Why do I need to seal my roof deck?

Image of water running off of a roof

When the weather gets bad, you head inside and expect your home to protect you from the storm. A roof is your home’s first defense against high winds and rain. What happens if your roof is not up to the job? You are faced with damage, stress and the hassle of repairs. What can you do to prevent a leaky roof?

Sealing your roof deck is a first line of defense against a leaky roof. The roof deck is the portion of the roof that the shingles or metal panels are attached to. No roof deck is continuous. Whether sheets of OSB or plywood or dimensional lumber, there are seams between each piece. These are the areas where water can intrude into your attic even if your roof deck is not damaged. A sealed roof deck helps to prevent water seeping through these joints and into the attic causing water damage to the interior of your home.

Demonstration of where the roof deck seams are on a typical roof deck. The blue lines show where roof deck tape (the most commonly used method) would be placed.

Sealed vs. unsealed

In severe weather, a roof can loose shingles (or other types of roof coverings) exposing the roof deck. An unsealed roof deck can allow up to 60% of rain to enter the attic.

A properly sealed roof deck can reduce that water entry by 95%. This means that after a storm there is less damage inside the house and fewer items will need to be replaced. Your life will get back to normal more quickly.

Sealed roof deck demonstration by IBHS
The importance of a sealed roof deck shown in damage cost numbers. To view a video of this demonstration, click here

Three other reasons to seal your roof deck

1. Sealing the typical roof deck is affordable.
2. The materials used to seal a roof deck are easily available.
3. It is a common practice along the coast and professionals in the field are familiar with the procedure.

Want to learn more? Visit IBHS’s Disaster Safety site: https://disastersafety.org/hurricane/keep-water-out/

For more information, contact us today: info@koinspectionscom.kinsta.cloud or 251-517-4558

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