Particle board has plenty of applications, making it a go-to option for professional builders and DIY’ers. You might have heard that some people even use this manufactured wood for roofs. Is this a DIY hack or a blatant myth?
It’s probably not a good idea to use particle board as the top layer because it isn’t moisture resistant. But it can certainly function well as cost-effective sound and temperature insulation in other areas of your roof.
This article will be an overview of how particle board can be useful when fixing up your home’s existing roof or giving it a new one, in comparison to other options like plywood.
What Is Particle Board?
Particle board is not actual wood chopped right off trees but manufactured wood product instead. Wood fragments, wood shavings, and sawdust are the main components of this building material, while robust glue and other adhesives hold it all together and strengthen it.
This material is sold in 4×8 sheets and can easily be sawn into sections. Most homes have at least some particle board in their flooring, cabinets, countertops, furniture, or roofing.
Laminate and veneer are generally used to finish this type of board, although you will not need to do this if you use it for lower layers of roofing.
Is Particle Board Good for Roofing?
Roofers know that there are several common types of materials that they can choose from for different types of roofs. Cost-effectiveness is the number one reason to choose this roofing material over others.
Particle board is frequently used for roofing—just not for the top layer, as it doesn’t do well against moisture. Yet it makes fantastic insulation and supporting material for roofs.
Note that in order to use it as roof sheathing, the board must be marked as ASTM type 2-M-W, which means that it complies with standard scales. If it lacks this marking, it is not approved to be used for roofing.
When in doubt about whether the board you have or are thinking of purchasing will work for this purpose, it is best to consult a professional.
Benefits of Using Particle Board
Various benefits come from using this type of board for roofing, including sound absorption, insulation, and keeping your spending within budget since it is considerably cheap.
A lot of people might not often think about insulating their roofs against sound pollution. But if you live in an especially boisterous area, this can be helpful. Particle board effectively absorbs sound, so using it for roofing ensures that less annoying and unwanted noise makes it into your home.
Heating and cooling costs are constantly going up and can seriously hurt your wallet. If you are used to high power bills, you know that bringing them down is imperative.
Fortunately, particle board’s insulation properties help keep your home cool during summer and warm during winter with less electricity.
Particle board is known to builders not just as a reliable material to work with but also as a cost-effective one. A 4×8 sheet of this manufactured wood will cost you from $30 to $40, making it a lot more affordable than other options.
Issues with Using Particle Board for Roofing
Particle board can seem like a miracle solution for roofing, especially considering its low price compared to other options. However, there are some downsides you need to consider before using this material for your roof.
Moisture damage and installation problems are two of the main concerns when utilizing this manufactured wood for roofing. Further, Using nails on particle boards can damage it, affecting the integrity of the entire roof and making installation and replacement quite a hassle.
If you are doing this for the first time, you will want to be especially careful to avoid a potentially serious roof accident or leave it up to a roofing contractor.
Additionally, if you were to leave a sheet of particle board out in the rain, it would eventually disintegrate. This material soaks up water like a sponge and ends up breaking apart as a result. With that in mind, you might want to think twice about using it as the top layer of your roof.
Even if you are not worried about moisture and water, installing this type of board can still be a pain. It has a smooth surface that makes it ideal for carpet flooring, countertops, and more. But when used for roofing, this material’s smoothness and makeup of wood chips can cause it to flake into pieces.
Particle Board vs. Plywood for Roofing
Considering the issues detailed above, you might wonder whether using plywood panels is a better idea.
Plywood is an excellent choice for steep roofs since these have a lesser load per square foot compared to flat roofs. This material is also known for its structural stability and is easier to work with than particle board. On top of that, using plywood means that there is no need to worry about moisture or water damaging it over time.
Because of the manufacturing process, it is much stronger and lasts longer than particle board. However, it is also far more expensive. A 4×8 plywood sheet can cost $70 to $100—about twice to thrice as expensive as the alternative.
You can use particle board for some parts of your roof, and it makes a lot of sense to try it out since it could save you loads of money. However, you should consider what type of weather resistance and strength you need before investing in this material for such an essential part of your home.