Damaged Roof Decking: Repair or Replace?

Damaged Roof Decking: Repair or Replace?

Roof decking is the actual foundation of your roofing system. It’s what connects the roof of your home to the rest of the house. It supports the weight of roofing shingles and lays on top of your attic’s rafters. Nowadays, roofing companies use to add an extra layer of protection from the elements to your roofing system. If your roof decking is rotting, it could mean serious problems ahead. 

Damaged Roof Decking

As soon as you notice these occurrences, you should call for a professional to handle the inspection right away. This is so you can avoid further damages to your roof deck. Mishandling of the situation could lead to a rotted roof deck, which could require the need for a roof replacement due to its unsalvageable state. 

But how can you tell if your room is in trouble if you can’t see your roof decking by eye? 

In today’s post, local roofing contractor Lask Exterior Solutions, LLC discusses why this key roofing component can’t be repaired and must be replaced when damaged.

What Is Roof Decking?

Roof decking is what holds your house roofing together. It is what links your roof to your house and acts as a base. This is positioned on top of an array of structural support that keeps the top part of your house altogether.

Typically made of plywood or composite material, roof decking or sheathing is installed between the shingles and the structure of the roof. It functions as an inner layer that connects the shingles to the trusses and rafters. 

Furthermore, roofers use the roof deck as an anchor on which shingles are nailed and secured in place. Without a roof deck in good condition, the integrity of your shingles, as well as the entire roofing system itself, could be compromised.

Your roof decking should be maintained just as much as you look over the other parts of your house. This will guarantee the safety of you and your family.

What Are the Signs of a Damaged Roof Deck?

Knowing the signs of damaged roof decking is important. Depending on the kind of damage, you may be able to see the signs of damage to your decking even from the inside of your home or commercial structure. Look for these signs:

  1. Leaks

Roof leaks can come in several forms. It could appear as spots or leaks on your ceiling, stains on the walls, crumbling paint, and shedding wallpaper. A roof leak could also be found on your rafters or roof insulation. 

  1. Missing Shingles

Shingles protect the decking, so if any are missing, the sheathing is exposed to rain and snow. Therefore, to prevent issues, walk your property regularly to see if any of the asphalt has come off your roof, especially after there have been high winds. Have a roofing contractor repair any gaps.

  1. Sagging Roofline

You’ve probably seen older or abandoned homes with rooflines that look like the surface of a windy lake with the decking sagging in spots, usually between each rafter, creating a sense of gentle waves. This is a potential sign of a rotted roof. Most homeowners will take action when they spot the first bit of sagging rather than waiting for the full surf effect across their entire roofline.

  1. Peeling Wallpaper

If you have wallpaper, you may not see watermarks on your walls. Unfortunately, your first indication of trouble will be your wallpaper bubbling or peeling away from the wall as the moisture loosens the adhesive on the wallpaper. If you notice this happening, your roof inspection needs to happen immediately as the leak could be older, with more extensive damage than when you spot watermarks on your walls or ceiling.

  1. Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew love water leaks and will set up shop whenever the supply of moisture is consistent. While most common in the lower areas of homes or near leaky pipes or sinks, you can also find mold in the attic beneath a leaky roof. If you spot mold or mildew growing in your attic, you most likely have a failure somewhere in your roofing system.

  1. Sagging Ceiling

When the decking is damaged, the roof might visibly sag. This may be viewable from outside in your yard or inside on the second floor. Examine the exterior of your home following major weather events to see if you spot any warping. 

To Repair or Replace?

Unfortunately, the damaged roof deck has to be replaced, given that it’s part of the roof’s structure. Often, replacing the whole roof is more sensible, especially if the leak results from wear over time. Your roof is a system, and it’s the decking that holds that system together. One patch will turn into two, turn into three, and so on. It is far simpler and, in the long run, far cheaper to just start fresh. 

Unlike components made of wood like trim or wood shakes, decking won’t benefit from painting or refinishing. Also, given their size, spot repairs are not an option. Note that some decking materials are more resistant to moisture damage than others, a feature that you should look into when discussing roof replacement options with your trusted roofers.

Repairs are harder to do on decking, because it tends to be less modular than most shingle or other roofing materials, and if the deck rot is bad enough, it’s probably a sign that your roof as a whole has aged too much.

Benefits of Investing in New Decking

There are many benefits of investing in new roof decking, even if it is not crucial to replace. First, new roof decking will improve the structural integrity of your home. Especially in areas that experience a wide range of weather elements, the strength of your home could be the difference between an inconvenient storm and a tragedy. 

When you invest in new roof decking, you can select the type of decking material that is most beneficial for your home. In many cases, homeowners will choose to upgrade their old wood decking for a more energy-efficient option like metal. This will require an initial investment. However, the savings provided by both your reduced energy bill and your insurance discounts will offset the cost.

Lask Exterior Solutions, LLC has been known for providing high-quality home exterior improvement services to customers in and around the local area. We are a CertainTeed® ShingleMaster™ roofing contractor, which is a distinction that attests to our knowledge and expertise of the roofing products and installation standards provided by the top roofing manufacturer.

Your roof is important to us! Call us at (815) 964-2220 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate. We serve homeowners in Rockford, IL, and the surrounding communities.