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What Are The Wood Roofing Problems?

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    Wooden roofs have been utilised on houses for many generations and add to the aesthetic appeal of the structure.

    Although wood roofs are environmentally friendly and provide some insulation, they are also very flammable and susceptible to damage such as splitting, rotting, cracking, mould, mildew, and animal and insect infestation. Wooden roofs, on the other hand, have a low environmental impact and can be recycled in its entirety if the roof has to be replaced.

    High Upfront Costs And Chemical Treatments

    Wood roofs have a number of drawbacks, including a high initial cost for installation and repair, the need for chemical treatments and preservatives, natural degradation, the risk of fire, and a short lifespan, although this can vary depending on how frequently the roof is maintained and the location of the home.

    If you do decide to build a natural cedar wood roof, the process of doing so might involve the use of specialised tools in addition to the assistance of a roofing contractor who has previous expertise installing wood roofing shake shingles.

    Your wooden roof will need to be treated with fire retardant chemicals and substances if you live in a mountain town or another place that is prone to wildfires. Regrettably, these fire-retardant chemicals need to be reapplied every 5-7 years, which can be an expensive and unanticipated expense for homeowners to pay out of their own pocket.

    Prone To Mold, Mildew And Insects

    When it comes to cleaning your wood roof, special roof care is required due to the material. Your roof will eventually fall apart and be eaten by insects if it is made of wood since it is susceptible to moss, mildew, mould, and lichens. Cleaning products are designed to eliminate these issues as well as anything else that mother nature may present.

    The disadvantage is that particular cleaning supplies can be pricey, and to obtain the greatest results, you may need to hire somebody who have experience doing the job for you. Another disadvantage is that certain cleaning chemicals have the potential to peel the wood, leaving it faded and discoloured as a result.

    The cedar shake may curl when subjected to an excessive amount of water, which leaves open gaps that may allow water to leak through. If you catch these curves in the shingle quickly enough, you can correct them by applying roof sealant in the appropriate places. In the event that the shake folds beyond that point, it is highly likely that you will need to replace the row of shakes or shingles, or even the entire roof.

    Wood Is A Fire Hazard

    Wooden roofs may have a beautiful appearance, but they are not the best material to use in areas that experience certain types of weather. To begin, roofs made of wood pose a significant risk of fire and are difficult to extinguish once they do. Since wood is combustible by its own nature, it is difficult to say how reliable the usage of fire retardant chemicals will be. The wood shake shingles on a roof are susceptible to being torn off and shattered when there is a strong wind.

    Your roof will end up looking crooked and brittle as a result of the snow since wood absorbs some of the water that is present in the snow, which leads to curling and erosion. Hailstorms can cause dents and gouges in the wood, as well as cracks, breaks, and holes in your roof due to the brittle nature of wood components. In conclusion, if your roof is subjected to an excessive amount of sunlight, it will end up looking faded and dried out.

    Weigh Your Options

    What Are The Wood Roofing Problems3

    When it comes to selecting a roofing material for your house, there are a lot of different considerations to take into account. Take for instance that you are interested in installing a wood roof. It is essential to be aware that roofs made of wood are only a temporary solution, and their lifespan varies considerably according to the location of the house.

    They are not designed to last a lifetime, particularly in environments with severe weather conditions. When contemplating the installation of a wood roof, carrying out roof maintenance, or providing roof care, it is essential to have as much information as possible at one's disposal. When it comes to choosing a roof, you have a wide variety of options from which to select one that is ideal for you, your residence, and the surrounding environment.

    Cedar Is The Best Sustainable Roofing Alternative To Wood Shake


    Natural wood shaking shingles may have a stunning appearance, but they are not the ideal choice for your roof and come with a wide variety of drawbacks. Synthetic shake shingles by CeDUR are a far more long-lasting and environmentally friendly solution for roofing, with virtually no problems and very little upkeep required. Choosing CeDUR shingles rather than one of the many other roofing solutions available comes with additional benefits, including the fact that they are ecologically and eco-friendly. CeDUR possesses a stand-alone fire rating of Class A and does not call for the use of an underlayment that is resistant to fire during the installation process.

    The Common Problems You'll Encounter With Wood Shakes And Shingles.

    After considering using stones and clay as their roofing material, the earliest people eventually switched to using wood because there was an abundance of trees. In today's world, wood makes a fantastic roofing material, particularly laminated and reinforced varieties that can offer extraordinary advantages to homeowners over the course of their ownership. Despite this, it does still have some issues, which you will need to be aware of.

    Natural Wear Out

    Wood shakes and shingles can deteriorate over time and become curled, thinned out, or split regardless of how laminated or strengthened they are. They have the same potential for being overlooked as asphalt shingles do, particularly soon after a severe wind or rain storm has passed through the region. Even though a bundle of wood shakes and shingles will always be an excellent replacement for faulty wood shakes and shingles, natural wear and tear will eventually occur. This is especially true when your materials have reached the final few years of their lifespan and capacity.

    Rotting And Algae-blackened Surface

    Shakes and shingles made of wood are examples of organic materials. The dangers of algal infestations to tree wood include the gradual weakening and softening of the wood as a result of the infection. Long-term roofing issues might arise as a result of continuous exposure to algae-blackened surfaces, which are an indication that algae are residing on the surface. It also has the potential to cause leaks in your property.


    The process of deterioration brought on by exposure to elements such as sunshine, water, and wind is known as weathering. When sunlight touches the surface of the wood, a little amount of energy is released into the wood. This energy is used to create compounds that begin the process of the wood degrading. This process is normally quite gradual (a few millimetres per century), but it results in the surface of the wood being marginally more brittle. As a consequence of this, cedar roofs will start to show signs of weathering within a year of installation, but the wood that lies underneath will keep its natural colour.

    Rain or wind (which can carry tiny sand particles) can wear away the shallow weathered wood that is on the surface, exposing young wood to sunlight. This can cause the wood to become more vulnerable to further damage. Because of this process, the surface will eventually become worn down and exposed. The more pliable areas of the wood are often the ones that see a more rapid progression of this process. These pieces can be found at the beginning of each growth ring in a cedar tree (called earlywood). After a period of time, the shake or shingle may take on the appearance of washboard.

    Alterations in the shake or shingle's physical appearance can also be caused by repeated exposure to water and dry air. When it becomes wet, wood expands, but when it dries, it contracts. Repeatedly soaking and drying a piece of wood can cause tensions inside the wood that can ultimately result in the formation of fractures or splits, as well as cupping or warping.

    The Truth Behind Wood Shake Roofs

    The Benefits Of Wood Shake Roofs

    Shakes made of wood are one of the earliest forms of roofing material. Prior to the 19th century, when mills were first invented, the majority of shakes were split by hand from logs that had been cut to the suitable lengths. Shakes made of different types of wood vary in species depending on the kinds of trees that were native to the area. Cedar is a frequently selected option.

    Wood shake roofing is an appealing choice because it offers rich dimensions, a variety of colour options, and the natural texture of wood. The varying widths and lengths give the roof a stepped appearance, which is accentuated by the deep shadow lines that run across the surface. This lends the roof an authentic, handcrafted air that sets it apart. There is no such thing as an identical shake roof.

    Problems With Wood Shake Roofs.

    Despite all of their beauty, wood shake roofs have a number of disadvantages and drawbacks, which are detailed below.

    • Rot. Even though modern shakes are chemically treated to prevent rotting, the effects of the chemicals eventually wear off after years of exposure to the sun. Rainwater causes the shakes to deteriorate over time, which puts the integrity of your house in jeopardy. The roof surfaces that face south typically deteriorate more quickly than the roof's other components. See the examples below.
    • Mold and moss grow on it. A Cedar Shake roof that is barely 30 years old may be seen in the image that was just above. Moss can be found growing in the spaces between the wood shakes all over the roof. The accumulation of moisture on the roof is what provides moss with its food. If you do nothing to manage the overgrowth, it will eventually lift the wood shingles and expose the roof deck below to the elements.
    • Distortion. The process of chopping the wood releases the natural stresses that are present in the wood shakes. The shakes eventually coil and cup as time passes. Only after being exposed to the sun for a few years will wood shakes start to dry out. The dried wood twists, which exposes the roof decking again and creates the potential for pricey leaks and repairs.
    • Fire hazard. Wood can easily catch fire. Even though the majority of current shakes have fire-retardant chemicals added to them, these chemicals eventually lose their effectiveness. Your house is at danger of being struck by a spark carried by the wind from a fire in the neighbourhood.
    • Maintenance. Regular maintenance is essential in order to maintain your shake roof functioning properly and protecting your property. This involves physically walking across the roof, picking up debris like pine needles and leaf litter, then washing the surface with a power washer. If you are unable to perform maintenance on your own, you will need to hire someone else to do it. There are rare situations in which it may be necessary to replace substantial parts of the roof. This results in tremors with a discoloured appearance. Take a look at the image below here.
    • Expense. Even while cedar shakes normally cost less than slate or clay tile, the price of cedar shakes is still significantly more than that of asphalt. In addition, because installing wood shakes is challenging, homeowners typically have to pay a premium to experienced contractors in order to have them installed.

    How To Determine If A Roof Deck Has Wood Rot And How To Replace Roof Sheathing

    The term "roof decking" refers to the thin planks of wood that span the trusses and support the remainder of the roof. Sheathing is another term for roof decking. If the decking on your roof becomes damp, wood rot can set in, which can adversely affect the functionality of the entire roof. Because broken roof decking typically lies concealed between the shingles and above the attic insulation, this issue frequently goes unreported.

    Because the sheathing is typically not visible, it can be difficult for homeowners to discover this issue before it develops into a significant one. You may, however, simply prevent this problem if you know when to search for wood rot on your roof decking, how to identify the problem, and how to treat it. If you know these things, you can quickly avoid this problem. This article will teach you everything you need to know to prevent wood rot from occuring in your home and on your roof.

    Why Is Rotted Roof Decking A Problem?

    The majority of roof decking, which is also known as sheathing, is often made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). When these thin sheets of wood are subjected to moisture, whether from excessive condensation or a roof leak, they take it up and absorb it. When sheathing is constantly exposed to moisture, there is always the possibility that it will rot or decay due to the presence of wood rot. Even while a single encounter with moisture is not likely to result in rot, consistent contact with water probably will.

    If your decking is deteriorating, it may or may not have acquired a fungal growth. This growth, which weakens the deck by eating away at the wood, can cause the deck to become unstable. Whether or not there is a fungus present or whether or not it is merely the natural decay of wood due to moisture, decaying roof decking can cause a number of issues for both your roof and your home, including the following:

    • Your decking may sag or bulge as a result of moisture damage or wood rot, which can be caused by either of these factors. This makes it appear as though there is a bowing or bulging patch on your roof when viewed from the outside. It's possible that the shingles directly over this area won't function properly. In addition to that, the decking can cave in at some point.
    • Unchecked wood rot and moisture can lead to more fungi and mould growth. This can happen if the rot in the wood is not stopped. These can have a detrimental effect on the quality of the air in your house and may exacerbate the symptoms of some respiratory disorders.
    • Damage to the insulation: Wood rot and moisture can both cause damage to the insulation in your attic, which is located beneath your decking. Because of the damage, the energy efficiency of your property may decrease, which may result in higher costs associated with either heating or cooling your home.
    • Damage to other types of wood: Dry wood rot, which affects one type of wood, has the potential to spread to other types of wood in your home, including structural timber. It is advisable to put a halt to dry wood rot as soon as it is discovered because it can be very expensive to replace structural wood.
    • Damage to other house systems: If the moisture problem that led to the wood rot is not addressed, it may cause damage to a variety of other components and systems in your home, including the electrical system. If the moisture is not controlled, wet rot has the potential to spread to other types of wood as well.

    How To Identify Wood Rot In A Roof Deck

    There are primarily two different kinds of rot that can occur in wood: dry rot and wet rot. In addition, there are a few different subspecies of the fungus that causes wood rot. Because of this, the appearance of each wood rot infestation may be unique. The appearance of wet wood rot is typically discoloured or darker than the roof that surrounds it. Dry wood rot has an appearance similar to that of a fungal growth, and it causes the wood to become dry and cracked.

    The following is a list of additional symptoms that can assist you in identifying wood rot in your roof:

    • Wood is darker in areas.
    • There are growths and discoloration that might be black, white, yellow, brown, or any shade of grey.
    • When I touch the wood, it has a mushy and feeble feeling.
    • The wood is quite brittle and readily breaks apart.
    • There is an odour of mustiness and dampness.

    Simply standing on the shingles that are above the rot and noticing that they give more than usual can be enough to tip off an experienced roofer that wood rot is present.

    Symptoms of dry wood rot include the following:

    • On the wood are spots that are various shades of grey, white, and brown (may look like mushrooms or pizza.)
    • The wood has become brittle and is now riddled with large fissures.
    • A musty odour can be detected here.

    When Should I Check My Roof For Wood Rot?

    It is not a typical procedure for house maintenance that involves tearing off a few shingles in order to inspect the decking, and you should not do this on a monthly or annual basis. When you don't know the condition of the deck (for example, when you're buying a new home) or when you believe that moisture may have entered to the roof deck, looking for wood rot is a good idea. This will help you find problems sooner rather than later. If any of the following apply to your situation, you would benefit from having a professional home inspector or roofer assess your decking for wood rot.

    • You are getting ready to sell your home and want to ensure that the value of your home will be increased by your roof.
    • You are looking to buy a new house, and before you do so, you want to check the state of the roof.
    • Your roof may have been damaged by a leak, an ice dam, a tree, or some other potential issue.
    • You are going to rebuild the roof in its entirety.
    • It appears that there is a problem with moisture in your attic.
    • You are in the process of installing new insulation or ventilation in the attic.

    If the person who does your roofing has cause to believe that the decking on your roof may not be in excellent condition, they may suggest that you let them have a look at it. They might not need to take off the shingles in order to accomplish this. Instead, they might be able to recognise the symptoms of rotting decking from within the attic itself.

    Why Is My Roof Decking Damaged?

    What Are The Wood Roofing Problems

    The most typical reasons for decaying wood on a deck are moisture buildup from humidity and leaks. As a result, it is prudent to inspect the areas around well-known leak locations, such as skylights, roof penetrations, and anchor points for roof-mounted goods, for evidence of deck rot. To begin addressing the issue, you will need the assistance of a qualified roofer who can address the underlying leak.

    How To Replace Rotted Roof Sheathing

    Your experienced roofers will need to repair all of the wood that has been damaged by either dry rot or wet rot once they have resolved the underlying issue that was causing the moisture. This is the equipment and supplies that they will need, as well as a detailed guide that explains how they will carry out the task step by step.

    Tools And Materials Required

    The following equipment and supplies are essential for your roofers to have:

    • New decking.
    • Safety equipment.
    • A crowbar or other instrument for removing shingles.
    • Measuring tape.
    • Saw.
    • Roofing nails.
    • Hammer for the roof or a nail gun.
    • A different kind of roofing material to go on top of the new decking.

     How To Replace Rotted Roof Decking

    • First, make a rough assessment of the level of the damage. Until your roofers remove all of the shingles that are placed above the roof decking, it will be hard to determine for certain how much of the roof decking has rotted. On the other hand, your roofers may provide you with an estimate of the amount of wood rot that could be present so that you can have a better idea of the scope of the work that has to be done. They may have several choices available to help you finance the roof repair if it is going to be an expensive project.
    • The second step is to take off the roofing. It is necessary to remove all of the roofing in the damaged region that is located above the decking. This includes the shingles and the underlayment. Your roofers may also need to remove the flashing if the rot is located in a certain area; however, this will depend on the specifics of the situation.
    • Step Three: Determine the area of the space. Your roofing contractors will investigate the degree of the wood rot, at which point they will take measurements of the parts that require replacement.
    • Cut away any rotten timber in the fourth step. Your roofing crew will use the saw of their choosing to remove the rotten wood in a safe manner, taking care not to injure the rafters below. It is important that every part that is cut extends above a rafter. If your roofers do it this way, at least one rafter will be able to support the replacement boards while they are being installed.
    • Fifth Step: After measuring the area, cut the replacement decking to size. Your roofers will return to the ground level and cut new decking material to fit the gaps they discovered. You are free to select a different material because combining OSB and plywood is not problematic in any way. However, in order to have the shingles lay down in a flat manner, the new decking should be the same thickness as the previous one.
    • Position the replacement as the sixth and last step. After that, your roofing contractors will lay the replacement materials atop the roof. In order to guarantee a good fit, they could require some last-minute alterations.
    • Step Seven: Attach the railings to the deck. At this point, your roofing crew will use either nails or screws to fix the decking.
    • Step Eight: Take any further actions that are available to you. Your roofing contractors may decide to take additional precautions to safeguard your roof deck in light of the particular characteristics of your structure. Either they will treat the neighbouring wood with a treatment that will prevent it from rotting, or they will add waterproof tape to the borders of the deck where the new decking will meet the old decking.
    • Step Nine: Replace any other roof materials that have been damaged. Your roofers will now finish putting on the rest of the roof now that they have finished taking care of the decking. Protectors against ice and water are particularly significant because this membrane can assist in preventing the decking from ever becoming soiled with moisture in the future. The new water and ice protection need should have an overlap of a few inches with the older one. It is also essential to remember that your roofing contractors should not recycle the old shingles that they remove from the roof; rather, they should replace them with new ones. The flashing should also be replaced if there is a possibility that it played a role in the water getting inside.

    What If My Roofer Didn't Replace My Roof Decking After A Leak?

    When homeowners discover that the decking on their roof has not been changed despite the fact that this is a standard procedure for roof repair, they may feel uneasy about the situation. This might be something to be concerned about, or it might not. It is not necessary to replace all of the damp decking.

    Your roofer may decide to leave the damaged portion of the decking in place if there was only a small portion of the decking that was exposed to water, and if the water did not remain on the decking long enough to cause considerable damage. On the other hand, it's possible that your roofing contractors made a mistake and neglected to replace the decking that they left behind. To get started, you should enquire as to the reason your roofer decided not to replace your decking. Get a second opinion from a different roofer if you feel that their response does not adequately address your concerns.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Roofing Problems

    In terms of cost savings, cedar wood is long-lasting, making it an ideal roofing material. Cedar lasts at least ten years longer than common roofing materials, like asphalt shingles.

    Wood shingles are thin, tapered pieces of wood primarily used to cover roofs and walls of buildings to protect them from the weather. Historically shingles, also known as shakes, were split from straight-grained, knot-free bolts of wood.

    Wood shingles are a good type of roof system because they are durable roof that adds value to your home, giving it a nice curb appeal. They are good for those who want a natural-looking roof that is biodegradable and storm-resistant.

    In neutral climates, you can reasonably expect the following lifespans out of custom wood shingles: Cedar: 30 to 50 years or more. Wallaba: 35 to 60 years or more. Teak: 50 to 80 years or more.

    Many benefits of a wooden roof outdraw other roofing systems. Besides being good-looking, wooden roofs are sturdy, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

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