Cedar shingles and shakes were once the few roofing materials that were available. As other options hit the market, cedar roofing became a premium product. It is still popular due to the unique appearance that it gives a home. Because this type of roofing material is often more expensive than asphalt shingles, homeowners want them to last as long as possible. If they are regularly inspected and maintained by an expert Fort Worth roofing contractor, a wood roof can last anywhere between 20 and 40 years or longer depending on whether shakes or shingles are used.
When a new wood roof is installed, there are some basic things that homeowners should do right off the bat. It should be ensured that the attic has a ventilation system that works properly all year long. This prevents the attic from overheating or from humidity levels from being too high. Strips of zinc or copper should also be installed along the roof ridge. This prevents moss, lichen or algae from growing.
Like other types of roofs, wood roofs need constant maintenance. Organic debris, such as leaves or twigs, should be removed from the roof and the gutter system. This can be done using a garden hose or a broom. It is best not to let debris sit for too long as it can prevent the roof from properly drying out when it rains.
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Further, overhanging branches should be routinely trimmed back to reduce the amount of leaf litter that ends up on the roof.
As a wood roof ages, the wood does not protect against moisture penetration as well as it once did. There are several types of roof coatings available that can extend the lifespan. One of these is a chemical treatment made from a copper naphthenate compound that can be applied with a sprayer. This should be applied once every five years.
Oil born wood preservatives can also be used. These prevent splitting and cupping that can occur as the wood roof becomes weathered. Additionally, a semitransparent oil based stain can prevent decay while providing a pigment. The pigment gives the roof some color but also protects against damage from UV light.
Although having a wood roof can be hard work due to the amount of maintenance needed, a wood roof is enjoyable for those who are willing to put in the work. If the roof is well maintained and preserved, there is the potential that it could even last longer than the expected lifespan.