Germantown Roofing: Article About Caring For Wood Shingle Roofs
Wood shakes and shingles used to be one of the few roofing materials available. Today they are more costly than modern alternatives such as asphalt shingles, yet homeowners keep returning to this classic style. Appearances aside, wood shingles are often a better choice in areas where damage from hail or high winds is a consideration. Also, a well maintained, wood shingle roof will often last longer than its less expensive, asphalt alternative.
Wood shingle roofs require maintenance. While homeowners can hire a roofing contractor to care for their roofs, maintenance is fairly easy and can be accomplished by handy individuals. However, it is always advisable to consult with a roofing contractor before tackling maintenance, especially if a home was purchased with an already aging wood shingle roof. A good contractor will be able to advise not only about maintenance but also potential weak spots in the roof. Because wood shingle roofs are somewhat uncommon, a homeowner shouldn't limit their efforts to a simple Internet search for, say, Germantown roofing. They should be prepared to conduct a thorough search for a contractor who has experience with this roofing material.
There are some basic maintenance tasks that will be applicable to all wood shingle roofs, no matter their age or condition. Debris is the number one enemy of a wood shingle roof. When left in place, debris such as leaves and pine needles will attract fungi and keep the roof from completely shedding water.
Seneca Creek Home Improvement of Germantown MD roofers can assist you with any questions regarding roofing, windows or siding.
To remove debris, simply sweep it off the roof with a stiff broom, followed by washing the roof thoroughly using a garden hose. The water will carry away smaller debris as well as wash out any beginning moss or lichen growth. This task should be done at least once a year, before cold, wet weather begins.
Another enemy of a wood shingle roof is overhanging tree branches. Besides increasing the amount of debris on a roof, branches can rub against shingles and create grooves in the wood or loosen the shingles. Also, too many overhanging branches can block the sunlight and keep the shingles from properly drying, which can encourage fungi and moss.
If a homeowner chooses to perform their own roof maintenance, they should exercise all caution because roof pitch can be deceptive and is often more steep than it appears. They should wear shoes with good traction and grip and use a rope to bring materials up by rope rather than carry them up. Ladders should meet all safety regulations and extend at least 3 feet above the roof line, and they should be tied for safety. If the roof has a pitch of more than 20 degrees, safety lines and ropes should be used as well. Whenever possible, homeowners should walk across the roof, not up and down.