making decisions about roof replacements

making decisions about roof replacements

Making A Repair To A Cedar-Shingle Roof

by Lorraine Fisher

If you are trying to build a green home, one of the best materials to use is cedar wood. After all, wood does not require a lot of manufacturing and comes from a renewable resource. The problem of using an organic material, however, is that eventually it will break down and fail. Thus, if you use wood on your home, you need to inspect the roof regularly and repair it whenever it is needed. 

What Does Damage Look Like?

Each roof will show signs of damage in its own way. Thus, if you are used to an asphalt-shingle roof, you need to learn what damage looks like on a cedar roof. First of all, you should know that the color of the wood will fade over time, and this is natural and nothing to worry about. Instead, when you look for signs of damage, you should look for cracks extending from the top to the bottom of your shingles. You should also look for any shingles that have cracked across the grain. Cracked and broken shingles should be replaced in the same way. 

How to Make Repairs

Wood shingles have been in use for centuries, and the method of affixing shingles to a roof has not changed much over time. This is good news for the DIY-minded homeowner, since you don't need expensive or specialized tools to make repairs. You only need to know what you are doing:

  1. Use gentle strikes with your hammer to break up damaged shingles, then pull out the pieces of shingle. 
  2. Use a crowbar to remove the nails that held the shingle in place.
  3. Fill the nail holes with roofing cement.
  4. Measure the gap between the shingles on either side of the missing shingle.
  5. Measure your replacement shingle and cut it as needed to make it a half inch shorter than the gap it will fill. 
  6. Slide the shingle up the roof until the bottom edge extends about a quarter inch below other shingles in the same row. As you slide the shingle up, maintain a quarter-inch gap on either side of the shingle. This will allow it to expand and contract without affecting the shingles on either side.
  7. Drive nails as close as you can get to the shingles from the row above without damaging these shingles. Also, drive the shingles at an upward angle. 
  8. With the nails in place, tap the bottom edge of your shingle with your hammer until it is even with other shingles in the same row. 

A cedar roof may not be a maintenance-free roof, but it is an easily maintained roof. Thus, if you are up for the occasional repair to your roof, you should consider making cedar a part of your effort to go green. 


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making decisions about roof replacements

Is the roof on your home ready for replacement? If so, do you know what type of roofing you are going to have installed to replace it? Will you have the existing roof removed, or just have the home re-roofed? You will face several decisions while you work to replace the roof on your home. Scroll through my site to find a great list that can help you decide what product and method of installation will be best for your home. Hopefully, the information provided will take some of the confusion and stress out of this big, important home improvement project.