What is Sheathing & Why is it Important?

Every home contains sheathing whether your home is brand new or 50 years old. So what is sheathing?

Sheathing is the protective covering or casing used on flooring, walls and roof assemblies on both residential and commercial buildings.

Why is sheathing essential you may ask?

Sheathing is the base on which material will be applied onto such as flooring, roofing shingles, and siding. Each function relatively the same but let’s go ahead and break it down roof and siding sheathing together.

Exterior wall sheathing not only is where the siding will be applied onto but also help prevent wind and water from entering into your home. Sheathing can also be either non- structural or structural.

Non-structural sheathing is applied onto the exterior wall framing, where bracing has also been installed. The purpose of this type of sheathing is to add an insulating factor to create a barrier against the outside temperatures. Typically the type of sheathing used for this purpose is made out of plastic, foam, or cellulose fiber.





Structural sheathing is what we most commonly see when driving past a construction site. It is attached to the exterior wall framing, which braces the wall against both positive and negative forces. The most common material used for structural sheathing is plywood, OSB board or waferboard. Each of these materials come in a variety of thickness and added performance characteristics. The use of wood sheathing also helps in preventing wall racking on the wooden frame structures and commonly used in residential construction.



Roof sheathing is also typical during commercial and residential construction. This type of sheathing provides lateral bracing on the roof framing. The purpose is to carry both live and dead loads from above the structure below. The material used is similar to the ones used above for structural sheathing.

For more information on the type of materials, Hatch Homes uses when replacing your existing siding or roof, call us today!


More than just a contractor.

Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.

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