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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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Here’s links to some of our other articles about roof sheathing:
• Why is my roof sheathing sagging between the trusses?
• What causes a lump or dip in the roof?
• What is the difference between plywood and OSB sheathing?
• Are H-clips required by the building code for roof sheathing?
• When did Florida start requiring re-nailing of roof deck sheathing for a roof replacement?
• What are the roof deck/sheathing panels that look like pressed spaghetti?
• When were staples banned for roof sheathing attachment in Florida?
• When did the Florida code start requiring roof sheathing nails to be ring-shank instead of smooth?
• What is the average life expectancy of roof sheathing?
• What are the different roof attachment discount categories for a wind mitigation inspection?
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