• Copeland Roofing

What’s That For? Dayton Roofing Questions Answered! Sheathing and Decking Edition


Your roofing estimate might have some terms that you’re not sure what they mean. It’s important for you to be aware of what is planned for your roof installation, so let us explain some often misunderstood terms! Today we’ll describe the difference between sheathing and decking.


Both sheathing and decking are types of wood that roofing shingles are attached to during installation. They provide a secure foundation for the shingles, as long as the wood is intact. It’s difficult to know prior to removing the shingles which type of wood is underneath and how much might need to be replaced during the roof installation. Typically on our estimates, the sheathing or decking is listed at an additional cost if some of it needs to be replaced.


Sheathing comes in a sheet of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) that covers a 4-foot by 8-foot area. This is a common roofing foundational material. Current requirements specify the sheathing to be 7/16” in thickness. When sheathing boards become soft or warped, it will be necessary to replace the entire board so the shingles can be securely fastened to the roof.


Decking is sometimes found on earlier-built homes and is constructed out of wooden planks. Decking is measured in linear feet. When decking planks break or deteriorate, they will be replaced with new wood planks for a solid, stable base layer that the shingles can be nailed to. Maintaining the existing type of wood boards is the goal, but if too much of the decking is damaged, the entire roof would be re-sheathed.


Understanding terms on your roof estimate can assist you in making an informed decision. If you have any questions about something on one of our proposals, please feel free to give us a call!