It can be a daunting process when doing a cedar shake roof install, especially when you have 4 common mistakes to avoid. This blog post will cover 4 common mistakes that people make when trying to do a cedar shake roof install and how you can avoid them so your installation goes smoothly.
Table of Contents
1. Not Allowing Wood to Acclimatize
One of the biggest mistakes is not allowing cedar shakes time to acclimatize before the cedar shake roof installation. It is recommended that the cedar shake needs at least two weeks after they have been delivered and laid down in your yard, that way the wood can adjust itself with the local moisture content. If you put them up too soon then they will dry up quickly due to the sun and wind which can cause cedar shakes to split. This does of course depend on the distance at which the cedar shakes have traveled to your home, if you are next to the depot and it is in the same climate as yours then the time period can be shortened.
2. Using the Wrong Nails and the Wrong Tools
Another cedar shake roof install mistake is using the wrong nails. It’s important to use rust-resistant, corrosion-proof nails for cedar shakes to ensure they penetrate deep enough and hold tight over time.
It is often required that you use corrosion-resistant nails or staples for your cedar shake roof. Stainless steel (Type 304 or 316), aluminum, or hot-dipped zinc-coated steel nails and stainless steel staples are often recommended but it is worth checking with your local authority for their exact specifications and criteria. If you choose a nail that isn’t strong enough it can cause cedar shakes to become loose over time as the wood swells and shrinks with changes in humidity levels.
Using incorrect tools such as power drills or screwdrivers also causes problems as cedar suffers from high torque which means there is resistance when turning screws etc., causing them to break off easily if too much pressure is applied.
3. Not Aligning Your Shingles Properly
Not aligning your cedar shakes properly is another huge mistake. This can cause water penetration onto the underlayment or even worse, it can loosen the shingles and leave them vulnerable to wind damage due to gaps in between each shake. Make sure you align all of your cedar roof tiles so there are no cracks left behind which will allow for free flow of air and moisture into your attic space.
You should also ensure that they overlap correctly when laying down on top of one another as this forms a seal against rainwater getting through underneath while allowing expansion room if needed.
4. Not Allowing for Ventilation
One of the biggest mistakes when doing a cedar shake roof install is not allowing ventilation. You should ensure that you leave ventilation gaps in between each shingle which will allow for ventilation and help prevent any mold growth from forming on your roof tiles or in your attic space. It’s important to avoid moisture build-up whether it be from water penetrating down into your attic space or even ventilation gaps which you can’t see.
There are products available that allow for ventilation while also preventing the growth of mold and mildew on your cedar roof tiles such as Cedar Shake Ventilation Covers. These ventilation covers sit behind each shingle to provide a barrier from wetness build-up, allowing moisture to escape.
Other Possible Solutions
There are many reasons why hiring professionals is beneficial, such as it ensures quality workmanship and lasting durability. It saves homeowners from wasting money and time on completing an inferior job with lower workmanship. If you roof doesn’t last as long as it should due to a poor cedar shake roof install then it is likely not worth the time and money it took to do.
It’s important to note that professional installation is not the only solution. If you’re experienced and confident in your cedar shake roof install skills then here is a recap on some of the key points:
- Allow the wood to acclimatize
- Use stainless steel nails which will prevent corrosion on your roof tiles over time
- Ensure there is sufficient ventilation so moisture can escape – use a Cedar Shake ventilation cover.
- Ensure all shingles align correctly with no gaps when installed properly but also allow them to be able to expand when wet and breathe in order to dry themselves efficiently.
- Additional Points
- Do not walk on the Cedar Shake Roof Install as this can put pressure on the cedar shake and cause it to break. If you must, be sure to do so carefully and do not stand on the tip.
It is also worth noting that just because you have been told you need a new roof, it is quite likely that you actually do not! Bruce Sullivan has decades of experience in the cedar shake industry and offers a cleaning service that will restore your cedar shake roof to its former glory. The cleaning process uses no power washer and removes all fungus, algae, moss, and other organic matter and infestations on the roof. Once cleaned the roof will be able to breathe again and the shakes can create their own oils. This will bring your roof back to life and save you money in the process as cleaning a roof costs about 5% of the price of replacing it and it will allow your roof to last the typical 40 – 50 years.