Your Woodlands, Texas roof is arguably the most important part of your house. It is your home’s main defense against the cruel ravages of weather, including high winds, hail, rain and frequent exposure to bright sunlight. Many homeowners are choosing shake shingles for their new homes or when they need a replacement roof from The Woodlands roofing contractor experts.
Shake shingles provide excellent protection, and they are a very popular choice for The Woodlands residential roofing but shake shingles do require periodic maintenance. Usually, these shingles are made from western red cedar due to its exceptional properties.
- Resistance to decay
- Low weight
- Straight grain that is free of defects
Other woods used to make shake shingles are redwood and cypress, but cedar is readily available. Supplies of redwood and cypress have decreased significantly, which has put a crimp on the production and distribution of shake shingles made from those woods. However, despite its popularity, cedar has limitations. It is susceptible to warping, splitting and rotting, but regular maintenance and upkeep will minimize those issues.
How Weather Affects Shake Shingles
A cedar shake roof only looks brand new for a short period. Its appearance will begin to change due to a process called weathering. Weathering has chemical and physical causes. First, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation strips the surface layer of some of the cell-wall components. This causes the shingles to fade slightly. Within the first year, the silver-gray color will change to a dark slate gray and then to black or brown. This color change indicates the presence of micro-fungi that have colonized the roof’s surface. If the weather is really severe, this change can occur in several months.
When shake shingles get wet, they swell. When they dry, they shrink. This constant cycle of wet and dry shingles makes the shingles develop microscopic cracks. These cracks increase in size over the course of time. When they grow, larger organisms that rot wood invade the shingles further, which makes the wood become harder to dry.
Continued normal exposure to precipitation increases the destruction. Tree debris settles into the cracks and between the shingles. Then, lichens and mosses can start growing on your roof. Splits worsen, and some of the shingles may start to cup or curl. This entire process can take as long as 30 years, but it can happen much sooner if you do not take care of your roof.
Shake Shingle Care and Maintenance
Before things reach the point where you need The Woodlands roof replacement, try these tips for maintaining your shake shingle roof.
- During the dry season, remove all the pine needles, leaf litter and debris that has collected in the roof’s valleys and between the shakes. This accumulation of plant matter and dirt can soak up rain and retain the moisture, which promotes the growth of destructive fungus. Fungi cannot grow without water.
- Trim any overhanging branches so that the roof gets direct sunlight and can dry completely between wet weather occurrences. Make sure no branches are in direct contact with your roof because they can cause grooves where mosses might grow. Trees that prevent good airflow will also slow the drying process and promote the growth of organisms that will rot your shingles.
- You can use chemical treatments to clean and protect your roof. Detergent solutions and bleach can handle most stains. Herbicides will kill moss, fungi and molds. You can also add pigment and ultraviolet absorbers to delay damage from the sun.
Paramount Roofing is available for any roofing repair or replacement in The Woodlands. Give us a call at 713-748-4000, and our owner will come by your home or business to give you a free estimate with no obligation.