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Verona Roofing: Article About The Importance Of Roof Sheathing

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When most homeowners think about the parts of their roof, they may quickly consider shingles or insulation. One important roof layer, hidden away inside the roof, is often overlooked: the roof sheathing. This critical roof layer is very important to the function and lifespan of a roof. A Verona roofing contractor can help a homeowner understand the critical importance of this part and ensure that it is kept in good working order along with the rest of the roof.

Roof sheathing is a layer of plywood or wood planks that is installed beneath the shingles and the rafters. The sheathing may be considered open or closed depending on whether there is space between the boards. Open sheathing is cheaper and lighter, but closed sheathing is generally more effective. This layer can also vary in thickness from as little as one inch to as much as five inches. Thickness is again a consideration between weight, cost and effectiveness. A contractor will also consider whether or not the roof is designed to handle the extra weight and will judge the thickness accordingly.

Protection against leakage and inundation is a key advantage of roof sheathing. Water commonly penetrates roof shingles, especially if they are older or damaged.

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This water then seeps into the roof layers toward vulnerable materials like insulation. Sheathing stops this penetration.

Sheathing also provides much needed support to roof materials and helps distribute roof loads more evenly. Distributing the roof load is especially important when AC units, solar panels and other equipment are mounted on the roof. This equipment concentrates weight on certain roof areas and can lead to failure in the rafters. This may result in roof collapse. The sheathing also protects the roof from unexpected increases in weight, such as that from a falling tree branch or a person walking on the roof.

A layer of roof sheathing can also be enhanced to provide protection from fire. It is common to treat sheathing materials with fire retardants so that if a roof fire does occur, the damage is limited and the burning is slowed. A fire-resistant layer may mean the difference between just needing a new top layer of roofing and needing a whole new house. Caution must be heeded, though, as some recent studies have shown that fire retardants can cause plywood to split or separate. In this case, it may be better to use either thicker plywood sheets that are more resistant to breakage or use whole wood planks instead. A contractor can help a homeowner make the right choice.

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