Roof decking provides structural support to other roof parts and materials. Wood is a common decking material, others are oriented strand board and concrete. Damaged roof decking compromises the entire roof's integrity. Below are common causes of roof decking damage.
Water is a common threat to roof decking, especially OSB and wood decking. Water encourages wood rot. Rotten wood is weak and doesn't offer as much structural support as sound wood. Water can reach the roof decking if:
- The roof has missing, cracked, or curled shingles
- The water stays on the roof for an extended period, as might happen with an ice dam on the roof
- A strong storm drives water under the shingles
In short, anything that allows water to reach the decking causes damage.
Decking damage does not always come from outside the house. Moisture inside the house can also cause decking damage. For example, interior moisture can rise and affect the decking in a house with poor ventilation. The risk is especially high if the house has high humidity.
Each roof decking can hold a maximum weight, and overloading the roof damages the decking. Overloading might occur if snow accumulates on the roof or someone installs multiple heavy items, such as solar panels, on the roof. The latter is especially possible if the roofing contractor did not design the roof to carry such installations.
All materials, including decking materials, are subject to wear and tear that deteriorates them with time. Deteriorating materials weaken, so your roof decking will suffer age-related damage after some years. The climate, material, and maintenance affect the onset and progress of age-related damage.
Lastly, disasters can damage and weaken even brand-new decking. For example, strong winds can lift part of the roof and tear the decking. A storm can crash a tree on the roof and tear the decking. Even a fire outbreak that reaches the roof can burn and damage the decking.
Lastly, you should be wary of pest infestation because animals can also damage roof decking. For example, termites love to burrow and feed on wood. Roofing manufacturers treat decking against pest infestation, but the treatments are not a hundred percent effective and wear off after some time. Thus, small animals might attack and weaken roof decking.
Hopefully, you have a strong and well-maintained roof that won't suffer decking damage any time soon. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances, such as disasters, can damage even the best decking.
If you suspect any damage to your roof, contact a company like Clear Roofing and Siding LLC.