roof its initial pitch.

Plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) are the two most common materials used to construct a roof sheathing. Although both materials are made of wood, plywood is more heavyweight hence more durable but also more costly. OSB, on the other hand, is lightweight and cheaper. Unless your roof will be made of heavier materials such as slate or concrete roofing tiles, OSB sheathing should do just fine.

Apart from supporting external roofing materials, roof sheathing decreases roof leakage.  Back in the day, when constructing roofs, building contractors only used shingles and planks. As a result, there were many attic and garret inundations. Fortunately, roofers discovered that underlayment of boards helped prevent leaks. Roof sheathing made shingles lay flat so water wouldn’t get underneath curling shingles. Although there are a number of weatherproof shingles in the market, roof decking gives the roof additional protection against weather elements. Today, weatherproofed sheathing boards are also available which means better roof protection against water damage.

If you apply a radiant barrier on the sheathing, draft it over the rafters, or staple to the bottom of the rafters, your home will become more energy efficient. A radiant barrier reflects up to 97% of solar radiation which translates to up to 30% of attic heat reduction. And the great thing is that you can DIY install a radiant barrier making the whole process cheap yet rewarding.

A damaged roof sheathing

Now that you understand the essence of a roof sheathing to your overalls roofing system, it’s important you also know how to identify a damaged roof sheathing so you know when it needs replacement or repair. A sagging roof is one sign there’s a major problem with the roof sheathing. A sagging roof most in most instances begins with a neglected leak. If left undetected, roof leaks eventually lead to rotting of the deck’s plywood. A rotting roof decking can neither support the weight of a roof nor safely grip the nails put into the roof. Left unaddressed, your roof will inevitably begin to sag and eventually come down.

Given its critical role in the entire roofing system, it’s of importance to maintain the roof sheathing. Part of protecting your roof sheathing includes protecting all the other roofing elements. Because, when damage occurs to the shingles, for instance, it exposes the sheathing to weather elements which eventually leads to rotting. The other key to a long and healthy roofing system is to make sure that an experienced roofing repair company handles your roof’s installation, repair and maintenance.

For more Information on roof repair services, don’t hesitate to contact us on (204) 487-7663!