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What Size Sheathing For Roof

Is Sheathing The Same As Plywood

WATCH THIS BEFORE Sheeting Your Roof With OSB!!! (avoid this costly nailing spacing mistake)

It is a very valid question in all respects, but roof sheathing cannot be the same as plywood.

They are different because roof sheathing is the word used to refer to the process of protecting the roof, while plywood is one among many of the materials installed to provide roof sheathing or protection to the top.

The former is the process, and the latter is a product. Many people confuse them mainly because plywood roof sheathing was a popular product that everyone was applying on their roofs.

In its way, the plywood material became a big part of the roof sheathing therefore, many understood it as the same.

But now, other materials are emerging to be more popular than plywood, e.g., OSB, concrete, and steel.

What Size Osb Should Be Used For Roofing

Typical types of wood used for roof sheathing are oriented strand board, known as OSB, and plywood, the most popular being OSB. Sheets of 7/16-inch thick, with no edge support, can be used in an area where the snow load is 30 pounds per square foot. With edge support and the same snow load, 3/8-inch OSB can be used.

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Mastering Roof Inspections: Asphalt Composition Shingles Part 38

The purpose of the series Mastering Roof Inspections is to teach home inspectors, as well as insurance and roofing professionals, how to recognize proper and improper conditions while inspecting steep-slope, residential roofs. This series covers roof framing, roofing materials, the attic, and the conditions that affect the roofing materials and components, including wind and hail.SUBSTRATES

Substrate is a generic term that refers to an underlying supporting material. In addition to roofs, a substrate can refer to walls, floors, and even soil. When discussing roofs, the substrate can be the wood roof sheathing or, if new shingles are being applied over old, the old shingles could be considered part of the substrate.

Sheathing is a more specific term used to describe boards or panels that form the roof deck. Since sheathing also describes rough wall and floor coverings, well use the full terms roof sheathing and roof deck.

In older homes, the roof sheathing is usually wood boards. Over the years, plywood replaced boards, and oriented strand board, or OSB, has gradually replaced plywood.

Wood Board

Typically, older homes were originally roofed with wood shakes or shingles.

To encourage drying, they were laid over wood-board roof sheathing, with spaces left between the boards to improve air flow. When the original wood shakes or shingles failed, they were typically replaced with asphalt shingles, which require solid sheathing.

Plywood and OSB

Sheathing Thickness

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What Kind Of Nails Do You Use For Sheathing


Using proper nails to attach sheathing will help your roof withstand strong winds. Traditional sheathing material typically comprises 15/32-inch plywood or oriented-strand-board panels. Builders generally use 8d common nails, which are approximately 2 ½ inches long and 131/1000 inch wide in diameter.

One may also ask, should roofing nails go through the sheathing? A 1nail will fully penetrate through 3/8roof sheathing, but it wont fully penetrate 1/2sheathing. The other way to determine if the proper nails were used is to look in the attic if the roof has 1/2sheathing, you should be able to see the nails sticking through in to the attic.

Considering this, what kind of nails do you use for plywood?

Framing nails are used for plywood assembly both interior or exterior. They are referred to as sinker nails, common nails and box nails. Sinker nails have a waffled head, which makes driving them easier, and a coating over the shank to keep them solidly in place once driven.

Can I use screws for roof sheathing?

Screws can be used for even greater withdrawal strength, but should be sized by the building designer. Staples are not recommended for roof sheathing attachment in high-wind areas.

/2 Or 5/8 Inch Roof Sheathing

Roof Plywood Size

The most common thicknesses for roof sheathing are ½ inch or inch. Some older houses may have -inch roof sheathing, but this has been banned in many areas due to its fragility and your roofing contractor may have to replace it if you have it.

5/8 inch roof sheathing is sturdier than ½ inch roof sheathing because of its extra thickness. On many roofs, it creates a smoother finish because it masks any dips between trusses and joists. However, it is also more expensive and is more time-consuming to install.

1/2 inch roof sheathing is almost as sturdy as -inch sheathing for a fraction of the cost. It is capable of withstanding most weather conditions.

Whether you choose ½ or inch will depend on your circumstances. You should think about your budget as well as the wear and tear your roof will experience.

If you live in a place with mild weather, you can use ½-inch roof sheathing. If your area is prone to hurricanes, large snowfalls, or other extreme weather, go with the thicker 5/8 option.

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What Is Better For Roofing Osb Or Plywood

Plywood Holds the Moisture Advantage Over OSB When plywood gets wet, it tends to swell. OSB takes longer than plywood to get saturated, but also takes much longer to dry out. When used as roof sheathing, this tendency to hold moisture means it will degrade faster than plywood when exposed to chronic leaks.

Whats The Difference Between Sheathing And Decking

Before we dig deeper into this posts main topic, we should first discuss the difference between roof sheathing and decking. The shortest possible answer on the difference between the two? There isnt any. Even though contractors call it differently, sheathing and decking are the same.

As we mentioned above, its an integral part of the roofing structure. Depending on the structures needs, sheathing can be open, closed, or with gaps between the boards.

In todays roofing industry, sheathing or decking is now widely used as an essential component of a stable and sturdy roof. It provides a solid, continuous layer that sits right underneath the top layer of your roof.

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How Much Does It Cost To Install Roof Decking

The price of roof decking can vary significantly based on many factors. The thicker the sheet is, the more expensive it is. Again, considering that one sheet covers 32 square feet, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 upwards to $100 per single sheet of plywood.

For an average-sized home with a roof of 2000 square feet, this overall estimate ranges between $3600 and $6000. Also, its essential to keep in mind that the cost of the installation itself will also vary depending on your location.

With all of this in mind, plywood is the more expensive choice than OSB. If youre working on a tight budget, you can also use regular wooden boards. They are a viable decking option but are more susceptible to leaking and water damage.

How Thick Should Plywood Decking Be

How to Install Roof Sheathing // Roof Framing Part 8

The thickness of your plywood decking depends on many factors. The most notable aspects to pay attention to are your roofs slope, the weight of other material thats going over the decking, and the rafters spacing in your roofing structure.

Also, depending on your location, you should factor in the amount of pressure exerted by snow and ice weight. For warmer areas like Florida, this isnt such an essential factor.

With all of these considerations in mind, we can say that the heavier the shingling, the wider the rafter spacing, and the lower the slope, the thicker and more robust the plywood decking should be. To better understand this, lets look at it through a practical example.

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Is Roof Sheathing Necessary

Roof sheathing makes your roof strong, and that makes it necessary for almost any home construction. A building can only be complete when it has a roof over it, but a roof is not quality if it is not strong.

The roofs structure is comprised of rafters and trusses of different sizes, e.g., 3×2, 4×2, and 6×2 wooden frames that are spaced on intervals of between 16 and 24 apart in both length and breadth.

Most roofing materials come in the form of asphalt shingles or tiles, and because they are smaller in size and are laid nearby, the tiles wont have the base to apply on if the roof does not have a sheathing.

But as much as homeowners only think of a roof sheath as the surface for holding shingles and laying out tiles on the roof, a roof sheathing has several benefits as an added advantage:

What Do Roofing Nails Look Like

Galvanized roofing nails are steel nails that are zinc-coated. They hold up better against rust, and they can also be used for asphalt shingles. The length of the nail is the shank, and the shank can also vary. Screw shank nails are twisted and have sharp diamond tips, and they are used to securely fasten wood roofs .

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What Thickness Should Roof Sheathing Be

The typical thickness of roof sheathing is about 7/16-inch, which is just under 1/2-inch.

What is the best sheathing for a roof?

The two most popular roof sheathing materials are OSB and plywood. Both of these are more economical than radiant barrier roof sheathing and zip system roof sheathing. Because of their affordability, most homeowners opt for one or the other. However, there is some debate as to which material is the best.

Metal Roof Sheathing Thickness

Plywood and OSB Are Ideal Materials for Roof Sheathing ...

Roof decking that will have metal for its outer roof covering is no different than sheathing a roof that will have asphalt shingles. Of course, some shed owners, or homeowners, may opt to use battens in conjunction with their metal roof, but battens dont offer nearly the amount of protection that strand board or ply does.

Thus, for sheathing a roof with metal panels, youll want to stick to panels. Overall metal roofs use less nails than asphalt shingle roofs, so you have fewer fasteners holding everything together. Therefore youll want to ensure you have the most solid substrate possible for that metal roof to screw into.

If you are considering battens in place of a solid substrate, just know that strand board or ply acts as a noise barrier as well as a secondary moisture and temperature barrier. You lose all of that if you opt for battens.

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Roofing Plywood Cost Per Sheet

The average cost of roofing plywood per sheet is between $70 and $100. The standard size of each sheet is 4ft x 8ft.

The price of plywood depends on the thickness of the sheet, which makes sense. When you pay for thicker plywood, you are paying for more material that promises to be more durable than thin plywood, so you will probably pay more per sheet.

Contact Licensed Professionals For Installation Assistance

Installing roof decking is not an overly-complicated task. Still, its one that should be done right if you want to ensure your roofs maximum longevity.

You should nail very carefully and make sure you always stagger the vertical seams. You also need to be careful not to overload the top at the points where the decking is weakest.

If all of this sounds overwhelming or too risky to do on your own, its always best to reach out to licensed and experienced professionals to give you a helping hand. Code Engineered Systems has been a trusted residential and commercial roofing contractor since 2004. Our roofing expertise is the best in the region.

If you need help installing roof decking or choosing the most suitable roof sheathing thickness for your roof, reach out to us today. Call 813-373-9088 to get a free roof estimate for your project. You can also fill out our quick online form, and well get back to you without delay.

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How To Calculate How Much Roof Decking You Need

Aside from determining how thick your roof sheathing should be, you also want to calculate how much material you need upfront. The average-sized plywood sheet of four-by-eight feet is 32 square feet. When you know your roofs total square footage, simply divide it by 32, and youll get the needed amount.

Also, make sure to calculate a 10 to 15 percent waste to ensure you dont run out of material mid-installation. This will give you a pretty precise figure on how many square feet, and therefore the number of sheets, you need to buy.

Types Of Plywood Used For Roofing

Plywood replacing , how to replace plywood sheathing.

There are multiple types of plywood available in the market like shuttering plywood, general plywood or structural plywood.

Shuttering plywood is used to hold concrete, while general plywood is used for non-structural roles. Like its name, structural plywood is used for structural purposes.

Structural plywood is put through tests to prove structural integrity and meets building regulations, while general plywood doesnt go through the same process.

CDX is the grade of plywood most commonly used for roofing .

The wood is graded on each side from A to D, depending on the level of imperfections, .

One side of the plywood could be A grade with the other side a D grade. This works if the lower graded side is used on the inside of the roof, while the high grade faces the outside.

The C in CDX represents the grade given to the front of the plywood, the D represents the grade given to the back of the plywood and the X represents the type of glue used to bond the layers together.

There is one more type of plywood that has been known to be used in roofing, which is Fire-Retardant Plywood or FRT Plywood. This kind of plywood can be life-saving in the time of a crisis and is sometimes required in certain areas.

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What Size Roofing Nails Do I Need

What size roofing nails to use?

Composition ShinglesComp Shingles Sheathing Thickness 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/43-Tab comp shingles 1 1 1 1Dimensional comp shingles 1 1-1/4 1-1/4 1-1/43-Tab comp shingles over 3 Tab comp shingles 1-1/4 1-1/4 1-1/4 1-1/2Dimensional comp shingles over 3 Tab 1-1/4 1-1/2 1-1/2 1-1/2

*More than 1 layer of roofing not recommended over 3/8 Sheathing

Wood ShakesWood Shakes Nail Type Minimum Length18 Straight Split 5d Box 1-3/418 and 24 Handsplit and Resawn 6d Box 224 Tapersplit 5d Box 1-3/418 and 24 Tapersawn 6d Box 2

Wood Shingles Wood Shingles Nail Type Minimum Length18 Straight Split 3d Box 1-1/418 and 24 Handsplit and Resawn 4d Box 1-1/2

DisclaimerThe above nail sizes are recommendations only. Consult your local building department for specific nailing applications.

Can I Use Screws For Roof Sheathing

Screws can be used for even greater withdrawal strength, but should be sized by the building designer. Staples are not recommended for roof sheathing attachment in high-wind areas. Oriented strand board is one of the most popular materials for roof sheathing.

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Weight Of The Covering Material

The amount of weight on the roof is greatly affected by the number of shingle layers installed. Some building codes will only allow not more than two layers of shingles as a third can put on too much weight, resulting in the roof collapsing. Typically the heavier the covering material, the greater the thickness of the plywood to be used.

What Is Roof Sheathing

Plywood Roof Sheathing Panels

Roof sheathing is the solid surface below your exterior material, whether its shingles, metal, or another type of covering. It is most often OSB a type of particle board or plywood. In the past, roof substrate was simply dimensional lumber but todays options are cheaper and easier to install.

The function of sheathing is to provide a smooth, flat, and solid surface for the roofing material to attach to with nails or screws. It also serves as a secondary barrier between your house and the roofing material in keeping water out and heat in, to some extent.

Sheathing is not meant to be a moisture barrier or vapor barrier primarily. You put underlayment on top of the roof deck to act as a moisture barrier, and your primary vapor barrier will bein your attic, not beneath your shingles or other outer layer.

The thickness of your roof sheathing is important. Thicker panels will result in a more solid roof deck and resist bowing between the rafters or trusses. Less bowing means a more secure surface for roofing material, improving the longevity of your roof.

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