Roof Sheathing is the same as roof decking. So many items in the home improvement industry have multiple names for the same product. Any visit to the local home improvement store will highlight the dazzling array of products with different names. Plumbing couplers have so many different names from connection, to union, to joint, and more. But to bring it back, roof decking and sheathing are the same things, and it all depends on who you ask. 

What is Roof Sheathing?  

Roof sheathing is the foundational component of your roof system. It is typically made from plywood or OSB. It nails directly to your trusses or joists. Roof sheathing is important because it provides a level framework in which the rest of your roof system rests. Without it, your shingles will not have anything to attach to. 

What Are the Reasons to Replace Roof Sheathing? 

  • Mold, moist, mildew, and rot are the biggest reasons to replace sheathing. If your roof has had a leak and your sheathing is getting wet there is a chance that mold, mildew, and eventual rot will set in. Never delay a roof inspection if you have a leak. By repairing a leak quickly, you are saving money from larger and more expensive repairs. 

  • Ventilation can cause problems from the inside out. Continued exposure to heat and humidity can cause your sheathing to fail from the inside. Your attic needs to move the hot and humid air out while cooler air flows in. Additionally, improperly vented appliances can raise heat levels in your attic which will speed up roof failure 

  • Improper spacing of sheathing can cause roof problems even if the sheathing is brand new. Wood will expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. If you have not accounted for expansion and contraction, your shingles may buckle which opens a lane for moisture to penetrate your roof.  

Kearns Brothers take your roof health seriously. During our complete tear-off, we assess the condition of your sheathing. If it needs to be fully replaced, we will not cut any corners. A Kearns Brothers roof is built-to-last with our industry-leading warranty to keep you safe and dry. The sheathing is the base of the best roof for your home.  

Is It Necessary to Have Plywood Sheathing? 

Your sheathing is the base of your roof. Without plywood sheathing in place, you cannot place your shingles on a surface.  

What Is Plywood Sheathing? 

Plywood sheathing is one of the most common roof sheathing products available. Plywood is frequently used because it has an inexpensive price point. It is also used because it is available in a variety of thicknesses which makes it versatile for different roofing projects. It can be purchased as thin as ¼" and as thick as 1”. It comes in large panels that typically measure 4’ x 8’that are easy to cut and manipulate.  

Plywood is incredibly strong due to its manufacturing process. It is comprised of thin layers of wood that are glued together with a specialty resin.  

Plywood Sheathing for Your Roof 

In roofing applications, the sheathing will nail directly onto your trusses and joists. It prevents shingles from being nailed directly into the structural parts of your home. The sheathing helps to distribute the weight of the shingles. A hidden benefit of your sheathing is that it helps insulate your home and can help slow the spread of a fire. 

How Strong is Plywood Sheathing? 

Your roof is heavy and occasionally the weather may increase the weight on your roof. Roofers and construction companies use plywood due to it being strong and durable. A standard roof requires plywood of a certain thickness. The lower slope of your roof will require thicker plywood due to the increased weight of snow.  

How Is Plywood Sheathing Made? 

Plywood sheathing is composed of many thin pieces of wood that are glued together with resin. The resin, if exposed to moisture, will start to break down over time. The thickness required for your roof (or construction project) will vary.  

Is Your Plywood Sheathing Leaking or In Bad Condition? 

Active roof leaks and continued exposure to moisture can cause long-term damage to your roof sheathing. The Kearns Brothers have been doing complete roof tear-offs for nearly 40 years. Schedule a free inspection with our team of experts today.