How To Care For The Shingles On Your Roof

Of course, the best care homeowners can give their shingles is to keep them out of the weather. This isn’t possible, but there are other ways to make sure that wood shingles stay sound and weatherproof for as long as possible.

Wood Shingles Are Durable, Easy to Care For
The good news is that wood shingles are quite durable and have been used as roofing for hundreds of years. Nowadays, most shingles are made out of the western red cedar. This type of wood has a beautiful, straight grain, is not dense and is resistant to moisture and rot. Because of these properties, wood shingle roofs have become expensive. However, wood shingles aren’t hard to repair. Homeowners who are comfortable working on their roof can even repair the shingles themselves. The job requires some basic carpentry and roofing skills and should take between four and six hours per 100 square feet of roof. Homeowners should buy the very best shingles they can afford. The one drawback is that brand new cedar shingles will stand out on a roof that’s been in place for a few years. However, over time it will weather to the same soft, silvery gray as the rest of the shingles.

Preservatives Extend the Life of A Shingle Roof
A shingle roof can last up to 20 years, but it will last even longer if it’s well maintained. One thing homeowners should do is make sure it’s sealed to guard against the wood warping, splitting and rotting. Wood preservatives should be applied to the roof soon after it’s installed. Ideally, this should be no longer than a year. After that the treatment becomes less effective. Homeowners or roofing contractors might apply a few thin coats of preservative and not try and place all the preservative on the roof at one time. Preservative can be applied by a brush, a roller or a sprayer. A sprayer is probably more efficient, but spraying needs to be done on a calm day.

Make Sure To Remove Debris
Another way to extend the life of a wooden shingle roof is to make sure that all debris is regularly removed from it. This includes fallen leaves, pine needles and anything else that can accumulate in the valleys and in the spaces between the shingles. This is especially important in climates that get lots of rain and may even have a rainy season. Not removing debris can promote the growth of mold and even moss and lichens. These organisms can cause the shingles to deteriorate and cause roof leaks. A roof can be cleared of debris by high-pressure washers. In tough cases, the roof can be chemically treated to kill fungi and to remove stains.

Keep Tree Branches Away
Tree branches should also never touch the roof. Just the act of the branch rubbing against the roof can work grooves into the shingles and even loosen the nails or fasteners that hold them to the building felt. Branches shouldn’t even be allowed to overhang the roof because they may keep the shingles from drying out thoroughly after a rain. This also encourages the growth of moss and mildew.

Paloma Reed, freelance writer and homeowner, knows how important it is to keeping your roof in top shape. Whether she requires emergency repairs, or for her roof to be re-shingled, she trusts the professionals at Keating Roofing Contractors Ltd. 2550 Goldenridge Road Mississauga, ON L4X 2S3? (416) 259-3171. For roofing companies Toronto has to offer, visit us.