If you have a leaky roof, the problem may go beyond the need for a few new shingles. The deck under the roof may be rotting and need to be replaced as well. Here's how to tell if the deck of your roof is bad and how you can have it repaired.
How To Spot Bad Roof Decking
The shingles on your roof protect the deck from water damage. If you find missing shingles or shingles that have curled up or cracked, you should think about checking the deck. Water may have leaked through the shingles and kept the plywood damp and over time this leads to rotting. One way to tell if a deck is bad is if it has a spongy feel to it when you walk on the roof. Another way is to look for sunken areas on the roof where shingles are bad. Keep in mind water damage can occur in an area other than the original leak. Damaged shingles toward the top of your roof can allow water to run down and damage the deck lower down.
An easier way to tell if there is deck damage is to look in your attic at the underside of the roof. If you see water damage in the attic or see mold, then water is getting inside somehow. Shine a light on the roof to look for signs of rotting or damaged wood. It may take a trained eye to find areas of damaged decking, especially from the surface of the roof, so calling in a roofer is a good idea when you suspect you have roof damage and water leaks.
How To Repair A Rotted Deck
One thing you'll want to determine is if the roof needs an entirely new deck or if it is damaged in a localized area, such as might happen due to tree limbs scraping the roof or raccoon damage. If the damaged deck is confined to one area, then a roofer can usually repair it. The first step is to remove the shingles and felt that cover the rotted portion of decking. Then, the bad decking is cut out with a saw taking with it a border of good wood so no damp wood is left behind. Next, new plywood is placed over the hole and nailed into place. It's then sealed and covered with felt and new shingles. The repaired area will stop leaking and the new shingles will protect the new plywood.
When you find a roof leak or damaged shingles on your roof, you should call a roofer for repairs right away, especially if it is the rainy season. With each rain, the deck gets wetter and as a result, your attic could eventually sustain expensive water damage too. By making quick repairs, you can prevent problems with rotting wood and mold and at the same time keep your home dry and protected.