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Syracuse Roofing: Article About Replacing Roof Decking

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When Syracuse roofing professionals tear off shingles as part of the overall job of replacing a roof, it's common for them to find areas of the roof deck that need to be cut out and replaced entirely. Usually, this is just a few feet of wood planking or plywood that has been damaged by water over time, and the only tools needed for the removal and replacement work are a circular saw, claw hammer, pry bar and a tape measure and pencil.

Sometimes roofers will know that there is damage to the roof decking before they begin to tear off the old roof due to the presence of fungus. Fungus needs a lot of moisture to survive, so its presence on a roof often indicates that the shingles are not shedding water as they should. Roofers will carefully check the areas of a roof where fungus is found to see if they are sagging, weak or spongy; if so, it usually means that the decking beneath is saturated and needs to be cut out and replaced. The fungus does not hurt the shingles themselves; it is just a sign that the shingles are retaining moisture.

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An additional reason that a section of the decking must be cut out and replaced is when it overlaps another part of the deck. In these cases, the decking on top must be cut out and replaced after the work below is completed, although there is nothing wrong with it.

Whether it's because of water damage or just to get to another area of the roof, the process of cutting out and replacing part of the roof deck is the same. Essentially, the damaged wood needs to be cut out from between the trusses and replaced; sometimes, undamaged wood has to come out as part of the job. The replacement wood or plywood must always be the same thickness, and ideally the same type, as the original.

The first step is to use a circular saw to cut out the damaged wood; it's crucial that only the plywood and planking be cut and not the trusses themselves. A pry bar is then used to remove the old wood and any nails that are holding it down. A claw hammer is used to help break free any split or attached wood.

When enough wood has been taken out to make room for a patch, new wood or plywood is nailed down to the exposed trusses. The idea is to make the patch as close to the original in thickness and appearance as possible.

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