Q&A – Plywood Over Planks Before Shingles?

Q and A Plywood
January 22, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

A Maryland homeowner wondered whether or not plywood should have been added over the holes in their attic before the shingles were installed and turned to the experts for advice. 

This Maryland homeowner had some concerns about their recent roof replacement. Monica asked: 

I just had a roof install by a well-known popular company. My house is old and my roof doesn't have plywood, it has planks. In my attic I noticed a few planks looked wet and the wood was falling apart. The representative from the company took a look at the wood and said the wood would probably need to be replaced. My old roof was asphalt and it was not nail down. When they took off the old roof the wet wood broke off and it made holes. The company didn't cover the holes with wood. They just covered the holes waterproofing material and it looks like something black that looks like the back of a shingle. A lot of the shingle are sticking up like they are not nailed down. Was this company supposed to put plywood over my planks before they add the shingles also. 

Our resident expert roofer, John Stout with Go Roof Tune Up™, had this to say in response:    

You are on the right track. A roofer's reputation is highly valued. We all work hard to establish and maintain a good reputation. We do not know exactly what the condition of your roof is. We assume it is asphalt shingles. You mentioned that your old roof was asphalt and was not nailed down. It can be assumed that it was not “properly” nailed down. With the new shingle roof installed it is now properly nailed. The common sheathing material prior to the 1970’s was 1X6. Now it is rarely used for sheathing for various reasons. However, it is adequate and not necessary to replace. Often times when a shingle roof is removed, some damage will be discovered; it is necessary to replace if substantial. Small holes can be repaired with sheet metal or asphalt impregnated rigid insulation. Your description points to the holes being covered with insulation and then roofed over with shingles. That would explain the shingles sticking up. If the shingles are unsightly, it may be that the shingle could be removed. Then you can replace the patch with metal and shingle over it. This should solve any aesthetics issue and would not affect the warranty. 

To comment on your final thought, no it is not necessary to re-sheath the roof to install new shingles. We thank you so much for contacting AskARoofer. We are convinced that the majority of roofers in the area are reputable and will bend over backwards to have a satisfied customer. That is how they get their next job. 

We thank you sincerely. Your friends at AskARoofer. 

Continue the conversation in our Forum!  

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About Go Roof Tune Up  

Comprised of certified roofing professionals and expert craftsmen with a senior management team of a combined 140 years of roofing experience, Go Roof Tune Up™ is the premier provider of roofing services including repair, maintenance and replacement. Go Roof Tune Up™ inspects your entire roof system, and provides a written report with photos on every property we evaluate. We currently offer services in a number of States and the list is growing regularly. We work with homeowners, real estate professionals, property managers and home investors.

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