Roof Sheathing Condition

One of the major factors in re-roofing work is the condition of the existing roof sheathing underneath the roof covering. If through the years the sheathing boards have remained basically dry throughout all the areas of your roof you may be able to save money.

Moisture damaged boards will probably need to be replaced. Sometimes you can inspect the condition of your sheathing from the attic. Check any discolored spots for moisture and verify the wood’s firmness. If the boards are easy to penetrate with a screw driver you probably have moisture damage. Soft and soggy boards will need to be replaced.

Loose Nails Could Be Sign of Moisture Damage

The most likely area of moisture damage is in the lower sections of the roof, especially along the eaves. These areas are harder to inspect from the attic space and you will need to inspect the areas from outside the house. If the wood sheathing, fascia or trim have moisture damage and are rotting, sometimes it is easy to see the evidence in the form of loose nails and easy to lift or moving of the materials being probed with the screwdriver.

Rotting sheathing boards mean extensive roof repair work before the re-roofing. New materials won’t last long if placed on top of rotten boards. If different areas of the roof have the soft spots, it is recommended to remove the old roofing material completely and replace the damaged boards with new ones. If the damage appears to be limited to the lower sections of the roof you will not need to remove the old roofing, just the sections on the eaves can be replaced.

Sagging or waves on your roof surface could be the result of aging. In most cases new roof sheathing can me nailed right over the old wavy boards. Ask your roofer or roofing contractor what the condition of your sheathing boards are during the initial inspection or consultation so you won’t be surprised by the additional costs as the job progresses.

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