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5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Roof Decking

Posted on July 12, 2022

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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Roof Decking

Is your roof giving you a hard time? Do you need a roofing system for your brand new home?

If it’s a yes for either of the questions, then you definitely need to know these facts about roof decking. 

Mostly, a faulty or damaged roof deck is the culprit behind back-to-back repairs, or worse- an unexpected roof replacement. Altogether, it’s a serious waste of time, money, and effort.

And we know, no homeowner wants to go through that. That’s why experts at BRH Enterprises are here to help you dodge that bullet.

In this blog, we’ve disclosed 5 crucial facts about roof decks that many homeowners don’t know.

But before we move on to the facts, let’s take a closer look at how this will help you.

Why Should You Know Everything About Roof Decking?

Roof decking is the base of your roof. It’s the one thing that’s holding your roof intact over your head. To keep it that way, there are a few things you need to take care of; and the facts we’ll disclose are all about those things. After you finish reading:

  • You’ll be able to figure out if your roof is giving you a hard time because of the decking. This way, you’ll know what to fix.
  • You’ll avoid making errors while getting a new roof or replacement. Roofing is a lifetime investment and any mistake in its decking means you’ll have to do it all over again.

But you can’t do all this just by reading. You’ll have to understand the facts completely and apply the knowledge while discussing with your roofers. For that, it’s important that you know the full story of roof decks.

What Is A Roof Deck?

Roof sheathing is another name for roof decking. It’s the foundational structure of your roof; the first layer that your roofers build. Above this, they place all the other layers and roof components.

The deck is either made from wood, concrete or metal, but almost every roofer selects wood for pitched homes. Do you know why?

  • Because in pitched roofs, wooden planks and sheets have the perfect surface to install underlayment and shingles.
  • It’s easier and safer to nail down the roof components to wood.
  • Wood helps in proper ventilation and insulation- necessary to maintain indoor temperature and humidity levels. This assures that you have a pleasant atmosphere in your home and you live comfortably inside.
  • If you have a metal roof, the decking will absorb most of the noise during hail and rainfall.

Now that you’re clear with the story, we can move on to the facts. The first one is surely going to surprise you.

Roof decking
Image source: tileyroofing. Com

You Don’t Need A New Deck With Every Roof Replacement

Yes, you read that right; and there’s no hidden meaning to it. While the other parts of your roof need a change, decking has a different story.

Unlike shingles, gutters, siding, and other roof components, the deck does not wear out easily. If your roof decking is in good shape, there’s no reason to replace it. Unless you find fluffy wood, mold, black spots or leaks, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars.

The best part is, you can actually help your deck to stand strong for decades. You just have to make sure that it’s built perfectly.

You Control The Life Of Your Roof Deck

To avoid damage to the decking, roofers leave proper gaps between the planks; cut boards that are appropriately thick; and keep them away from moisture. There are specific guidelines for them in Wisconsin’s building code. It has hundreds of rules, regulations, and specifications. You can talk to us about those or read them yourself.

Apart from that, there are 3 types of wooden material you can use. If you use the strongest material with perfect design, your decking can live up to decades. A strong roof deck can usually bear up to two roof replacements when it’s strong. However, your roofing partner will tell you the exact condition of your deck

The Type Of Roof Decking Matters A Lot

Till the 70s, wooden planks were pretty much used everywhere. Even today, you can spot plank sheathing in classic homes and roofs with wood shakes. If your planks are very old and not spaced out according to the building code of your area, you need to replace them.

Today, the most popular materials are plywood and OSB sheets. Both of them have a few pros and cons.


Plywood is thicker and denser than OSB, so water can’t reach inside it easily through cracks or holes. It’s also flexible and less likely to crack from temperature changes. It’s actually more durable than OSB in some cases. However, If moisture becomes an issue, plywood is more susceptible to rot.


Oriented strand boards are pretty good for hot regions. If you need larger sheets, OSB has that option for you. Apart from that, it’s lightweight and a more attractive option for some homes. But some builders feel that OSB can warp when moisture seeps in and this will cause problems later down the road. A lot of moisture means there’s something wrong with your attic.

Your Attic Issues Can Be The End Of Your Deck

Attic is pretty much closed all the time. But you can’t just forget about it. You need good ventilation and insulation in the attic. If you don’t, your attic will either be too hot or too cold. This means it will be moist all the time. And excess moisture in your attic is the main reason for deck damage.

This leads to wood rot and makes the deck a breeding ground for mold and mildew. So, what can you do to protect your roof decking from damage? The answer is- ventilation, insulation and underlayment.

Ventilation And Insulation

To protect your decking from moisture, ask a roofing contractor for an attic inspection. We will do it free of cost. Our experts will suggest solid points for ventilation and the best materials for insulation. For starters, you can ask your roofer about different types of intake vents, exhausts, blow-in insulation etc.


If you’re getting a new roof, make sure you use the right type of underlayment. It’s a water and fireproofing layer installed between your decking and shingles. For underlayments, you have great weatherproofing options that can give maximum protection to your roof deck from outside elements. For example, rubberized underlayment and synthetic underlayment are good for areas with heavy rainfall, snow, storms or hot climate.

But what if your roof deck is at risk from the elements inside your home, like a house fire? You need something else for that.

Wood Is Flammable But Your Deck Doesn’t Have To Be

House fires are common in Wisconsin. Do you know what are the main reasons for this disaster? Sadly, these include our favorite equipment and daily needs, such as:

  • Unattended cooking or faulty cooking equipment
  • Malfunctioning or overloading of heating and cooling equipment.
  • Electrical failure or damaged electrical parts.

To prevent your roof decking from going up in flames, you need to work on your decking material.

Plywood can’t be fireproof, but you can treat it with fire-retardants. We call it FRT Plywood in the industry. It slows down the speed at which fire spreads. This way, you can put it off before it burns anything down.

Another way to fireproof your decking is fire-rated OSB. It has foil backing to reflect heat. It’s easy to install and comes in varying thicknesses.

Discuss with the roofing experts what’s best for your home. You can take a look at the minimum fire safety measures stated in the Wisconsin building code. We will always suggest you do your research and discuss it with the specialists.

We Can Help You With Roof Decking And Everything Else

At BRH Enterprises, we take pride in building roofs with utmost safety, quality, and honesty.

When we talk about a home’s roof, the first thing that pops up is a lovely family. And we want them to be safe at all costs. That’s why our goal is to build roofs that can stay with you forever.

Our experts have been giving the Best Roof Help to homeowners for years. They will make you feel that you are a part of our team and do exactly what’s best for your home and your budget.

We can go on and on about our extraordinary team and their work, but you need to see it yourself to believe it. We are always excited to help you out with a complete roof inspection.

You can reach out to us at (920) 249-4228 for more details and a free consultation.

BRH Enterprises
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