When it comes to flat roofs, roof decking is an essential component. Not only does it provide a solid foundation for the roof’s membrane and insulation, but it also helps to distribute the roof’s weight evenly across the supporting structure. In this blog post, we’ll explore what roof decking is, the different types available, and the best materials to use for flat roof decking.
What is Decking on a Flat Roof?
Roof decking is the layer of material that is installed over the structural support of the roof. It serves as the base for the roofing material and provides a flat surface for the insulation and waterproofing layers. Properly installed decking helps to prevent damage to the roof from heavy loads, such as snow, ice, and foot traffic.
Types of Roof Decking
There are several types of decking materials available for flat roofs, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common options:
Plywood is a common choice for flat roof decking due to its strength and durability. It is made from thin layers of wood veneer that are glued together to create a strong and stable sheet. It has excellent structural stability and can withstand heavy loads, making it an ideal choice for flat roofs. In addition to its strength, plywood is also resistant to moisture, which is particularly important for areas with high humidity or precipitation. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the plywood can vary greatly depending on the grade and thickness used. It’s important to select the right type of plywood for the specific application to ensure its durability.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Decking:
OSB is another popular option for flat roof decking. It is an engineered wood product that is made from wood strands that are compressed and bonded together with resin. OSB is less expensive than plywood and is readily available, making it a cost-effective option for flat roof decking. However, it is not as durable as plywood and is more susceptible to moisture damage. This means that it may not be the best option for areas with high humidity or precipitation.
Cement Board Decking:
Cement board is a durable and moisture-resistant material that is made from a mixture of cement and reinforcing fibers. It is an ideal choice for areas that are prone to high humidity or precipitation as it is resistant to rot and decay. Cement board is also fire-resistant and provides excellent insulation, making it an energy-efficient choice for flat roof decking. However, it is heavier than other decking materials and may require additional structural support.
Lightweight Insulating Concrete (LWIC) Decking:
LWIC is a type of concrete decking that is reinforced with foam insulation. It is a lightweight and durable option that provides excellent thermal insulation and soundproofing. It is an ideal choice for areas that require high levels of insulation, such as cold climates. LWIC is also resistant to moisture and provides excellent fire resistance, making it a safe and durable choice for flat roof decking. However, it is more expensive than other decking materials and may require specialized equipment for installation.
Best Materials for Flat Roof Decking
When it comes to choosing the best material for flat roof decking, it’s important to consider factors such as durability, moisture resistance, and cost. Here are some of the best materials to use for flat roof decking:
- Plywood – Plywood is a popular choice for flat roof decking due to its strength and durability. It is also resistant to moisture, making it an ideal choice for areas with high humidity or precipitation.
- Cement Board – Cement board is a durable and moisture-resistant material that is an excellent choice when it comes to decking for flat roofs. It is resistant to rot and decay, making it a great option for areas that are prone to water damage.
- Lightweight Insulating Concrete (LWIC) – LWIC is a lightweight and durable option that provides excellent thermal insulation and soundproofing. It is an ideal choice for areas that require high levels of insulation, such as cold climates.
Contact Texas Select Construction for Your Roofing Needs
In conclusion, choosing the right material for flat roof decking is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. The type of decking material used will impact the overall performance and lifespan of the roof, so it’s important to choose a material that is durable, moisture-resistant, and cost-effective. If you’re in the Fort Worth area and need help with your flat roof decking, contact Texas Select Construction today at (817) 770-0744. Our team of flat roofing professionals is here to help with all your roofing needs.