Today’s pop quiz has only three questions, but you must get them all correct. Ready? 1 — Guess your age. 2 — What are your initials? 3 — What is a roof deck? Did we stump you? Your home’s roof deck is the system of wood framing members holding up your roof. It includes sheathing, rafters, and some smaller boards. It is absolutely integral to your roof’s health

Your Roof’s Foundation

Yes, we know; foundations are at the bottom of your house, but your roof needs a firm foundation, too. You can pay for the most expensive roofing materials available and have money wasted if your roof foundation — the roof deck — is weak. 

A roof deck consists of three major elements:

  1. Sheathing — Plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheet goods are carefully laid over rafters, with tiny spaces between them (for thermal expansion); sheathing is covered with underlayment and resilient rubber and ice shield.
  2. Rafters — These 2×6 pieces of lumber run on edge from eaves to ridge board to support the sheathing and roofing materials.
  3. Smaller supports — A large group of custom-cut pieces — purlins, collar ties, struts, scissor beams, underpurlins, strutting beams, and more — are used to deal with the various configurations of New England roofs such as dormers and hip roofs.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? It is! Even if your home was built using pre-built trusses, your roof deck is still an elaborate, interconnected system of parts, all of which must be structurally sound and free of rot, twist, cup, check, or bow to work well. 

Check it Out

To get a glimpse of your roof deck, climb into your attic with a flashlight. Shine it upwards. The wood members you see running from the pinched, lower ends of your roof all the way up to the highest point are your rafters. Topping them is sheathing. 

Look for any signs of discoloration: 

  • Damp spots
  • Black or green mold
  • Mildew tendrils

Look for signs of rot, nibbled boards from pests, or splits in the wood. Your professional roofer must address all of these issues before exterior roof repair — or complete roof replacement — can be performed. Contact Couto Construction today so your home in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, or Rhode Island can receive the finest treatment from the area’s finest contractor. We are ready to help you with all roofing, insulation, and exterior home services.