Classic, long lasting, and naturally beautiful, wood roofing is an excellent choice for a roof covering. In addition to offering a unique character, wood shingles provide lightweight strength and protection against wild weather and moisture. Unlike slate and clay tiles, wood shingles are easy to install and repair due to their modest weight. Typically positioned in overlapping rows, they complement a variety of architectural styles and provide natural insulation. Plus, they age well, developing a gray or silver patina over time. With proper maintenance, wood roofing can last up to 50 years, and the shingles can be recycled at the end of their long life.
Types of Wood Roofing
When it comes to selecting a wood roofing system, you will have several choices to make. First, which type of wood do you prefer? Although the most common types of wood shingles available these days are red cedar, eastern white pine, and white oak, a variety of other woods are available. For example, you might be interested in cypress or red oak.
Next, which size, shape, and finish do you like best? Wood shingles are typically sawn on both sides with an even taper and uniform thickness. Wood shakes, on the other hand, offer a textured look (they are split from logs) with a thicker butt end. To prevent rot, reduce decay, and defend against fires, some of these products are pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives.
Some wood shingles are available in decorative patterns for a distinctive look. You will also have your choice of size, though most wood shingles are 18 or 24 inches long in North America. In Europe, wood shingles tend to be smaller.
Installation & Maintenance
Professional installation is recommended to avoid destructive amateur mistakes that can shorten a roof’s life. The shingles will be tacked down with strong metal nails, such as stainless steel or aluminum, to prevent rusting and ruin, and the roof will be composed of overlapping layers. In addition, because the shingles expand when wet, there will be small gaps between adjacent shingles. After the roof is installed, inspect its condition regularly and wash it to remove mold, moss, and mildew. To provide additional protection against moisture, consider sealing the shingles annually. With careful installation and routine maintenance, your wood roof should last between 30 and 50 years.
With a long history extending back to the American colonies, Scandinavia, and Central Europe, wood shingles have stood the test of time. They make use of a readily available material in wood, and they can be formed with simple tools. For those seeking a distinctive and beautiful roof, wood roofing is hard to beat. It’s lightweight, reliable, energy efficient, and exceptionally attractive.