Assessing the Wood: Inspection Services for Wooden Shingle Roofs

Wood shingle and shake roofs need to be maintained and regularly checked for water damage. If the damage is allowed to get out of control, it can cost thousands in repairs to the home and structural integrity. It is possible to conduct a wooden shingle roof inspection without using a ladder, if the inspector takes the time to look carefully from the ground and from other high vantage points such as surrounding trees or hills. The inspection should also include a walk of the attic to check for signs of water damage.

The most obvious problem with a wood shingle or shake roof is the presence of loose and missing shingles and shakes. Gaps in the roof allow rain to penetrate and cause water damage. This damage can be very expensive to repair and it is very important to recommend a roofer to replace missing shingles as soon as they are found.

Another common problem with a wooden shingle or shake roof is the existence of rotting and/or mildew on the roof. Moss should be removed and the surrounding shingles, fascia and roof framing should be probed for signs of rot.

If a shingle or shake roof is covered with mildew or moss it is very slippery and should not be walked on. The weight of a person walking on the roof can break brittle shingles or shakes.

The last major issue with a shingle or shake roof is the presence and condition of the fasteners. The fasteners are the nails that hold the shingles or shakes to the roof. It is important that the number of fasteners is limited and the nails are properly installed. Fasteners that are too close together can pull the shingles apart.

When inspecting a wooden shingle or shake roof it is best to examine the wood from a vantage point such as a deck, nearby trees, a neighbor’s house or hills. This will allow the inspector to avoid damaging the shingles or shakes by walking on the roof. If the roof is very deteriorated it may be necessary to use a ladder.

If a cedar shingle roof needs cleaning it is recommended to use a scrub brush and a small amount of bleach water. Power washing is not recommended as it can cause the shingles to split. The cracks caused by splitting can allow water to penetrate causing future problems. This is why annual inspections by a roofing professional are recommended. The inspector will be able to identify potential problems before they become serious and save the homeowner a lot of stress and expense down the road.

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