Is It Possible to Repair Damaged Roof Decking?

Is It Possible to Repair Damaged Roof Decking?

Your roofing system is made of a complex design that enables it to perform in any weather and withstand various elements. As a homeowner, it is ideal to familiarize yourself with its various layers and components to have a better understanding of how it functions and how you can properly care for it. One of the crucial parts that make up your roofing system is the decking. Also known as sheathing, it can be found between the shingles and the structure of the roof (trusses and rafters).  

Is It Possible to Repair Damaged Roof Decking?

The roof decking must be strong enough to support the shingles and at the same time flexible enough to give slightly in high winds and under load. In residential homes, it is usually made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB)

If your roofers discover that your roof deck is damaged, they will likely recommend replacing it. Continue reading to find out why roof deck replacement is more practical and effective than a repair.

More Information About Roof Decking

The roof deck is essential to the structural stability of your roof and home. It serves as an anchor for your roof shingles and holds the nails in place, keeping them secure through all kinds of weather. Since the roof deck is underneath the shingles and helps keep them fastened to your roof, this component is also crucial to your home’s moisture protection. With sturdy decking, your roofing can function better and last longer.

How Do You Know if Your Roof Deck Is Damaged?

According to roofing professionals, not all signs of roof deck damage is visible. And since you can’t see the decking from the street, it requires a closer inspection to detect any issues with it. Nevertheless, below are some signs of damage that can give you a clue your roof decking is compromised.

  • Missing shingles: Due to weather extremes and aging, roof decking can be damaged in areas where shingles are missing or damaged. Depending on the material, installation and environment, roofing systems can last up to 20 years. If your roof is more than two decades old, it could be time to replace it – including your roof decking. 
  • Mold and mildew: Keep in mind that frequent exposure to water might cause your roof’s wooden components, such as the deck, to deteriorate. Broken or clogged gutters and damaged flashing might allow water to infiltrate the roof. Water may also penetrate your roof if your shingles are deteriorating or if there is significant snowfall in winter. 
  • Visible sagging: Rotting boards and sagging sections, particularly around the lowest parts of the roof, are sure signs of moisture buildup. If your roofline is drooping, your deck may have sustained significant damage, causing structural issues with your roof. Warping can occur when water soaks the decking, causing the roofline and ceiling to bow and slump.

What Causes Roof Deck Damage?

  • Faulty solar panel installation: Although adding solar panels to your home effectively reduces your energy costs, its placement must be done correctly to avoid roofing concerns. Make sure to consult professionals before purchasing or installing them to see if your roof and home can bear the additional weight of the panels. Furthermore, only hire skilled and experienced professionals to install them.
  • Poor ventilation: Roofing systems require adequate ventilation to deliver the best performance and superior durability. Proper ventilation basically allows excess heat and moisture to exit your attic, reducing the risk of damage to any roofing component. If your attic is poorly ventilated, it can cause various issues like mold growth, rot and leaks. Your attic can get excessively hot, prompting the deterioration of the decking and shingles. The heat may also travel to your living spaces, causing discomfort and raising your energy bills since your HVAC system will have to work harder to cool your home. Furthermore, inadequate attic ventilation can contribute to the formation of ice dams during winter. Ice dams occur when melting snow reaches the edges of your roof and refreezes. They can cause water to permeate your roof, causing moisture-related problems, such as deck rot.
  • Rot from excessive water: Consistent exposure to water can damage the wooden components of your roof, such as the deck. Look out for broken or clogged gutters as well as damaged flashing as these can cause water to penetrate your roofing.

Can You Have Your Roof Deck Repaired?

Once your roof deck has deteriorated, it is best to replace rather than repair it. Roofing experts recommend this to ensure your shingles have a solid base that will keep them in place. If you opt for a repair, it won’t be soon before another issue with the decking occurs. In the long run, this will simply lead to higher costs and more inconvenience to you. It can also promote mold and mildew growth, which can quickly spread into your living spaces, affect your home’s indoor air quality and cause health risks or problems.

Furthermore, it is usually recommended to replace the deck if you are replacing your roof. If your roof has missing, loose or broken shingles, water has likely permeated and reached the roof deck – which means the material is already compromised. Keeping your old decking will only make your new shingles susceptible to damage, shortening their lifespan. Also, remember that when replacing your roof, the shingles need a strong foundation to withstand high winds and other elements. That said, changing your shingles and decking simultaneously will improve your home’s weather resistance.

Once you have replaced your shingles and decking, keep in mind that regular and appropriate care can help prevent damage and extend the life of your roofing system. Scheduling regular roof inspections and maintenance would be quite beneficial. Don’t forget to have your gutters regularly cleaned too so that clogging due to debris buildup can be avoided.

What More Can You Do?

Here are a few practices you should consider doing to ensure your roof decking will last long:

  • Ensure that your gutters are clean and in good working order.
  • Replace or repair your shingles as soon as possible.
  • Regularly examine your roof – ideally twice a year and after every storm.

Contact Us Today!

Whether you need roof repair or replacement, Sterling Exteriors is here to help! We have been a premier provider of roofing services for over a decade. Our team of professional, skilled roofers can guarantee top-notch workmanship for your project. Give us a call at (513) 685-8055, or fill out our contact form for a free, no-obligation quote. We serve clients in Cincinnati, Loveland and Newtown, OH.