Roof Alphabet: D is for Decking

There are more parts to a roof than one typically thinks, and there is a purpose for every piece. When hiring roofing contractors in Omaha Nebraska for roof replacement or repair, one thing they will check after removing the shingles is the roof deck. This is the roof alphabet: D is for decking in Omaha. 


Roof decking (also known as sheathing) is a crucial part of a roof as it is what keeps a building safe from weather such as snow, rain, and wind. Decking is typically a layer of wood that provides a base for nailing coverings and allows for ice dam attachments as well. 


Two types of wood for roof decking are plywood and oriented strand board (OSB). However, another material is concrete, which is used more for commercial roofing in Omaha, NE instead of residential.  


Plywood and OSB 

Both plywood and OSB are two very common sheathing materials, although OSB ranks among the first choice for many roofing companies in Omaha and around the country. They are extremely similar to one another, minus a few differences in characteristics. 


For starters, the most significant difference between plywood and OSB is how they react to moisture. When plywood comes in contact with water, it swells up across the entire sheet, but quickly dries out and reshapes back to its regular dimensions. In short, water has little impact on plywood. Because of this and its density, it is also much less susceptible to water build up and wood rot. 


On the other hand, OSB is much less water resistant. When OSB gets wet, it also swells but takes much longer to dry and doesn’t return back to its normal shape and condition like plywood. Because of its tendency to obtain moisture, it is likely to degrade faster than plywood if the roof were to experience any leakage.   


For years, plywood was the sheath of choice among the your roofing companies in Omaha, until around the ’80s when OSB took over. If they are so similar, then why is OSB more commonly used? 


While both are incredibly durable and strong, OSB sells for much less than plywood. Roofing is not a cheap project, which is why OSB is a more preferred sheathing material. Not only is it inexpensive, it also can withstand more weight than plywood. However, something to revert back to is OSB’s susceptibility to storing moisture, which, if damaged, could lead to emergency roof repair in Omaha.  


If you find yourself needing emergency roof repair in Omaha, call the best roofer in Omaha – Shamrock Roofing and Construction.