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Why is there a small gap between roof sheathing panels?
Saturday, November 5, 2022
The gap is necessary to allow for expansion of the plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board) panels when the humidity and/or temperature rises. A 1/8” space is recommended and it's clearly visible when you look up at your sheathing in the attic. The roof sheathing can buckle at the unsupported edges on hot/humid days if the panels are butted together without the gap. Wood is actually more sensitive to the moisture content changes caused by increased humidity than a temperature rise.
Small metal H-clips are used at the unsupported edges between trusses to both stiffen the panel edges and ensure the necessary gap is maintained. See our article Are H-clips required by the building code for roof sheathing? to learn more.
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