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Auburn Roofing: Article About Wood Shingle Treatment

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Wood shingles are a great way to give any home a more natural look. While it's great for aesthetics, it does cause some concern over protection because wood decays faster after getting wet. Since the roof of a house is bound to get wet at some point, homeowners have to treat it to ensure that it holds up to the outside elements. Regardless of the type of treatment homeowners choose, they should always hire Auburn roofing experts to ensure that wood shingles are treated properly.

When wood is treated and maintained properly, it can last between 25 and 50 years depending on the type of wood used and where the house is located. Areas that have extremely high temperatures and a lot of moisture might cause wood roofs to deteriorate faster. One of the most common types of wood used to make shingles is red cedar because it's strong and naturally repels bugs. Despite the fact that this is a durable wood, it only lasts as long as the ingredients used to treat it.

While some homeowners believe that high quality wood can be left untreated, this is not the case. All shingles will rapidly absorb moisture, causing them to swell and shrink after drying.

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This results in cracking, which can allow moisture to gain entry to the roofing deck. If wood shingles are left too long without drying, they start to rot and mildew. In areas where there is a lot of humidity, wood roofs could become the perfect breeding ground for algae, moss and mold.

Thankfully, many wood shingles of today are pressure treated by the manufacturer before they are sold. The pressure treatment only lasts for so long, however, so homeowners have to keep up with future treatments to keep the shingles looking good. Copper naphthenate and chromated copper arsenate are good wood preservatives but only when applied at recommended levels. Roofing professionals have been trained to know what the proper level of application is for all wood types.

When choosing a finish, homeowners should stay away from film forming finishes, including solid color stains, paints and varnishes. These types of finishes do not tolerate the swelling and shrinking of wood well. As the wood expands and shrinks, it starts to crack, allowing water to gain access to the wood. Varnishes, which are transparent finishes, typically only last a few months before breaking down. Pigment paints don't do much better, lasting only a couple of years. Instead, homeowners should use semitransparent penetrating stains that are oil based. These types of finishes provide a bit of color without covering up the texture of the wood.

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