Although your roof appears to be one large unit, it is actually a complex system of different elements that must work together to protect your home and family from the elements. One important part of your roof is one that many people know little about is roof sheathing.
What is Roof Sheathing?
The material that goes on top of the structural elements of your roof, such as trusses and beams, is the roof sheathing. The pitch of your roof is created by the trusses or beams with the roof sheathing placed on top of those structures. Underlayment and covering are then placed on the sheathing. You may also hear this part of your roof called the roof decking, although most contractors use the term sheathing.
What is Used to Make Sheathing?
In the United States, roof sheathing is almost always made of wood. However, different types of wood may be chosen to create the sheathing. Oriented strand board (OSB) is one of the most common types of wood used as it is lightweight and strong but inexpensive. It resists bending or breaking which is important since people may need to walk on your roof. Plywood is sometimes used for roof sheathing, although it does cost more. Sometimes contractors choose plywood if the roof covering is heavy, such as tile, clay or concrete.
Variations in Sheathing
Roof sheathing comes in several different thicknesses and which your contractor chooses will depend on several factors. If your roof is steep, you may need to have thinner sheeting to avoid excess weight. Flat or roofs with a low slope may also need lighter sheathing as precipitation will add weight as well.
Older homes may not have sheathing at all. In the past, roofs simply had a layer of boards placed under the shingles which were prone to leaks. If you have an older home, you may have noticed areas of water damage in the attic caused by leaks through shingles. Sheathing provides a continuous layer under the shingles with few gaps or spaces so leaks are less likely as long as your roof is in good condition. Sheathing also provides a surface for shingles to be nailed, keeping them secure.
If you are in need of a new roof, contact us today for more information about roof sheathing and the many types of roofing materials we may use. You can set up a no-obligation consultation by calling us today or filling out the simple form online.