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When to Replace Plywood on Your Roof

When to Replace Plywood on Your Roof

You may have heard of roof decking but have no idea what it is or why it is as important as it is to your roof. However, if this roof decking starts getting wet, it can start to rot and impact the entirety of your roof.

According to Professional Choice Roofing in Lake Mary, Florida (https://www.prochoiceorlandoroofing.com/roofer-near/lake-mary/), you should replace the plywood on your roof as soon as possible if you see any kind of rot taking place. It can create even worse problems for your roof if you wait to replace it and even create mold and mildew after a while.

In this article, you will learn a little bit about what roof decking is and how to identify wood rot in your roof’s plywood so you know exactly when it is time to replace your roof decking and keep your roof in tip-top shape.

What is Roof Decking?

Roof decking is essentially the part of your roof that connects it to your house. It lays on top of the structural trusses and supports the weight of your roof’s shingles. In a way, it is the backbone of your entire roof.

Most roof decking is made up of plywood but some other materials like Oriented Strand Boards are sometimes used as well. Although, plywood is the better of the two in that it has good protection against any moisture and is more durable.

How to Tell If Your Plywood is Rotting

One of the easiest ways to tell is, if your roof is beginning to leak, there is probably some moisture in the roof decking. This leaking can lead to other signs of rotting roof decking too like ceiling spots, cracked paint, or wallpaper starting to peel.

If you see that your ceiling or roofline is sagging this is also a telltale sign your roof decking is not in good shape. Waterlogged plywood in the roof decking is a major concern and if you have a bowed ceiling, you have to get this looked at as soon as you can.

If you don’t see any signs, you should still check up on your roof decking twice a year. Once in the fall after all the heat and humidity goes away, and once in the spring once the winter frost and snow is gone. Also, if there are any major storms or hurricanes give it a look once they subside.

Can I Get By Just Repairing the Plywood That Has Rotted?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is a hard no. It is simply one of those things that will just continue to wear on your roof until everything is completely replaced and doing a patchwork job on your roof decking might make the problem even worse.

It is an expensive job to get done, so it’s important to keep an eye on any wood rot and not let this problem get out of hand before you have to fix the entire roof and have to sell your car to the local dealership (or just live out of your car because it at least has a roof).

When to Replace Plywood on Your Roof

You only need to replace your roof’s plywood if you start to see it rotting or if there has been any excessive water damage to the roof decking. Of course, if you think you might have caught on a little late try and fix it as soon as possible.

This is not a do or die mission you have to get done immediately however, there have been plenty of people who have toughed out a waterlogged roof decking and lived on without the roof caving in over them.

However, you don’t want to be in the room when a piece of your ceiling comes crashing down when the plywood can no longer hold up the shingles in that location. From there, it is only a matter of time before other parts of the roof come down with it.

The honest answer as to when you should replace rotted roof decking is, again, as soon as possible. Some people will need to save up a good bit and depending on how badly it is damaged, you could let it go for a few months without anything terrible happening.

Do not let it go forever though, just because this article said it was okay, doesn’t mean you can neglect it. It is a tough job to have to get done but it is one of those things that has to happen sooner rather than later.


Hopefully, this article has given you all the proper suggestions and warnings as to when to replace the plywood on your roof. Remember, it’s important to check it at least twice a year.

If you found any rot in the plywood, you can’t just repair it, it has to be replaced. However, this will ideally never have to happen and if you do end up replacing it, hopefully it stays stable for the rest of the time you’re in your home.