SPOTLIGHT: C&C Family Roofing and Siding

What causes wood shake roofs to deteriorate?

Wood shake roofing has been around since the colonies were founded. Wood was in abundance and provided beauty, strength and durability to a home. By today’s standards a wood shake roof imparts the look of quality that far overshadows traditional fiberglass shingles. Only a few years of exposure to the weather, however, can drastically change this “quality” roofing. Most wood shake roofing will show signs of cupping, curling, splitting and decay within the first five years. Unlike traditional roofing, wood shakes can be restored and maintained through treatment and proper care which will double or triple its service life.

The primary factors that cause wood shake roofing to degrade are Photodegradation from sunlight, water shrinking and swelling, and fungal decay.

Photodegradation is the result of solar radiation from sunlight. When sunlight is constantly projected on wood it will cause a fading effect of the wood’s natural color. The color change is actually a weakening of the wood cells on the surface of the shake which will be washed away with rainwater. This will allow microscopic cracks to develop allowing water to penetrate deeper into the wood shake.

Water is one of life’s most destructive forces. Moisture can also cause wood shakes to split and deteriorate. Wood is an organic product and will absorb moisture over time. This causes the wood to expand during wet weather events such as rain, humidity and morning dew. The shake absorbs the water then the sun dries the wood causing a continual cycle of expansion and contraction which weakens the wood over time.

Fungal decay is caused when the moisture process allows airborne wood inhabiting fungi to colonize the wood shakes. This fungal attachment causes a breakdown of the natural wood preservatives. As a result, the wood becomes soft, spongy, pitted, or crumbly. This will allow the wood shake to fail sooner than expected.

Have your wood shake roof inspected by a licensed wood roof contractor to prevent these things from occurring. Trust C&C Family Roofing & Siding for all your siding and roofing needs. Call us at 215-999-6248

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