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Old 01-29-2005, 02:41 PM   #1
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Old Wood Shake Roof


My house was built in 1978 and I believe that this wood shake roof was the original. We knew that we'd need to replace it soon and that time is rapidly approaching (I'm not sure that this shingle type should have ever been installed in So. California anyway based on the lack of moisture in the air).

When I went up in the attic to look at it from underneith, it appears that the roof is constructed using evenly spaced boards attached to the trusses/framing, then covered with a layer or two of tar paper, with the wood shingle on top. If I go with composite shingles, will I need to sheet the roof with plywood or can they be installed on the exisiting wood the same way? Also, is this a diy type job or should a pro be involved, (I'd obviously love to save as much doe as possible)?

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Old 01-29-2005, 04:29 PM   #2
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Like Grumpy says, you should hire a qualified professional to service your roofing. It is much more dangerous than it looks, and a lot more involved.

A wood shake installed in 1978 should still have quite a bit of life left in it if it is a cedar shake and has been properly maintained. Why do you say it is time to change it? Properly maintained cedar roofing can last 50 years or more.

If you decide it must be done, and you go with an asphalt shignle, you will most likely have to go with plywood decking over the slats min.

I like wood shake, and would replace it with wood again.

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Old 02-01-2005, 12:56 AM   #3
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Assuming the roof is ready to be replaced, as it is possible because most cedar roofs aren't properly maintained Yes you WILL need a sheet of plywood. You need to create a nailing base, and that plywood is your nailing base.

If you re-install cedar you won't need to install the plywood.

Saving money is great! That's why you need to hire a professional roofer. Your roofer protects your house and everything inside your house. Roofing is NOT as easy as it looks, especially removal or re-installation of cedar roofing.
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Sometimes the savings that comes from doing it yourself can be blown away with one mistake.

The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:49 PM   #4
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Thanks gents. I also love the wood but I don't think it's appropriate for LA because it's far too dry here and seems to make the wood brittle. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems that the wood needs a higher normal level of humidity. If not, it simply wasn't maintained properly (although the few remaining cedar roof's in the neighborhood also look pretty tired). Anyway, thanks for the decking advice. I've installed composite shingles in the past (helped my father build a few houses) but we always added plywood on the trusses so I was just wondering if I needed to add that as well. It makes sense but you never know. Thanks again.
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:57 AM   #5
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Cedar shingles can be treated for that brittleness, which is part of proper amintenance. There are waterseals and natural oils that can be applied to the cedar.
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Sometimes the savings that comes from doing it yourself can be blown away with one mistake.

The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:43 PM   #6
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Proper cedar maintenace starts at the beginning of the roof's life. and about every five years after.
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:49 PM   #7
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Actually proper cedar maintenance starts before the job starts with the roofer suggesting proper ventilation products. When cedar is install on solid decking such as plywood it doesn't breathe well. www.cedarbreather.com and since it isn't breathing is doesn't last more than 25 years.
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Sometimes the savings that comes from doing it yourself can be blown away with one mistake.

The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:20 PM   #8
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Old Wood Shake Roof


I also have a Cedar Shake roof that is drying out. I checked with the Cedar Shake Shingle Bureau. They recommend using a treatement that "Is labeled as a cedar roof treatment product or has a letter from the manufacturer stating that treating cedar roofs is an appropriate use of this product" Now that's pretty vague.

Can you shed some light on this?
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:02 PM   #9
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Roofing is a tough DIY project, but with detailed instruction and consultation it's doable. If you like, take a look at a new how-to series I'm working on. I'm working on the end of it now and should have it done shortly.

I personally like wood shingles, but composites are easier and quicker. My roof is wood shakes with metal installed over top of it. I discovered a leak around the chimney and will probably be tearing the whole thing off and laying down plywood and composites.
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Old 09-15-2005, 09:00 PM   #10
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Old Wood Shake Roof


Just wondering if any of you caught the Ophelia takes in NC. Siding over shakes doesn't seem to work very well either.

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