What is Roof decking?

Roof decking (or roof sheathing) is the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof. Roof decking provides a strong base for all elements of your roof, especially for heavyweights like asphalt or steel Roof decking (also known as rafters) are typically made from boards, plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) sheets and can be either plank-type or sheet type. Plywood is more expensive but will last longer than plank boards while also being lighter in weight to carry around. OSB is the most common type of decking on roofs today.

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Decks provide structural stability and support for roofs. They take the stress out of heavy materials like asphalt shingle which might otherwise sag under its own weight if not supported by other materials such as plywood sheets. Roof decks are usually made from plywood and/or dense wood boards, making them one of the most important components in your roof; they’re even more critical than roofing material!

  • OSB (oriented strand board) is the most common type of decking used on roofs today. It’s made up of wood chips/strips compressed together to form a flat sheet. It’s much cheaper than plywood and has good sheathing qualities, making it a good choice.
  • Plywood, on the other hand, is stronger than OSB and generally lasts longer. Plywood comes in different thicknesses depending on the span of the rafters. Roof decking can also be made from fiberglass or I-Joists; these are usually reserved for commercial use but can sometimes be found for residential roofs too.

When Should Roof Decking be replaced.

Roof decking is pretty durable stuff but it does break down over time. Roof decks begin to rot and degrade ten years after they’re installed, so replacing them is necessary after this period especially if your roof is old. Roof decking can also be damaged or torn due to strong winds – a good example of this would be hurricane damage in the southern or coastal states.

In storm-prone regions, roof decks have a limited lifetime. Some boards will only last 20 years while others up to 50 years. If the roof deck has bad structure or material, it may need repair before covering with underlayment and shingles/metal. Northern states are not exempt from roof decking damage. High winds and lingering frozen precipitation may somehow reach the wood.
Decking can also be affected by the proper installation of flashing. See roof flashing on this site to help understand why flashing can be so critical to both the decking and shingles.

This is not to terrify you that all your OSB/plywood decking has to be replaced. If your CQ Roofing team discovers a worn out sheet of board, they can replace it then and there before applying the shingles/metal.

How much does roof decking cost?

Roof decking cost is a bit tricky. Roof Decking’s prices are dependent on what type of material you choose, the size of your roof and the length of your boards – in some cases it can be quite the challenge to price out rooftop decking. Different manufacturers use different types of wood for their decking, which can change the price.

Because wood is a commodity, its price rises and falls according to market demand. In 2020 running to the summer of 2021, wood prices rose exceptionally high, fortunately, the summer of 2021 experienced an easing of prices.

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