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Mount Pleasant Roofing: Article About Wood Shingles and Shakes

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Does your house need a new roof? If so, have you considered the idea of having wood roofing shingles or shakes installed on your house? Wood shingles and shakes are typically manufactured from red or white cedar, although you may sometimes find them made from spruce lumber, as well. Cedar is used for several reasons, including its natural resistance to fungus growth. Of course, your cedar shingles will need to be treated with a wood preservative every few years to extend their lifespan, but their natural resistance to mold certainly helps.

You might be wondering what the difference is between wood shingles and wood shakes. Wood shingles are thin, tapered panels that are smooth on both sides and uniformly shaped. In contrast, wood shakes are split by hand in non-uniform sizes. Shakes are also manufactured to be rough on one side and smooth on the other. When choosing between shingles and shakes for your Mount Pleasant roofing, your decision will probably be based on your personal preference.

Once you have that beautiful new wood roof, you need to learn how to best take care of it. The most important thing to remember is that moisture is your roof's worst enemy. Try to keep your roof clear of anything that attracts moisture, such as leaves, pine cones, needles and acorns. Every few months, it is a good idea to sweep off your roof with a long-handled broom or a roof rake.

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On a side note, if you use a roof rake, make sure it has rubber bumpers on the sides of the blade so you do not damage your shingles. If you have tree limbs hanging over your wood roof, trim them back. This will help cut down on the amount of moisture-attracting debris that lands on your roof.

Why is moisture an enemy of your wood roof? Wood is a natural material that absorbs water. However, when it does not dry out completely or the water gets trapped inside your shingles, the moisture can cause algae or fungus to grow on your shingles. This is not healthy because this fungus will eventually destroy your shingles or shakes. Once wood rot sets in, the affected shingles and shakes must be replaced. If you catch it early, your shingles can likely be saved. The first signs of mildew and mold will appear as black marks on the exteriors of your shingles. You must kill this mildew and mold before it spreads to other shingles on your roof. There are commercially manufactured treatments that kill mold, but you can also just make your own concoction at home. Simply mix a gallon of very hot water with a cup each of bleach and detergent. Scrub the mildew spots off the shingles, then rinse them off with a garden hose.

When considering the option of wood shingles or shakes for your roof, just keep in mind there will be maintenance tasks that must be done regularly in order to keep your roof in good condition. Above all, any time you notice a problem beginning to happen, take care of it right away before it worsens.

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