Workers laying a roof seal on a house

Sealing Your Roof Deck

Updated June 1, 2018 . AmFam Team

While you can’t control the weather, you can control how you proactively protect your home from it. Let’s take a look at how sealing your roof deck can help prevent water intrusion in your home.

When wind and rain are in the forecast, you head inside to enjoy the safety and comfort of a roof over your head. But what happens when the roof stops protecting you and water starts seeping in? You’re faced with damage, stress and the hassle of repairs.

While you can’t control the weather, you can control how you proactively protect your home from it. Let’s take a look at how sealing your roof deck can help prevent water intrusion in your home.

What Is Water Intrusion?

For starters, it’s important to understand what water intrusion means and how it affects your home. Water intrusion is one of the main contributing factors of damage to your home. For instance, when unwanted water gets into your home, it can cause structural damage, rot, mold and microbial problems which can lead to sickness. Water intrusion can set off a substantial chain of effects that might result in thousands of dollars in property damage, so understanding how to prevent it is key to protecting your home, and ultimately, your wallet.

What Is a Sealed Roof Deck?

Strong winds can blow your roof cover straight off your home, leaving its interior vulnerable to water. Unsealed gaps between roof sheathing could cause large amounts of wind-driven rain to pour into your attic and potentially seep down into your home. This is why a sealed roof deck is so important. A sealed roof deck is a secondary water barrier that is meant to stay in place in case your primary roof cover blows off. This is a second layer of protection so that in the event of rain, you can reduce the amount of water that leaks into your home.

Benefits of a Sealed Roof Deck

Your roof is your first line of defense against severe weather, and sealing your roof deck will go a long way towards keeping wind and water out of your home — which results in savings for you.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home safety (IBS) Research Center conducted a test determining that a sealed roof deck resulted in one-third the amount of water damage from wind-driven rain compared to a home without a sealed roof deck. This test proves that being savvy about taking the right steps to safeguard your home may cost a little upfront, but save you a lot of money down the road.

How to Seal a Rooftop Deck

Your roof is made up of many parts, and each part is essential to creating a fortified unit that holds it together. One weak link can lead to significant damage, so paying attention to small details can make a big difference when it comes to defending against damage.

Sealing your roof deck is an inexpensive way to protect your home from potential expensive damage in the future. Sealing a roof is commonly done by using a special tape that seals the joints on your roof deck in order to keep rain out and avoid water damage from occurring in your home.

There’s a variety of types of tape you can use to seal your deck, from peel-and-stick membranes to polyurethane foam spray. The type you use depends on whether you’re working with a new roof, re-roofing an existing roof or sealing from the inside of your home.

If it’s a new roof or you’re re-roofing, you can choose between different types of tape to fortify the joints, or if you plan on sealing without re-roofing, you’ll apply a closed-cell polyuerthane spray foam to the underside of your roof’s sheathing.

Emergency Water Removal Program

Though it’s great to be proactive about protecting yourself from water damage in the first place, we have your back if you find yourself facing water damage after a storm. When you have homeowners insurance with American Family Insurance, you’ll benefit from our Emergency Water Removal Program (EWRP) at no cost. The EWRP is designed to help mitigate damage from water by helping clean up water damage in your home quickly.

Insurance Protection for Your Roof

If your roof faces damage due to wind and needs to be repaired or replaced, your homeowners insurance can help cover the cost, but how you’re protected will depend on the type of coverage you have. At American Family, if your roof is eligible based on its age and type (e.g. shingles, tiles, slate, wood shake, etc.), roof replacement cost coverage for windstorm and hail is an optional coverage that is added to your policy. This means that if your roof is damaged from wind, we’ll reimburse you for the full amount it would cost to repair or replace your roof.

You might only qualify for actual cash value coverage, which would cover the cost for what your roof is worth today, taking into consideration things such as its age, condition and type of roofing material.

In either case, before your insurance kicks in to help cover the cost, you’ll be required to pay a deductible. Learn more about homeowners insurance roof replacement.

Did your home get damage during a storm and now you need to file a claim? We’ve highlighted everything you need to know about filing a homeowners insurance claim so you can get things back to normal as quickly as possible. And if you have any questions about how your home insurance protects you from storm damage, an American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) is happy to clear up any confusion — connect with yours today.

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