What Are the Different Types of Roof Decking?

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When planning a roofing project, one of the big decisions you’ll face is choosing the right type of roof decking. Roof decking, also known as roof sheathing, is the layer of material between the roof structure (trusses and joists) and the roofing materials (shingles, metal panels, etc.). It provides a solid base for the roofing materials and helps ensure the structural integrity of your home or building.

Types of Roof Decking

Here’s a breakdown of the most common types of roof decking we’ll be discussing in today’s blog and their best uses.

  • Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
  • Plywood Roof Decking
  • Metal Roof Decking
  • Concrete Slab

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Commonly Used On: Shingled Roofs, Pitched Roofs

OSB is a popular choice due to its cost-effectiveness and versatility. Made from compressed wood strands and adhesives, OSB is strong and durable. It’s commonly used in residential projects, particularly for shingled and pitched roofs.

OSB panels provide a smooth and even surface, which makes it easier to install roofing materials like asphalt shingles. However, OSB can be susceptible to moisture damage, so you’ll need proper ventilation and waterproofing to prevent roof leaks.

Plywood Roof Decking

Commonly Used On: Shingled Roofs, Pitched Roofs, Flat Roofs

Plywood consists of thin layers of wood veneer glued together, creating a strong and stable panel. Plywood is suitable for various roofing types, including shingled, pitched, and flat roofs. It’s resilient and able to hold nails and fasteners securely. Compared to OSB, plywood is less prone to swelling and warping, making it a reliable option for areas with high humidity or frequent rainfall.

Metal Roof Decking

Commonly Used On: Commercial Buildings, Flat Roofs, Industrial Applications

You’ll typically find metal decking in commercial and industrial settings. Made from steel or aluminum, metal decking is exceptionally strong and durable.

It’s ideal for flat roofs and can support heavy loads, making it a preferred choice for commercial buildings. Metal decking is also resistant to fire, pests, and rot, which enhances the longevity of the roofing system. However, it requires a skilled installation to ensure proper waterproofing and insulation.

Concrete Slab

Commonly Used On: Commercial Buildings, Flat Roofs, High-Rise Structures

Concrete slab roof decking is often found in commercial and high-rise buildings. This type of decking provides unparalleled strength and durability, capable of supporting significant weight and resisting various environmental factors.

Concrete slabs are perfect for flat roofs, and you can combine them with other roofing materials for added protection. Despite its robustness, concrete slab decking is heavier and more expensive to install compared to other materials. Professional expertise is crucial to ensure proper installation and structural support.

Laying the Foundation for a Solid Roof

Choosing the right roof decking material is essential for the longevity and performance of your roofing system. Each type of decking has its advantages and specific applications, whether you’re working on a residential or commercial project. To make the best decision, consider factors such as your roof type, budget, and environmental conditions.

For expert advice and high-quality installation, reach out to a professional roofing contractor like NE Seamless. With their extensive knowledge, skill, and craftsmanship, they can help you select and install the ideal roof decking for your project. Contact NE Seamless today to discuss your roofing needs.