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Roof Decking: Types & Replacement

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Roof Decking: Types & Replacement

It takes more than just shingles to build a roof. The roof over your head is a combination of different roofing materials and components that protect your home from the elements. Every layer of the roof is important; however, your roof’s decking is extremely crucial. Roof decking is the base of your entire roof system. If you are looking to replace or repair your home’s roof, it is important to know what type of decking your home has and its condition.

Renaissance Roofing, Inc. helps teach homeowners all the fundamental aspects of their roof and educates them on exactly what they are paying for. This blog will cover everything you need to know about roof decking.

 Types of Roof Decking

Roof decking encompasses the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof. These boards are what your shingles and other roofing components are installed on and supported by. The two types of roof decking are plank decking and sheet decking.

Plank decking was the main type of decking used before the invention of plywood. This decking is made up of rectangular wooden boards that come in multiple different sizes, but the most common are 1x6, 1x8, and 1x10.

Sheet decking is flat sheets of wood. There are two types of sheet decking: OSB and plywood. OSB (oriented-strand board) is the most common type of decking used on roofs today. OSB is made of wood chips/strips compressed together to form a flat 7/16” sheet. Plywood comes in several thicknesses (⅜”, ½”, ⅝”, and ¾”) depending on the size of the rafters. Both OSB and plywood are great options, and which one you use depends on your budget and the availability of the wood. 

When should Roof Decking be Replaced?

When meeting with a Renaissance Roofing estimator, we will always make sure to check your roof decking’s integrity to get an idea of what will need to be replaced. Furthermore, when replacing your roof, our team will inspect the decking underneath and determine whether any decking is unsalvageable. This could include decking that is rotted, water-damaged, warped, delaminated, or compromising the integrity of your roof. We will never install a new roof over poor decking, as that is the foundation of your roof for the next 20+ years.

In most cases, there are going to be a few boards or sheets that need to be replaced. We can provide an estimate of a range of how much it would be to replace your boards or sheets; however, we won’t know the exact amount until we finish tearing off the old roof.

How much does roof decking cost?

The cost of roof decking is not standard due to the fluctuation of wood prices. In 2021, wood prices were through the roof, which adds a pretty big expense to your roof investment if many sheets or boards need to be replaced. Plank decking is priced out per linear foot, while sheet decking is priced out per sheet. 

After factoring in labor and materials, plank decking usually costs about three times more per square foot than sheet decking costs. If you must replace a lot of your damaged plank decking, it's actually cheaper to go over the top of the existing plank decking with OSB 7/16”. 

Roof Codes: 

Roof codes are crucial to ensure your roof is installed correctly and complies with Michigan’s inspection codes. One of the most important roofing codes has to do with roof decking. 

According to code R905.2.1 of the 2018 International Residential Code: asphalt shingles shall be fastened to solidly sheathed decks. This means that your roof decking must be able to properly withstand and hold your new roof when it’s installed. Renaissance Roofing always follows the shingle manufacturer’s installation instructions and ensures that each roof installation is up to code.  

Decking is a crucial part of your roof and must be in good condition to ensure your home is protected from the elements. Roof decking is one of the most important aspects of your roof replacement, which is why it is so important for every homeowner to be educated on what product will be going on their home. 

Renaissance Roofing, Inc. takes pride in completing our work the correct way. After all, it takes more than just shingles to make a roof!