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Roof Decking Materials 

Roof specialist carrying a piece of plywood roof decking on roof in construction

New homeowners might not realize the complex structure behind a functional roof. Sure, a roof has exterior shingles – but it also has several other components that contribute to a strong foundation. One of those components is the roof decking, which helps protect your home from the elements. When a roofer installs or repairs a roof, they have three popular roof decking materials to choose from: plywood, oriented strand board, and concrete.

Roof Decking Materials

First things first: To understand the function of roof decking, you need to understand where roofers install this protective shield. All roofs are framed with either rafters or trusses, which run from the roof’s peak to its eaves. Roofers must cover rafters with roof decking before applying any finishing roof materials. The decking serves as a protective layer that shields the inside of your home from rain, wind, and other harmful elements.

Plywood Roof Decking

Plywood is a popular roof decking choice due to its dense structure and durability. This type of roof decking is made by interweaving sheets of wood, which reduces any warping of the decking over time. Plywood’s dense nature also prevents moisture from soaking into the wood, staving off any rotting or water damage. Overall, plywood is one of the most durable roof decking materials, with very little susceptibility to rot and moisture.

Oriented Strand Board Decking

Oriented strand board is another common roof decking material. Since the late 1970s, this material has soared in popularity. In fact, oriented strand board decking is now found in more than 60 percent of today’s homes. Oriented strand board is composed of intertwined wood strands that are then bonded with a waterproof resin. This combination provides excellent waterproofing at a slightly lower cost than plywood roof decking. However, the lower cost does come with a few compromises. Keep in mind that oriented strand board is more susceptible to moisture damage than plywood, which can lead to costly repairs for the homeowner. If you live in an area with high levels of annual precipitation, oriented strand board decking may not be the best choice for your home.

Concrete Decking

While plywood and oriented strand board decking are popular choices for residential projects, concrete decking can be a good option for larger commercial buildings. Concrete decking has become increasingly popular as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional decking options. This is due to concrete’s highly insular nature, which keeps buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you are considering concrete roof decking for your eco-friendly residential project, keep in mind that your home must be strong enough to handle the weight of concrete roof decking – which means double-checking the home’s foundation and framing. Ultimately, an experienced roofing professional can work with you to determine if concrete roof decking is right for your residential or commercial project.


Protecting your home goes far beyond the type of roof shingles you select. Work with a roofing professional to navigate the different types of roof decking that might work for your home.

If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help. Our experts can help you sort through commercial roof systems, maintain an older roof, perform emergency repairs, complete tear-offs and recovers, and perform remodeling services. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing materials, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

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