Everything You Need to Know About Roof Decking: The Definitive Guide


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A roof deck is a type of decking that covers the top of a house’s roof. What many people don’t know, is that there are different types and styles of roof decks. This article will go over everything you need to know about roofs, including all the benefits and considerations for installing one in your home.

Definition of Roof Decking

What is roof decking and the different parts of a roof decking

Roof decking is the wooden boards that make up the outer layer of a roof. Like already mentioned in this article already, what many people don’t know, is that there are different types and styles of roof decks.

A variety of woods can be used to create roof decking boards: cedar, redwood, or cypress pine for instance. It’s important to find out what the most common type of wood in your area is so you will have no problem finding it when needed.

Roofs with poorer quality materials may need to make frequent trips across town just to get their supplies! One major consideration for installing a new roof decking system is cost-effectiveness over time due to future maintenance costs (for example if an entire house requires reroofing). Another thing worth considering before installation would be the homeowners’ preferences.

Related: Is It Safe to Put a Bedroom in the Basement? Pros and Cons

Why is it important for a home to have a roof deck?

A roof deck is an important addition to any home for numerous reasons. The most obvious benefit of a roof deck would be the extra living space and outdoor entertainment area that it provides. What many people often overlook though, are its other benefits such as increased privacy, better air quality, and ventilation inside the house (due to cooler temperatures), among others!

If you’re looking into installing a new roof decking system on your house in order to increase your living space or provide more space for entertaining guests outside.

This article will give you all the information you need so that you can make a decision with confidence (as well as some tips if needed)!

When should you consider installing a roof deck on your home?

Roof decking installation

As you can tell from the previous sections, roof decks are a great addition to any home. There are different types of roofs and each type has its own benefits as well as considerations for installing a roof decking system. If your house has poor air quality or ventilation then it may be best to wait until after gaining more living space inside before adding an outdoor living area like this one!

Another consideration would be if your home already includes another outdoor entertainment area (like a balcony). For example, if you live in a climate with cold winters but nice summers then it’s worth considering waiting on installing your new deck because they become unusable during the winter months.

How do I know if my roof deck needs replacing?

How do I know if my roof deck needs replacing?

If your roof deck needs replacing, then you may have noticed a few warning signs. One of these would be that the boards are starting to warp or buckle underneath due to moisture and weathering. Another sign is if tufts start showing up on the surface from leaks in between the planks (exposing them).

It’s also possible that there isn’t much longer left before having to replace it anyway! If you need help determining whether or not your current roof deck needs replaced then we recommend hiring an expert for a professional opinion. What many people don’t know, is that each type of material has its own set of different properties which complicate matters when deciding how long roofs last before replacement becomes necessary.

Also read: How Long Does it Take to Replace a Roof: Reasons and Cost

How much does it cost to install a roof deck?

Costs vary depending on the size of your roof, and what type of wood you are using for decking. What many people don’t know, is that cedar (for instance) costs more than redwood or pine because it has greater resistance to insects and rot!

In general, a new roof decking system will cost around $25-$40 per square foot. This includes installation as well as materials fees. What’s also important to note about this number, in particular, is how much extra living space you’ll be gaining from installing one! Imagine being able to watch sunsets while grilling dinner with friends all year round on an outdoor patio area – sounds nice right?

What Is The Difference Between Roof Decking Vs. Sheathing?

The difference is that the sheathing (or insulation) provides more protection against rain and snow. However, roof decking does provide some degree of resistance to water penetration in addition to reducing cooling costs inside your home!

What this means for you, is that sheathing can be a better option if your roof decking system is already in good shape and not leaking. What’s also worth considering when deciding between these two options is what kind of material the boards are made from – some types need more protection than others!

What are the Common Types of Roof Decking Material?

Common Types of Roof Decking Material

There are a few different types of roof decking materials on the market today, but we’ll focus on the most common ones. There are two main categories: composite and natural wood boards.

The first category (composite) includes recycled plastic and other man-made products which offer durability and less maintenance when compared to their counterparts – however, they are generally more expensive than traditional decks made from wood!

Natural woods include cedar or redwood as well as pine; while each type has its own set of benefits that make it better for certain climates or homes with specific needs such as prolonged exposure to wet conditions. What’s also worth noting about these three options, in particular, is how much longer they last before replacement becomes necessary!

Redwood lasts around 15-25 years, cedar up to 20-30 years, and pine closer to 12-15. What’s important when considering these numbers is the fact that a decking system doesn’t need to replace every time it starts getting old – sometimes nails can be reattached or caulked to help it last a few more years. What you should do is go over your deck with an expert to see what needs repaired and replaced in order to get the most use out of it!

Lastly, there are two other types of board options worth mentioning: composite plastic boards which typically come in grey or brown colors, as well as wooden boards which tend to be more expensive and can last as long as 50 years! What you should do is go over your deck with an expert to see what needs repaired and replaced in order to get the most use out of it!

Related: How to Vent a Bathroom with No Outside Access or Window

How thick should roof decking be?

How thick should a roofing deck be

The standard thickness for roof decking is around 0.625 inches – but this can vary depending on the wood type you use and how it’s installed! What many people don’t know, is that an unfinished or untreated board (for instance) will be thicker than a treated one because of its natural oils which make it more resistant to moisture and insects.

What’s also worth noting is how some of these boards can be installed over the roofing materials, rather than directly on top (especially for a newer or updated system)!

In general, there are three different types of installation methods:

  • Planking – this type needs to be nailed down individually and in rows with joist hangers
  • Boarding – similar to planking but fixed together using tongue and groove fittings; includes both solid boards as well as open lattice panels
  • Decking – individual planks that fit together like puzzle pieces without any kind of joint connection needed! What you should do if you’re uncertain about which one will work best for your home is head into your nearest lumber store and talk to an expert – they’ll be able to help you find the perfect decking option for your home!


This article has explored different roof decking options, and what they have to offer. What we’ve covered are three main things:

– What roof decking is and its various benefits

– What the different types of material used for these decks are and when you should consider them (i.e., composite plastic vs natural wood)

– What thickness your roof deck should be once installed!

If you have any more questions, please leave us a comment below.

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