Wood Shake Roofs and Their Care

Roofs made from wood shakes feature a distinctively rustic look that will not be found amiss. They tend to have a more rugged appearance than asphalt shingles or terra cotta roofs and are the perfect addition to a home with a more country-like design.

Wood shakes are made from split logs. Split and re-sawn shakes feature a split face and a sawn back. Wood shingles differ from shakes in that they are sawn on both sides and are uniform in thickness and taper.

The most common material used in wood shakes is pine or cedar. Shakes made from cedar are usually treated with fire retardant to help prevent the risk of fire. Other treatments are also used to decrease the effects of rot, mold and decay. Shake roofs in humid climates may require additional treatment to combat the negative effects of high humidity. Yellow pine shakes require a certain type of treatment to protect them from invading insects. Ask a Middletown roofing expert for more information on what types of treatment may be required for your wood shake roof.

Wood shake roofs require regular maintenance to ensure long life.

Pressure washing with a high-powered pressure washer is recommended for removing moss and lichen that may take root on the wood of the roof. Care should be exercised when using a pressure washer to avoid damage to the roof itself. Wood shakes and wooden shingles can be used as siding on houses.

One of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing wood shakes is the durability of the product. Western red cedar is one of the most durable wood types available for roofing material and is the most common material used. If treated with the proper preservatives, a red cedar roof can last as long as an asphalt shingle roof at 25 to 30 years.

Wooden roofs don’t “decay” in the normal sense of the word, but they do eventually show signs of being exposed to the elements. Weathered shingles generally turn a dark gray, dark brown or silver color as the elements take their toll. The effects of weathering can be reduced by the application of pigmented finishes. If you are careful to use only the highest-quality wood for your shakes, you can extend the lifetime of your roof. Edge-grained hardwood or treated sapwood is the best material you can choose. Lower grades of shingling can be used as siding for your home if desired. Have a question regarding skylight installations or gutters? Ask a roofing professional from Fortified Roofing of Middletown NJ.

Term explained by roofing contractor Fortified Roofing, Middletown NJ:

Edge-grained hardwood

Edge-grained wood is the strongest side of the wood. This type of wood is used in making high-quality cutting boards. Edge-grained wood is usually the same side that the wood is measured from and can be stained to match the face grain of the wood.

Middletown roofing FAQ:

What is Western red cedar?

Western red cedar is also known as Pacific red cedar, giant cedar and, appropriately, shinglewood. It is one of the most commonly known trees in the Pacific Northwest and is often associated with Douglas fir and western hemlock. The tree can grow up to 230 feet in height and 13 feet in diameter. The scientific name for Western red cedar is thuja plicata.

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