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Thornton Roofing: Article About Using Wood Shingles

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Wood shakes or shingles on the roof of a house can look fantastic. They also tend to last longer than asphalt shingles. On the down side, using wood roofing is generally more expensive than using composite shingles. Thornton roofing professionals are experienced in applying both wooden shakes and shingles.

Wood shakes and shingles are usually cut from Western red cedar. They are also sometimes cut from Eastern cedar. Pine is another type of lumber used although the wood must be treated under pressure with a preservative to prevent it from rotting.

Shingles are smoother and more regular than shakes in appearance. Shingles are available in lengths of 16, 18 and 24 inches. Both wood shakes and shingles are graded by quality. The best grade is the Number 1 "Blue Label" grade. Shakes and shingles with this grade are cut from the part of the tree that lasts longest and are most appropriate for roofing.

Both wooden shakes and shingles can be treated with fire retardant. This is a good idea, but is not usually mandated by building codes. If fire retardant is used, shakes and shingles must be treated under pressure. If the retardant is simply brushed on, then it is not effective.

The roofing experts at Roof Worx of Thornton CO can assist you with any questions regarding windows or flat roofing.

In humid areas, fungicide is used to treat wood shakes and shingles to prevent rot.

It generally takes longer to attach wood shakes and shingles than it does to attach composite shingles. This is because wooden shakes and shingles usually have to be nailed on individually. However, they are also sold in panels 4 and 8 feet long, and using these panels can speed up the process.

Sometimes, homeowners who wish to upgrade from a roof made of asphalt roofing to wooden roofing will simply nail wooden shakes or shingles on top of the existing asphalt shingles. This works fine as long as some type of underlayment is used between the asphalt and wood.

During the Victorian Era in England when wood roofing was often used, shingles were cut with a saw while shakes were split off with a mallet and chisel. Today, while most shakes are cut with power tools, they still have a rough surface on at least one side. The roughness gives shakes a desirable rustic look. Shakes are thicker than shingles.

Because wood shakes have rough surfaces, this creates a gap between layers. Therefore, felt paper is often used between each course. This prevents wind and rain from penetrating into the gap. Felt paper is not necessary between courses of wood shingles since their faces are smooth and there is no gap.

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