What is roof decking and when do you need a replacement?

What is roof decking and when do you need a replacement?

Finally owning property is any hardworking adult’s dream. But having a home built in its place – that’s another achievement that acts as a good stepping stone in welcoming themselves even further into adulthood. After all, it’s not as easy as getting your car or landing a decent job.   

Owning a property is a permanent fixture in your life, and you get to decide whether you want to give it away or invest in it even further. However, considering it’s an investment, a property will take time and resources to maintain since it’s rare for something to remain completely static. So, it’s safe to say that reaching this stage might be considered taking one step forward and two steps back.

Because as relieving as it is to finally call something your own, being a homeowner demands a lot from you. If you’re not getting worked up over one problem, another will take its place. Therefore, first-time homeowners are bound to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of responsibilities to stay on top of. Even a feature as overlooked as a roof would demand your attention.

Although the roof plays a significant role in protecting one’s house, it’s generally out of the way since it’s high up your house. So, unless you diligently keep a list of things you have to maintain around your home, it’s easy to forget all about the roof. Because of this, it’s bound to get all worn out the longer you neglect it. Therefore, you might want to consider roof decking.  

What is a roof decking?

A roof can’t do its job well if all there is to it is a mish-mash of shingles, wood, and nails. What you need is a structure to bring these materials together and form them into something that can guarantee your home is protected well. To make that happen, that’s where the roof deck comes in.   

The roof decking (also called sheathing) ensures that the roof remains structurally sound. Since it’s sandwiched between the roof’s structural components such as trusses or joists, the insulations, and the waterproofing layers, you can probably imagine how much stress it’s under constantly.

Therefore, it should go without saying how much impact it would leave on the entire roof structure if neglected for too long. Because not only will it be unattractive for the people passing by, but it also poses a threat to the house’s overall structure. Fortunately, a roof replacement service includes roof decking as one of their areas of expertise. So, it’s not that difficult to find someone who can replace it once the need arises.  

Signs you need a replacement

Since replacing is different from simply repairing it, you’re probably wondering how you’ll ever reach that point. After all, only reacting once there’s a big gaping hole in the middle of the roof is ill-advised, considering how many layers the source has to go through before leaving that much damage. So, before that happens, keep an eye out for anything that signifies the roof decking needs replacement.  

1. Water stains

Considering they’re mostly made of wood, roof structures have a common enemy: water. Unfortunately, with rain coming and going whenever it pleases, excess moisture is bound to build up within. And this moisture will be enough to weaken the roof system’s structural integrity.  

On a brighter note, water can’t damage your house without showing some visual signs first. In this case, dark water stains are often left behind. Since the attic isn’t the cleanest place in the house, combining moisture with the dust present in the area will spell out an ugly reminder of what you should’ve been paying more attention to. Unless you’re content with applying a fresh paint coat across the stains, replacing the roof deck entirely would save you from future water damage.  

2. Mold

As mentioned earlier, water is the worst enemy wood has from start to finish. However, other than leaving behind stains, collecting extra moisture causes wood to rot. Once that happens, this rotten wood serves as the perfect breeding ground for mold.  

Since mold thrives in moist areas, it tends to frequent attics and sabotage roof systems. Furthermore, because of how humid it gets during summers, the heat catalyzes speeding up mold growth. Considering how harmful it is for the human body, cultivating this fungus in your own home won’t ‘build up’ your immunity to it, nor does it strengthen your health. All it does is cause multiple respiratory problems—or worse, death.  

Spotting mold is a piece of cake. Because while it has a lot of types, they all have discoloration that can be an eyesore on your ceiling. Therefore, making it easy to pinpoint. Besides visual cues, mold holds a particular musty smell, which will be more distinct once you open a window for fresh air to enter. The difference between the two scents will be night and day.   

Although you can contact mold clean-up services to handle it, the damage still lingers. So, it’s best if you have the inner roof system replaced, including the roof decking. This way, you’ll be sure there’s no chance of mold growing anymore.  

3. Sagging ceiling

Other than making it rot, what water does to wood is weaken its integrity. Since the roofing deck mostly consists of wood, soaking it in water will leave it warped. And this will lead to a bowed or wavy roofline and ceiling. Considering how much weight the roof decking has to handle, leaving it to warp threatens the entire roofing system further. So, as soon as you see the slightest drop in the ceiling, replacing it should be your next course of action.  

4. Cracks of light

If you’re living somewhere with a colder climate, you might wonder whether or not warmer seasons are safer for your roof decking. However, just because there’s no moisture doesn’t mean your roof goes scot-free. Because other than water, extreme heat can also affect wood when it leaves cracks all over. Therefore, once you see the light shining through from your roof decking, it’s about time for a replacement for your roof.

5. Energy bill hike

Whether it’s due to moisture or high temperatures, they’re bound to damage the roof in their way. Due to this damage, the roof decking grows weaker. Once that happens, it won’t be strong enough to support any of your insulation or waterproof layers, leaving them ineffective.

So, if you’re wondering why your thermostat isn’t working despite setting the right indoor temperature, it’s all because of the damage collected. Therefore, instead of letting your energy bills rise, it’s best to take the initiative and have your roof decking replaced after inspection. This way, not even a coin will go to waste for acting first.


Being a homeowner is hard work. Because other than having responsibilities outside your home, many await you once you get back. And one of these responsibilities is knowing how your roof decking is faring. After all, considering its importance, it requires as much attention as any part of the house. However, determining when you should repair and replace it might get confusing. Fortunately, there are signs you can look out for to make it easier on yourself.

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