Shingles aren’t just something that we place on our roofs for art’s sake, they also have a variety of different uses which range from keeping your roof dry by redirecting water towards the proper drainage system, and even insulating your house from excessive penetrative heat. Sure, they might be the first line of defense against the forces of nature, but do you ever wonder how they have held your roof in place for years and even decades?
Firstly, let’s take a look at roof sheathing and how this contributes to the integrity of shingles, overhangs, and your fascia. Roof sheathing basically refers to the strong and sturdy layer right below your shingles which forms a foundation for them to attach on. This layer of the roof is also fastened to joints and trusses so it can resist strong winds and updrafts.
In most cases, cheaper roof sheathing is made out of OSB which tends to be cheaper but also a bit more flimsy. Plywood is known for being durable but tends to be pricey and heavier. Overall, homeowners tend to choose plywood as a better choice since good long term investment towards a longer lifespan for their home and their roofing system.
Importance of Roof Sheathing
Just like the foundations of your home, roof sheathing serves as a sturdy foundation for the other parts of your roof where your shingles, gutters, downspouts, overhangs, and even insulation can be installed on.
There are a variety of different benefits of installing a strong and sturdy roof sheathing.
- Prevents the formation of leaks – Back in the early 1700s up to the early 1900s, it was common for people to use asphalt shingles as the foundation of roofs without having to use roof sheathing to shield houses from rain, snow, and falling leaves. Since water and other debris can easily seep through the asphalt shingles through surface tension, roof leakages tend to be common and roofs would easily start to rot since there was no barrier between the shingles and the main structure of the roof. Roof sheathing helps form a barrier between the shingles and the layer beneath the sheathing. Sheathing boards have also been designed on being especially resistant to the effects of weathering and soaking which makes them ideal for stopping roof leakages.
- Adds support and strength – If you’re using heavier material like slate roof tiles or even just asphalt shingles, weight tends to accumulate easily on one area of your roof which makes your roof unbalanced which consequently makes your house’s foundations unbalanced as well. Roof sheathing helps balance out the weight of your roof by evenly distributing the weight towards each area. Being fixed on trusses and joints also mean that it can provide strong support to the roof if ever there are strong winds and updrafts.
- Prevents fires from combusting – Although being made out of wood, roof sheathing is known for significantly reducing the chances of fires from starting. Roof sheathing is processed with a layer of fire-retardant which makes these sheathings especially resistant to fires and heating up.
When to replace roof sheathings?
Homeowners should never neglect their roof sheathings. It is recommended to have regular inspections from skilled roofers to make sure that everything is in working order. However, there are still some common problems that owners and roofers encounter with degrading roof sheathings.
- Broken and cracked – Having a broken board can be a gateway to other problems on your roof. This can lead to your roof having an uneven distribution of weight or even cracks forming which can lead to water seeping through the board.
- Water has caused damages – Of course, soaking can lead to other problems since it builds up moisture. This is also the primary source of leaks, puddles, and even flooding in heavier rains.
- Rot, Mold, and Mildew – Wood boards are very susceptible to the effects of rotting, molds and mildews. If left unchecked, rot and mildew can easily chew through the integrity of your boards which might cause your roof sheathing to break and become unbalanced.
- Holes on the sheathing – This can become a problem as it gives wind and rainwater a passageway towards your house. If your house is exposed to strong winds and updrafts in your house, this can lead to your house’s interior having high air pressure which in turn can compromise the integrity of your roof.
- Warping and bulking – In extreme temperatures, boardings tend to warp and sag if they are left uncheck from extreme penetrative heat for a long time. If ever you see the interiors of your roof being closer to you, this can be a tell-tale sign that your roof is sagging and you should immediately call a professional roofing contractor.
Fascia boards are horizontally placed boards that are placed at the edge of the roof on the rafter ends which helps close in on the distance between each rafter. In most cases, fascia boards are made out of an inch of timber wood. There have also been cases that fascia boards will provide support towards the bottom row of slate tile roofs.
Overall, fascia boards and roof sheathing work hand-in-hand by covering the joists and rafters of a roof. Roof sheathings are essentially the foundation where shingles and other materials are placed on. OSB and plywood sheathing are the most common form of sheathing and are known for greatly lengthening the lifespan of the roof. Professional roof contractors Hainesport NJ can help you inspect or install roof sheathing.