Open Cathedral Ceiling Roof -- Need suggestions please

I just bought a 1963 ranch on a basement with an open vaulted ceiling. The roof decking is the actual ceiling inside the house. It is made of a press wood like material that is presently crumbling. It is also a low slope roof. I am looking for solutions. One roofer said he can go over the “press wood” stuff with plywood, but several of the press wood squares are damaged so it wouldn’t give a uniform look inside. Another said he can use OSB decking, but that would look awful inside. Another said he could use sanded plywood which may be a good solution, but today, he realized that the nails would come through the other side.

Anyway, I don’t know what to do at this time. Does anyone have any suggestions? As I said, the decking IS the ceiling. So, trying to come up with a solution. There is no insulation in the ceiling and no attic.

The best thing to do in that situation is to build a “cold roof”. Basically you build another roof on top of your ceiling. This allows for airflow, ventilation, and gives you a way to put down the new roof without the nails being visible. Your house should have been built that way from the start and I suspect the lack of ventilation you currently have is the cause of your ceiling “crumbling”. I did a google search for cold roofs but info was scarce surprisingly but this article should give you some idea of what I am talking about. Cathedral Ceilings & Un-Vented Roof Solutions: how to avoid condensation, leaks, attic mold, insulation mold, & structural damage to roof framing when roof venting is not possible

1 Like

To best serve your needs what you really need is a good General contractor, you have more than just roofing going on that needs to be addressed.
Unfortunately finding good general contractors can be challenging, in my experience General Contractors that have offices & presentation rooms tend to be the best.

Usually in my area when we come across exposed roof decking on the interior it is usually 2’" thick solid wood, it sounds like you have perlite or something similar.
We fix these with cold roofs as IslandRoofing suggested.

Don’t seek out the low bids on this, you need people that know what they are doing for real.

If the contractor doesn’t even know the product he’s looking at,
Than he surely does not have the experience to fix it.

The product is called Homasote.
Not all homasote is the same.
In your search, you will need to be very specific with the details before you pay online or make a drive.
The details are 2 feet wide, tongue and groove, approx 2 inches thick,
Painted white.
Tell them the detail that it is the roof-sheathing/ ceiling combo.

You will need to take up the board next to the damaged one to be able to engage the tongue and groove.

You will need to buy at least one additional sheet than you think you need.
Last time I bought it, it was 80 dollars per board.
Good luck!