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Mount Pleasant Roofing: Article About Wood Roofs

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In earlier times, wood roofs were a commonplace sight since not many other roofing options were available. Times have changed, and wood shakes and shingles are now considered luxury products that actually cost more than many other roofing materials. Today, wood roofs are chosen because of their natural beauty and weather resistance. Wood shakes and shingles are costly to purchase and install; however, your Mount Pleasant roofing company can instruct you on the best ways to prolong the life of your wood roof and get the most value out of your investment.

Over time, a wood roof will weather from exposure to the elements. Your shingles or shakes will gradually turn silver, gray or brown as they weather. Many homeowners love the rustic appearance of weathered wood; however, if you want to slow down the rate of weathering, a pigmented finish can be applied. These finishes can add a touch of color to your wood roof and reduce weathering and decay.

Not every conventional wood finish is appropriate for a wood roof. Common treatments like varnish, paint and shellac will crack from the swelling and shrinking caused by exposure to weather. When water seeps through these cracks, it will become trapped under the layer of finish and eventually rot the wood. It is also difficult to refinish the wood after these treatments are applied.

Most roofing contractors agree that the first coat of finish should be applied before the shakes or shingles are installed on the roof.

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You can dip the shingles into the finish or apply the finish with a sprayer or paintbrush. Once the first coat of finish is complete, the shingles or shakes are ready for installation.

Routine maintenance is particularly important when you own a wood roof. Valleys and gutters require frequent cleaning to keep water from getting trapped under the wood roofing material. Be sure to trim away any branches or vines that might be hanging over the roof: Too much shade allows the roof to stay wet, which increases the risk of mildew, moss and decay.

If you do find moss growing on your roof, it's not difficult to treat the problem. A solution of three quarts of water mixed with a quart of bleach and an ounce of detergent should take care of the moss. Commercial products are also available to treat lichens and moss.

It's clear that wood shakes and shingles require more care than other roofing materials, but the beauty of a wood roof makes the extra maintenance worthwhile. Treating your wood roof with the appropriate products can add decades to its life span. An untreated roof may show the effects of decay in as little as ten years. With the correct surface treatments and protection, it can last up to thirty years.

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