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Roof Decking and Sheathing

OSB Roof Sheathing or Decking

House Roof with Sheathing in Place

Sheathing (or decking) is the layer of a roof that is used as the base for roof coverings to be nailed to. It's underneath both the shingle (or other roof coverings) and membrane layers, and it covers the rafters. The sheathing layer also acts as another layer of protection for the roof.

Sheathing usually consists of wood materials like plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). OSB is typically more environmentally friendly in that it is made from small fast growing trees, thus preserving forests.

You may also consider having radiant barrier sheathing. Radiant barrier sheathing has an aluminum side which faces down into the attic, and reflects the heat that comes from the roof. Since the heat is reflected, it will not emit into the attic. This will keep the house cooler, allowing to reduce the use of air conditioning.

It is important that only ’seasoned’ or dry wood be used for sheathing as otherwise the roof material may buckle or pull away as the wood drys.

See more parts of a roof described.

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