In this article, you will learn:
1. What is Roof Sheathing, and Why is it Important?
2. How to Tell if You Need New Roof Sheathing
3. 8 Reasons to Inspect Your Sheathing Before Installing a Roof Replacement
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Whether you are new to homeownership or experiencing roof trouble for the very first time, you might be surprised to learn that your roofing system is a complex structure made from a variety of important parts.
While many people can easily identify the shingles and gutters on their home, there are a number of specialized components that work together in keeping your family comfortable, safe and dry.
As roofing structures are not designed to last forever, there may come a time where your property is in need of some roof repair maintenance, or a new, energy-efficient roof altogether!
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for homeowners (and sometimes contractors) to overlook the inspection stage before installing the new roof, creating a high risk for safety, injury and property damage.
While the long-term performance of your new roof can be severely impacted by any un-treated structural problems, we highly recommend having your roof sheathing inspected before initiating your roof installation project.
At T. Simpson Roofing, we provide our clients with as much roofing education as possible to help them get the most out of their homes.
To help you get the best quality out of your roof replacement, the following article will explain the importance of roof sheathing, how to tell if you need a replacement, and 8 reasons to inspect your roof sheathing before installing a new roof.
What is Roof Sheathing, and Why is it Important?
Roof sheathing, often referred to as decking or roof decking, is the primary structure for the rest of your roof to build upon.
Made from durable plywood boards, your roof sheathing is attached to the joists and trusses of your roof. Once installed, it will provide a sturdy platform for the rest of your roofing structures, including waterproofing materials, shingles, flashing, ridge, caps, etc.
With such an important role, it’s essential to maintain a bi-annual inspection to make sure that your roofing system (including sheathing) are always in great working condition.
How to Tell if You Need New Roof Sheathing
As roof sheathing is such an important component to your overall roofing structure, it is also important to make sure that it is always functional and well-maintained.
If you are planning on installing a full roof replacement, this would be a great time to also replace your sheathing as it will provide a strong, durable platform for your new materials to build upon. In addition, you will not have to worry about the possibility of it deteriorating faster than your new roof installation.
If you are not quite ready to replace your roof, you will definitely want to keep a maintenance schedule to keep it under controlled observation.
When inspecting your roof decking, try to watch out for the following warning signs:
– Visible damage to the sheathing plywood
– The roof appears to be sagging
– There is sawdust and/or broken roofing parts in your attic
– There are leaks, puddles, mold or water stains on your ceiling
– Light is passing through into your attic ceiling
While these are some easy red-flags to identify, we highly recommend hiring a professional contractor to thoroughly inspect your roofing structure for safety and accuracy. In the case of a roof replacement project, your contractors should automatically recommend an inspection and/or sheathing replacement altogether.
8 Reasons to Inspect Your Sheathing Before Installing a Roof Replacement
Since roof sheathing materials age over time, installing a roof replacement on top of old roof sheathing can result in a variety of short-term and long-term problems.
From deteriorated plywood to blown off shingles, here are 8 reasons to inspect your sheathing before installing a roof replacement:
Safety is always the #1 priority when it comes to your property. As your roof decking will provide an important support system to the rest of your roofing structure, keeping it in optimal condition will be essential to the long-term health of your roof. If left unmonitored, the plywood can deteriorate and cause a variety of safety hazards for your property.
2. Strength & Durability:
Roof sheathing plays a very important role in evenly distributing the weight across your roof. From heavy snow and precipitation to weighted shingles and even hired contractors, being able to rely on the safety and durability of your roof sheathing is essential to keeping your property as safe as possible.
3. Support for Shingles:
Functioning as a building platform, roof decks provide a secure place for the shingles to be firmly nailed in place. As shingles are generally small in size, it is important for every part of the sheathing to be in good working condition as the nails will need to hold securely for a long duration of time.
4. Fire Protection:
Although nothing is 100% fireproof, many roof sheathing materials are manufactured with fire retardant treatment to increase their resistance against fire and heat. With added protection to your roof and attic, roof sheathing provides an extra layer of safety to protect your family and your home.
5. Prevents Water Leaks/Damage:
When asphalt shingles first gained popularity with residential properties, water leakage was a common problem. Without sheathing, their roofs were unable to prevent water leakage, causing additional damage through rot, mold and deterioration. While today’s shingles are much more advanced in terms of waterproofing, the additional layer still provides an extra boost of protection from the outside elements.
6. Reduces The Risk of Expensive Repairs:
Inspecting your decking prior to a roofing installation is crucial to preventing expensive repairs down the road. With the help of a professional contractor, you will be able to identify any current problems and have them corrected before the installation process takes place. If this inspection is overlooked, any damage that occurs after the fact will require you to completely remove your new roof in order to repair the damage below, costing much more in expenses.
7. Supports Long-Term Lifespan:
When replacing the roof of your property, you are expecting it to last quite a long time. As this outer layer will be responsible for protecting your home from the outside elements, maintaining energy-efficiency, and keeping your family as comfortable as possible – it is also important that the structures supporting this roof installation will last just as long. By inspecting your sheathing prior to a roofing installation, you can ensure that your home’s supporting structures will not deteriorate faster than your investment.
8. Increases Property Value:
While a new roof installation is known to increase overall resale value, installing a new roof on top of old, deteriorating sheathing can achieve quite the opposite effect. No matter how new your roofing shingles might be, the structural foundation is essential to a reliable roof. While your shingles might look great for curb appeal, a property inspection upon sale will likely uncover any damage hiding below.
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If you are interested in learning more about your roof inspection or replacement options, we offer the largest GAF Certified Roof Replacement Services in Canada!
Click here or call 1-800-925-3044 for more information.