Do You Need To Replace A Roof With Rotted Decking?
Your home's roof consists of several layers. The number of layers is relatively consistent between homes and roofing systems, although you may see variations with certain roofing systems using extra moisture or ice barriers. Whatever the case, every residential roof includes a deck, which acts as the underlying platform or base for the rest of your roofing system.
Most roof decks use plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). OSB is the preferred option for modern homes, so the decking on your house will likely depend on its age. Whichever material is on your roof, the decking is not a moisture-resistant layer. When water seeps below the shingles and other upper roofing layers, it can reach your decking and cause substantial damage.
Why Is Wet Roof Decking a Problem?
Once water makes it below the shingles on your roof, it will begin to travel along the path of least resistance until it enters your home or drips off the roof. If the water sits against your roof decking, it will seep into the wood and cause damage. You've probably seen the results of standing water on hardwood floors, which isn't pretty. Your decking is even more vulnerable to moisture damage.
Rotting decking can be a problem for many issues. Wet wood is an excellent source of mold growth, and it may also allow water to leak into your home. Even worse, the decking will become soft and begin to rot away. The rotten wood will affect the overall structure of your roof, allowing shingles to fall and, if ignored for long enough, collapsing and creating holes in your roof.
Of course, water infiltration severity can vary significantly. A few damaged shingles might not let much water seep underneath, while extensive damage (such as from hail) can cause decking to rot across your roof. Walking on a roof with rotted decking can be dangerous, so you'll likely need a professional to help you determine the extent of the damage. You can also look for signs of rot from inside the attic.
Do You Need a New Roof?
The good news is that you don't necessarily need a new roof just because you have roof decking problems. Once a roofing contractor inspects your roof, they can tell you the extent of the overall damage. While there's no hard and fast rule, you can usually repair your roof if you only have damage in a few limited areas.
However, it's also important to locate and address the underlying source of the issue. You'll need your roofer to determine why water was reaching your roof decking in the first place. For example, you may have a section of loose flashing or even missing shingles. It's critical to fix these problems first to ensure your new section of roof decking doesn't suffer the same fate as your old one.
Reach out to a company like BC Roofing Siding & Windows to get help with your roof.