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Replacing Wood Shingles

Wood shake roof close-up

Wood shingles add a touch of charm to any home. If cared for appropriately, they can last on your roof for decades. Unfortunately, sometimes weather or other issues can cause unexpected damage to your roof. Luckily, replacing wood shingles is easy to do.

Replacing Wood Shingles

While asphalt or slate shingles are more common these days, wood shingles were the roofer’s material of choice for hundreds of years. Wood shingles appeal to homeowners because they can give a home a classic, old-world look at an affordable price. Wood shingles are also very sturdy, and as long as they are maintained by a homeowner, they can typically stay securely on your roof for 25 years or more.

Unfortunately, wood shingles are vulnerable to the same dangers as any other roofing material, and you can’t always avoid needing to replace them. A bad bout of hail, high winds, or even a falling tree branch can result in shingle damage. While this is never something to look forward to, don’t panic. Replacing wood shingles is an easy task for any qualified roofer.

As with any roofing job, we encourage you to leave this to the professionals. The tools that are needed to replace shingles can easily damage a roof in inexperienced hands, and installing shingles incorrectly can also lead to more shingle breakage. Any money you save by not hiring a roofer can disappear if you damage your roof while attempting the repair. So when it’s time to replace your wood shingles, do yourself a favor and call an experienced roofer.

Spotting Shingle Damage

It’s important to remember that with wood shingles, aging is a part of their natural appearance. Some weathering is to be expected, and does not indicate an issue. However, if shingles develop large cracks, it can be a sign of damage. Water spots, visible lichen, or other evidence of moisture damage may also indicate a need for repairs. Additionally, wood shingles can crack or splinter prematurely if they are installed incorrectly, which is another great reason to hire a roofer for this task.

If you spot damaged shingles on your roof, don’t wait to replace them. It may seem like a small issue, but replacing wood shingles in a timely manner can add ten years to the life of your roof.

The Shingle Replacement Process

Once a roofer has inspected the damage on your roof, they’ll be able to begin replacing your wood shingles. Here are the steps they’ll follow:

  • The roofer will likely use a tool called a “ripper” to remove the broken shingle. This is a long, flat bar with hooks on the front to pull the shingle free. They will put the ripper beneath the shingle, and angle it upwards to pull the nails free so the shingle can be removed. If the ripper is unable to remove all the debris, a roofer may use a hammer or small pliers to carefully finish the job.
  • Next, the roofer will measure the gap left by the shingles that have been removed, carefully leaving some additional space on either side to allow the wood to expand and contract. They will then select the shingles that fit in that space.
  • The roofer will carefully slide the new shingle into the space they measured, making sure it lines up well with the shingles that surround it. The roofer will then hang the new shingle in place. They may use a wooden block, nail set, and hammer to ensure it is positioned correctly. They will repeat this process until all damaged shingles are replaced.


Does your wood shingle roof look a little worse for wear these days? It might be time to make some shingle replacements. If you aren’t sure, call a licensed roofer for a consultation.

If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help with your roofing needs. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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