How to Maintain and Repair a Wood Shingle Roof

Simple Ways To Repair Or Maintain A Wood Shingle Roof

One of the most important steps that you can take in order to help keep your shingles on your roof in the best possible condition is to make sure that your gutters are free from all possible debris and also any hanging branches are removed right away.

It is possible that mold could develop, lichen could show up and moss, all of which needs to be removed using a combination of chlorine bleach and water, or some other type of professional solvent.

However, what if you need to repair a wood shingle roof, one that is in disrepair right now?


Wood Shingle Roof

Types of Wood Roofs

The first thing that you need to realize is that there are two different types of wood roofs. The first are called shingles and those are very smooth. The second are called shakes and they have a very rustic appearance and are very roughly sewn. The length of the shingles can different, varying in size from up to 24 inches in length all the way down to 16 inches. For the most part, they are made of red Cedar which is extremely durable, and can also resist the infiltration of insects which could cause damage. You can also work with companies that will produce preservative treated pine, or other types of wood, helping them last longer. The repair and maintenance for both of these types of roofing materials is going to be generally the same.

Regardless of what you decide to use, once it is installed, make sure that you keep at least a single bundle of the shingles that were used on the project so that you can do repairs.

Available Treatments

Some treatments that will help it last a lot longer. If it is not protected, the wooden roof can decay very quickly, usually in under 10 years, where it should actually last as many as three decades as long as it is properly treated.

Taking a trip down to your local home improvement store, this will allow you to find a variety of products that can help you out. Most of them come with specific directions, and it is important to follow them to the letter. You will typically get the best protection if you actually get the entire shingle into the solution itself, although you can use a paint brush to get the maximum coverage if that is your preference.

Curled Shingles

Would shingles have a habit of curling away from the roof, but there are ways of reattaching it or flattening it out.

  1. First of all, a shingle is typically very brittle which can cause it to break. This will help you affect a change on the curled edges, but you need to be careful because it is possible to ruin them.
  2. Flatten out the edges, and then, with a little bit of skill, reattach the shingle using some type of asphalt roof cement. You want to be very generous when applying this roof cement, specifically on the corners, and press it back into place.
  3. After this is done, place a heavy object on top of the shingle so that it will have time to set properly, and the curl will no longer be there.

Repair a Cracked Shingle

If all you have is a crack, it’s actually a better idea to simply repair the crack instead of replacing the entire shingle itself.

  1. If you are dealing with a crack that is less than a quarter of an inch, you will first want to start with pulling out the splinters.
  2. Next, you will then want to only deal with the larger pieces that remain. The large pieces should be nailed down with galvanized roofing nails, making sure that the heads of the nails are not in the shingle itself; the reason is that this could damage the shingle.
  3. Use a quality roofing cement material to finish.
  4. If you are dealing with something that is larger than a quarter of an inch in width, sheet metal patches must be used. You can put a piece of the sheet metal and the crack, specifically under it, until the top of the metal is past the crack on the upper edge.
  5. Again using galvanized roofing nails, you need to put the shingle pieces in place, making sure that they do not crack the shingle any more than has already occurred. You will then want to use roofing cement to finish the job by covering the cracks and nail heads.
  6. Any type of shingle that cannot be repaired must be removed.
  7. If you have broken shingles, you may have to use a chisel in order to get them out, although it’s sometimes easy enough to get it with your fingers. Make sure that when you pull, you move with a motion that is downward, and outward, to avoid damaging the other shingles.
  8. The use of a hack saw may also be necessary if you are having to cut into nails that are holding the broken shingle in place. You will want to cut them very evenly. Make sure to pry the shingle up enough so that you can get to the nails. If you don’t do this, you could end up cracking that shingle even more, or even those that are adjacent to it.
  9. You must then completely remove the broken shingle, and using the hacksaw, take all of the remaining nails out, being sure to not adversely affect the decking that is beneath.
  10. Finally, you will want to cut a replacement shingle, making sure that it is 3/8 inch narrower than the empty space. By doing so, when the shingles get wet, they have room to expand. You will then want to put the replacement shingle on completely with a hammer and a block of wood. Once it is nailed down, cover any of the exposed nail heads with roofing cement and the project is finished.


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