Beneath your roof's shingles is a layer of plywood, known as the decking. The decking does not need to be replaced each time you re-shingle. Replacement is only necessary if there is major damage. In some cases you may need to install all new decking along with the shingles, while in others you may only need a partial decking replacement. It's not possible to know the extent of any decking damage until the old shingles come off, but there are signs that indicate when decking replacement may be needed.
1. Attic Mold
Mold in the attic can mean consistent water leaks through the roof. These leaks may be too small to cause more obvious water damage, especially if the moisture is trapped in the degrading decking wood instead of flowing freely. If you notice mold, first rule out issues in the house such as trapped condensation from below. Next, schedule a roof inspection to see if it's time to install a new roof and decking.
2. Soft Spots
It's not advisable to walk on the roof unless you really need to, but if you do happen to be on the roof carefully check for soft spots. A roofer can also perform this check for you, and typically they can do it much more safely. A roof should feel solid underfoot thanks to the decking. If any areas feel soft or cushioned, that's a sign that the decking is rotting and new plywood needs to be installed.
3. Wavy Surface
You can typically spot a wavy or warped roof surface from the ground or the top of a ladder. The surface of the roof won't be smooth and flat, but instead it will look wavy or bowed. Mild waviness can sometimes just affect the shingles so only a partial roof replacement is needed, but only an inspection can verify this. Major bows and dips, on the other hand, almost always indicate that it's time to install new decking.
4. Frequent Leaks
An occasional leak doesn't necessarily mean the decking is failing, but you may need a minor repair or replacement shingles. A big leak, frequent leaks, or leaks that aren't repaired promptly can all lead to decaying decking. If you have been experiencing a lot of leaks, schedule a roof inspection. You likely need to install new shingles and you might need new decking, as well.
Contact a residential roof installation service to get a quote for a new roof.
Do you know how to tell if you have problems with your flashing, loose shingles, or damaged tar pitch? Well, I didn't either until I experienced some of those issues on my own. One day, I realized that my roof was leaking and that I needed to find a solution fast. After contacting a professional roofing company, they were able to solve my troubles and teach me the signs of trouble. I want you to avoid the same types of hassles, which is why my blog is filled to the brim with information about roofing and home ownership. You never know, these tips could really come in handy!