Wood shingles are attractive, low-maintenance, and have great insulative properties. A modern shingle roof can last for decades, but only if it is well maintained. Here are a few tips you should know to prolong the life of your wood shingles and keep them looking brand new.
1. Keep Your Roof Clear of Debris
Leaves, twigs, and branches that come to rest on your roof are a problem if you have wood shingles. This debris can trap moisture and give it more time to soak into your shingles and the layers below.
If you don't clear debris off of your wood roof regularly, your shingles may begin to rot. Worse yet, standing moisture may give wood-eating fungi the chance to take root on your roof.
Use a blower or a broom and ladder to carefully remove light debris from your roof. For your safety, always work with a partner and wait for a clear day to perform this job. Call a contractor to remove large branches or other debris that is too heavy to move safely on your own.
2. Wash and Scrub Your Roof As Needed
If your wood shingle roof looks gray and weathered or is covered in moss, it needs to be washed. This is usually only necessary every few years, especially if you have cedar wood shingles.
Using a power washer is risky if you have a wood roof. High-pressure water can dislodge or break wood shingles. Instead, use a standard garden hose sprayer or soft washer. Contractors may also recommend cleaning wood shingles with sodium percarbonate or deck cleaner.
3. Don't Forget Your Gutters
Your gutters manage rain and snow runoff to protect your shingles, siding, and foundation from moisture. If dirt and leaves frequently clog your gutters, water can back up around the edges of your roof and rot your shingles.
You can keep your gutters in good shape if you clean them at least around once each year depending on your house's individual circumstances, and keep an eye on them during the fall season. Cleaning your gutters is simple: Scoop out leaves and debris with a gutter scoop or hand trowel, and then flush your gutters with a garden hose. Again, keep a partner around for safety any time you work on a ladder.
Wood shingles are one of the most durable roofing materials, and a little extra care goes a long way. Use these tips to make your wood shingles last up to their full potential.