Homeowners Guide To Wood Roofing: 4 Things To Know Before Installing Shakes Or Shingles

25 June 2018
 Categories: , Blog


If you want to have an attractive lightweight roof for your home, wood is a great option. Depending on where you live, there are different types of wood shakes and shingles available. Even though the roofing is real wood, it is very durable and can outlast asphalt shingles with good maintenance. Here are some things that homeowners should know before having wood roofing installed.

1. Underlayments To Protect Against Water Damage And Wood Rot

Traditional wood shakes are installed on slats that have no moisture barrier beneath them. It is a good idea to have a moisture barrier installed over plywood decking before you have the wood shakes installed on your home. This will help ensure your home has an extra barrier of protection against water damage and moisture problems that affect wood roofs.

2. Using Materials That Are Designed For The Environmental Conditions Around Your Home

There are many different materials that you can use for different roofing conditions when it comes to wood shakes and shingles. Today, materials can be pressure treated for areas with high rainfall to protect against fungus problems. There are also products available that are treated with fire retardant for dry climates and areas with frequent wildfires.

3. Choosing Between Hand-Split Shakes And Wood Shingles For Your New Roof

There are two types of wood roofing materials: hand-split shakes and wood shingles. The split shakes will have more visible grains and a rough texture, which makes them an attractive choice, but also costlier than shingles. Wood shingles are milled products that are uniform and have a smoother surface. Shingles are more vulnerable to problems like cracks and curling due to the manufacturing process, while hand-split shakes will give you strength because they are cut on the natural wood grain of trees.

4. Cleaning And Maintenance To Prevent Wear And Damage To Wood Shakes and Shingles

Maintenance is the most important part of wood roofing that you want to be aware of. Make sure that you clean your roof regularly to prevent dirt from getting embedded in the wood materials. In addition, inspect the roof for signs of cracks in the wood, and replace any pieces that are damaged. Every few years, you will want to thoroughly clean your roof and apply a coat of sealant to protect materials from the elements.

These are some things that homeowners will want to know before installing wood roofing. If you are ready for a new roof and considering shakes, contact a professional roofing contractor for help choosing the best options, such as James Hardie composite alternatives to real wood.