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7 Risks of Installing a Roof Over Wet Plywood (& Expert Solutions)

Posted on : February 25, 2024

7 Risks of Installing a Roof Over Wet Plywood (& Expert Solutions)

When it comes to installing a new roof, one of the most critical factors to consider is the condition of the plywood underneath. Unfortunately, many homeowners and even some contractors overlook the dangers of installing a roof over wet plywood. 

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we’re here with an expert guide. In this blog post, we'll explore seven risks associated with this roofing mistake, solutions for this problem, and tips for a successful roof installation.

The Dangers of Installing a Roof Over Wet Plywood

Here is an explanation of how wet plywood can cause damage to your home:

#1 Structural Damage

Wet plywood might not seem like a big deal at first, but over time it can cause significant structural damage to your roof. As the plywood absorbs moisture, it becomes prone to warping and bending, compromising its ability to support the weight of the roof materials above. This can lead to sagging, uneven surfaces, and even structural failure in extreme cases.

#2 Rot, Mold, and Algae

Rot, Mold, and Algae

When moisture becomes trapped between the plywood and the roofing materials, it creates a breeding ground for algae, mold, mildew, and rot. This can also spread to other areas of your home, damaging the attic, walls, ceilings, and insulation. Mold can also cause serious health issues, such as respiratory trouble and allergies, especially for pets, kids, and the elderly. 

#3 Uncomfortable Indoor Atmosphere

When insulation becomes saturated with moisture, it loses its ability to insulate effectively. This allows unwanted heat and cold drafts to move in and out of the house. People inside may feel uncomfortable when the temperature and humidity levels rise and drop even after setting the HVAC units to the desired numbers.

#4 Increased Electricity Bills

Due to the excess transfer of heat and cold, your HVAC systems will be overloaded with work. This can reduce their lifespan and increase your electricity bills. Over the years, this unnecessary expense could amount to thousands of dollars.

#5 Safety Hazards

Installing a roof is already a dangerous job, and working on wet plywood is even riskier. It can become slick and slippery, increasing the likelihood of falls and injuries for the roofers. Even a little amount of moisture can create hazardous conditions, especially when working at heights.

#6 Ineffective Roofing

Installing a roof over wet plywood simply isn't effective. Roofing materials adhere better to dry surfaces, ensuring a more secure and long-lasting installation. Attempting to install a roof in wet conditions can result in poor quality workmanship and compromised performance.

#7 Unnecessary Expenses

All the above problems are expensive to solve– repairing damaged construction materials, removing mold and algae from the house, and fixing roof failures. You may not face these issues immediately, but they may start to show after a few months.

So, what should you do if the plywood decking gets wet? How do you proceed with your roof installation project? In the next section we will talk about solutions.

Solutions For Wet Plywood

It’s simple: You need to dry the plywood entirely before proceeding with the installation. Let’s learn about the ways you can do that:

Exposure To Air and Sunlight

One effective method is to expose the plywood to air and sunlight. This natural combination works wonders in drying out moisture. Just lay out the plywood in a well-ventilated area where it can absorb heat and dry air. 

Use a Dehumidifier

If time is of the essence or the weather isn't cooperating, your roofing contractor may use a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process. These professional tools work like magic in taking out excess moisture from the wood, helping it dry faster.

Plywood Replacement

Plywood Replacement

In some cases where the plywood has been wet for a long time or is rotting or damaged, replacement might be the only solution. Homeowners may find it unnecessary, but it's better to address the issue head-on rather than risk further problems and costly repairs in the future.

Rain Protection

Don't forget to keep an eye on the weather forecast. If there's even a hint of rain or drizzle during the installation process, cover that plywood up with a tarp. It might seem like a hassle, but your roofer should take care of it. It's a small price to pay to prevent severe moisture damage.

The best way to proceed with the installation is by consulting a reputed and responsible roofing contractor in your area. But before that, you should have background knowledge of basic roofing practices for a successful installation.

Best Practices For a Smooth Roof Installation

Along with avoiding a roof installation on wet plywood, there are more steps you should take. Here are some additional roofing tips from our experts:

Installing Roof Over Wet Plywood

Choose A Good Contractor

When it comes to your home, the contractor you choose can make all the difference. Look for someone reputable, experienced, and local. They'll have the knowledge and skills to get the job done right the first time, saving you headaches and costly mistakes.

Invest In Quality Materials

Don't skimp on materials. Investing in good quality roofing materials might cost a bit more upfront, but it'll pay off in the long run. Cheap materials are more prone to damage and deterioration, leading to costly repairs sooner rather than later.

Consider Extended Warranties

Explore extended warranties on your roofing materials. Sure, it might seem like an unnecessary expense at the time, but it can provide peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected against any unforeseen issues.

Communication with Your Insurance Company

Last but not least, don't forget to inform your home insurance company about the roof replacement or installation. They need to be in the loop to ensure you're adequately covered in case of any future damage or issues. It's a small action that can save you from a financial burden down the line.

If you want to replace your old roof and need professional advice or services, we’re here to be your roofing partner!

Experience The Best Roof Replacement Services In Pittsburgh, PA!

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we’ve been installing asphalt shingle and metal roofs in Pittsburgh for many years. Being a part of the local community, we do our best to provide 100% customer satisfaction with our honest, safe, and cost-effective approach. If you need a roof replacement service in Pittsburgh or a nearby town, you can trust our team for the best results within your budget! Call us at (412) 353-5660 and schedule a free consultation with our experts today.

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