Most roofing systems contain some form of wood whether in the decking, sheathing or covering. As a covering, it is attractive, strong and energy efficient. If the materials are pressure treated and fire retardant, a wood roof will last for many years. Routine maintenance helps to keep mold and rot to a minimum while preventing insects from causing damage. A professional Fort Worth roofing company can offer helpful advice about the best type of wood for each layer.
A structure's roof deck is normally built with either oriented strand board or plywood. It should be at least 15/32 inch in thickness or with 16 inch rafter spacings, a 1/2 inch nominal exterior grade. When 24 inch rafter spacings are used, the wood should be 5/8 inch thick. Many experts recommend that the wood's preservative pressure treatment should not be oil based. Untreated lumber can be utilized if it has been either air or kiln dried.
Plywood and lumber are the most common sheathing materials used. Thick panels are required when the roof covering is heavy or the rafters are positioned with a lot of distance between them. CDX grade plywood is a popular choice for sheathing since it is strong, inexpensive and easy to install. If lumber is the preferred material, the grade should be No. 3 common or higher.
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Seasoned softwoods are the best because they will not dry nor shrink. For flat roofs that will be used as patios or balconies, the sheathing boards must be thicker than 1 inch. They can be laid either diagonally or horizontally, but no spaces should be left between them if the region is prone to high levels of rain or snow.
The National Roofing Contractors Association encourages installers of wood shingles or shakes to use a product that has been constructed with at least a No. 1 grade heartwood without face defects. This standard requires 100 percent edge grain. Since a wood roof is more costly than an asphalt shingle system, customers expect the components to consist of a high quality western red cedar, cypress, southern yellow pine or redwood. The wood should be pressure treated to reduce the risk of fire damage or decay. Both sides of a wood shingle are sawn; its taper and thickness are even. Wood shakes, however, are split from logs and give the roof a more rustic appearance. The split surface gives them texture. Shakes can have either a split face and a sawn back or two sawn sides and a natural taper. Regardless of the shake type, its butt end is always thicker than that of a shingle.
The aesthetic effect of a wood roofing system is perhaps its best selling point. It can transform an ordinary building into an interesting, unique structure.