The next time you walk outside, take a moment to gaze up at your roof. What do you see? Do you see even shingles that are all laying flat? Or do you see shingles that are starting to curl and that are covered in moss? You can tell a lot about the condition of your roof just by looking at it. If you are at all concerned about the state of your roof, then your first call should be to a roofing contractor. They can evaluate the situation and recommend repairs or replacement as needed. Learn more about roofing and roofing contractors here on this website.
The roof decking, or sheathing, provides the main base for your entire roof. Decking is typically made of plywood that is then attached over the roof rafters and trusses to create the first layer of the roof. In homes with unfinished attics, the decking also creates the ceiling of this interior space. Damage to the decking not only compromises your roof, but it also increases the likelihood of interior water damage.
Punctures and Holes
Some of the most obvious signs of decking trouble are visible punctures and holes. Unfortunately, depending on how the damage forms, they may not be immediately noticeable from the outside of your home. Instead, you need to inspect the interior of your attic once in a while. Go into the attic on a sunny day and turn off any lights. Look for sunlight shining through. Even a small hole, such as from an improperly placed roofing nail, can lead to leaks and damage inside your home.
Decking panels should sit flat on the rafters, with no visible sagging or bowing between the rafters. You can inspect the decking from the inside visually or you can try to catch problems early by judging the level of the decking with a digital level. You may also be able to detect sagging from outside, as in some cases, bowed decking creates low spots on the roof that hold water after rainfall. Sagging decking panels may have begun to rot, which means they need to be replaced.
Mold and Mildew
Failed decking lets moisture into your attic, which typically means mold and mildew growth. You may be able to pick up the musty, stale odor of the mildew, or you may have to look for visual clues. Wet or damp insulation that has visible green or black growth on it is a sure sign of a decking leak issue. You may also notice mildew spots on the underside of the decking boards or even on the rafters. If caught early, the leak may be repairable. Otherwise, you will need to have the failed decking replaced.
Spongy or Crumbling Decking
Both water and dry rot have similar effects on decking wood. Water rot results in decking panels that feel spongy. For example, you will be able to easily push your fingernail or the tip of a screwdriver into the wood. Dry rot causes the wood to dry out, so the decking may develop cracks or start to crumble. Both types of rot require the replacement of the affected decking panels.
Contact a roofer in your area if you suspect that your decking is damaged.
To learn more, contact a roofing contractor.