Wood is a beautiful, natural choice for roofs that provides insulating value too. It is just as common to see this material on historic homes as on newly-constructed homes. The prevalence of wooden roofs makes it all the more important for homeowners to understand how to maintain them. With proper maintenance these roofs can last in the 20-30 year range.
Why Do They Need To Be Maintained?
Like all roofing, wood shingles are subject to everything Mother Nature can throw at them. Rain, wind, sun. . . all of these elements wear on the material over time. As it wears, it becomes more and more prone to water damage or cracking which opens the door for moisture problems to take root or can attract unwelcome guests in the form of insects, mold or mildew. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a too-dry roof not only looks bad but also could be more susceptible to fire.
How To Maintain Wood Roofing
The best way to protect your roofing is to keep it as dry as possible, but not overly dry. Of course you can’t keep it from getting rained or snowed on, but you can do a few things that will protect the wood and keep it from holding in too much moisture that can lead to damage.
Ventilation. Shingles must be ventilated on the underside. This occurs naturally as the shingles do not lay perfectly flat on the roof. Over time, leaves, dirt and debris can pile up under the individual shingles and harbor moisture. To prevent this from occurring, do a regular sweeping of the roof with a stiff broom, especially in the spring and fall when leaves and seeds are falling from trees. If you do it on a nice, dry day, the material will be easier to remove. It’s also a good idea to make sure your attic has adequate ventilation. This will help prevent the buildup of moisture on the underside of the roofing.
Use Treated Wood. Although you can treat the roof after it’s been installed, you’ll never get 100% coverage like you will with products that have been treated before installation. Treated wood is more resistant to moisture and rot than untreated.
Use A Sealer. Using a clear, penetrating sealer or stain with sealer every 3 to 5 years is important in protecting the wood and extending its life. You can do this yourself or research roofing companies to perform this maintenance for you. By hiring qualified roofing contractors, you’ll have the peace of mind that the work will be done right.
Pressure Wash. Pressure washers are great at removing caked in debris and stains, but use caution. It is too easy to damage the roof if you don’t know what you’re doing. Roofing contractors can do this work for you if you’re nervous about doing it yourself.
Replace Damaged Shingles. If you have damaged wood shingles or shakes, replacing them as soon as possible will protect the rest of the roof from damage.
Clean Your Gutters. Always keep your gutters clean to prevent moisture buildup near the shingles.
By following these few simple maintenance tips you can be assured of enjoying your roof for many years to come.
GF Sprague Roofing Contractors in Weston, MA provide roofing, gutter, chimney, and replacement window services throughout Massachusetts. The company works with individual homeowners, condo associations, and a wide range of institutions. Visit the roofing company at www.gfsprague.com to learn more about their home improvement services.