Checking Sheathing During Roofing Repair Inspections

With each roof replacement, it is important to not only look at the areas exposed to the elements but what lies beneath to check for signs of damage. Roof leaks and damaged flashing are notorious for causing underlying wood to swell or rot, so the deterioration of sheathing may need roofing repair.

What Is Roof Sheathing?

A home´s sheathing supports the load-bearing and weight distribution of additional roof materials. The use of plywood and wood paneling connects to the trusses and joints, which are then used to support and stabilize the framing and layering of other structural components of the roofing system.

Can You Repair Roof Sheathing?

If the sheathing material is durable and safe there is no need to repair it. If swelling, wood rot, or staining is present, any affected sheathing will need to be repaired to ensure its structural safety.

Stabilizing Sheathing Before Exterior Roofing Repair

When it comes to roofing repair, the hidden structural components can be as broken as the roofing materials that are continuously exposed to inclement wind, rain, and snow.  The sheathing provides strength and stability, so if the wood is weak, it exposes the entire roofing structure to likely failure.

During inspections, it is critical to find hidden issues like wood rot to ensure roofing repair or replacements are successful. This will provide long-term investment value. Otherwise, not replacing a piece of wood could cause future roofing repair costs that could have been prevented previously.

From three decades of roofing experience, we know that older homes were framed to support a limited amount of weight. So, when serious sheathing issues are present, we highly advise our customers to tear off the old layering and rebuild it with a waterproof membrane to protect it.

Newer-built homes often only experience minor sheathing problems, so some roofing companies believe that simply reroofing over existing components is the way to go. This does save a few dollars, but the added weight of the new roof over an existing one adds undue stress on the frame.

A roofing repair or replacement is much simpler to achieve after minor support beam modification because it ensures the additional weight adjusts evenly. If there are problems with plank sheathing, it can present a more complex problem when nail lining does not align with the path of the boards.

Roofers can also assess the state of planking via the attic during an inspection to look for damage, leaks, mildew, or mold.  When we find that there are serious irreparable sheathing problems, the most viable option to secure the additional roofing weight is to perform a full roof resheathing.

The attic also allows our inspectors to check for condensation levels that affect the ventilation system and rafter corrosion. If moisture is present, it is an indicator that the underlying shell has some type of water damage. Inspectors also inspect from the rooftop for signs of substantial decline.

To make an appointment for sheathing or roof inspection, call our office today at (978) 977-3816 or send us a message on Facebook by visiting