How to Install a Cedar Shingle Roof
If you’re looking to give your shed roof a fresh new look or are getting ready to install a brand-new one, cedar shingles are an ideal choice. Not only is the material, durable and weather resistant, but it’s also long-lasting.
Installing a cedar shake roof can be quite complex. That is why it is best to enlist the assistance of an experienced contractor.
Preparing the Roof
Cedar shingles can be an attractive roofing material, but they require special preparation to ensure the project runs smoothly. You must clear away debris from both the roof and surrounding area, as well as protect any delicate items.
If you have movable furniture and toys, it is wise to move them before the roofing professionals arrive. Doing so can help prevent construction workers from damaging them while working.
It is wise to take down any heavy wall decorations or hangings before the installation process begins, as this will make the job much smoother for them and protect any damage from falling shingles or other debris.
Once all necessary areas have been cleared, you can begin prepping for your roofing project. Be sure to remove any existing shingles or tar paper before beginning this step.
Installing the new roof without damaging existing materials makes it simpler. Furthermore, underlayment and felt paper are used to protect your roof from rainwater damage or ice dams.
Once the old shingles and underlayment have been taken off, you can begin installing the new cedar shakes. For best results, hire a roofer who specializes in cedar shakes; this will guarantee the shingles are installed correctly and will last for years to come.
Cedar shingles and shakes are made with wood from large trees located in either the northwest United States or southwest Canada. Once cut into 2-foot sections, these boards can be hand split or sawn into a tapered thickness (taper sawn).
Cedar shingles come in three grades, and the quality of the wood will ultimately determine their lifespan. For instance, top-grade shingles are made with 100% edge grain Western Red Cedar or Alaskan Yellow Cedar that do not include sapwood. Conversely, lower grades may contain varying amounts of sapwood and knots.
Prior to having the roofing contractors come out, you will need to clear away any moss or growth from the surface of the shingles. Doing this reduces the chance of rot, mold, and moisture buildup that could potentially harm both the interior and exterior of your home.
Laying the Shingles
When installing cedar shingles, the accuracy of lay is essential. Doing so ensures the roof will last as long as possible and looks its best. Additionally, following instructions provided by the manufacturer and any building code requirements may help guarantee success.
First, determine how many shingles you’ll need for the job. This depends on the size of your gazebo and how much surface area is covered (including windows and doors). For instance, if covering 100 square feet of the area requires four boxes of shingles.
Once you know how many shingles you need, set them out on your roof in courses using a story pole – an old-school board that measures distances between shingle exposures on a roof. This step helps ensure even coverage throughout all layers of protection.
Next, you must secure the shingles into place with nails or a stapler. You can do this manually; however, using a pneumatic nailer or stapler is faster and less likely to split them if done correctly.
To secure the shingles into place, you’ll need either aluminum, stainless steel, or galvanized steel nails with ring shanks. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for selecting the appropriate fasteners.
For a more polished appearance, install inside corner trim pieces. While these aren’t visible from the ground level, they can add to the beauty of your gazebo. A 1×1 cut from 5/4 cedar decking works perfectly as these trims.
Additionally, make sure each shingle is evenly spaced from one another so there are no gaps between them. Doing this helps prevent water infiltration.
Once you’ve laid all of the shingles, it is time to secure them with nails in a broken bond pattern. This means that each shingle above should be fitted over another with fixings 19mm from each edge and 28mm up from the butt of the course above.
Cedar shingles are easy to work with and can be stained or painted to match your building’s decor. Not only that, but they’re resistant to fire, moisture, and insect damage as well – making them one of the world’s most popular roofing materials.
Nailing the Shingles
When installing shingles, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Furthermore, ensure the shingles are placed accurately and aligned correctly; additionally, nailing down each shingle prevents them from falling off accidentally.
Roof contractors use pneumatic nail guns to drive the shingles into place, so it’s essential they pay close attention to how much pressure is applied. Too high of a setting can drive the head of the nail right through the mat of a shingle, invalidating its manufacturer’s warranty and leading to peeling shingles; too low an angle leaves the nail exposed to weather elements and allows water infiltration.
Laying shingles begins with nailing up a narrow starter strip 3″ to 4″ (76mm to 102mm) from the roof edges or eaves, as indicated on the package instructions for each type of shingle. Subsequent full courses of shingles will then adhere on top of this initial row for extra security and strength.
Nailing up the starter course is essential to prevent shingles from sliding off the roof when the wind blows over them, and also helps stop water from running down into the shingle underlayment. In some local codes, 6 nails must be attached on windward sides as part of wind resistance nailing.
Use at least 4 roofing nails to secure each subsequent shingle to the starter shingle (six nails in high-wind areas). Lay the shingles over one another, snapping horizontal chalk lines to keep them straight and vertically aligned.
Before driving in nails, make sure the heads of the nails are well covered with a self-sealing strip. Doing this also helps protect the nail heads from rust forming on the shingles’ metal.
If the self-sealing strip is absent, some drops of roofing cement can be dipped into the end of a hammer and pushed against each nail head to hold them securely in place. If this doesn’t work, applying thin coatings of asphalt roofing cement to each nail head may provide added assurance.
Finishing the Roof
When installing a cedar shake roof, it is essential to take special care and precision. Not only will this enhance your home’s appearance, but it will also protect the shingles in the long run.
First, you need to create a secure base for the shingles by laying down thick underlayments over the roof. This protects the shingles from moisture damage and encourages proper installation of the shingles. Additionally, underlay can serve as extra support while they dry out.
Underlay should be stretched across the roof, allowing liquid to drain away from the rafters. This will promote proper ventilation and help protect against rot or frost damage.
Once your underlay is in place, fasten it securely using a pancake head fastener or neoprene washer. These fasteners are easy to install and won’t damage your shingles.
Another critical step in installing your cedar shingle roof is correctly aligning them. Doing this ensures they are level and free from any uneven spots which could cause leaks or other issues down the line.
It’s essential to leave enough keyway space between each shingle in order for proper runoff and ventilation, which will ultimately extend the life of your shingles in the long run.
Installing flashing on your roof will prevent moss and algae growth on the shingles, providing a clean look while inhibiting these plants from growing. Copper, zinc, or galvanized flashing is available for this purpose – simply twist it shut for protection!
Cedar shingles and shakes come in various colors, from natural finishes to opaque coatings, semi-transparent stains, and oils. You can select the color that best reflects your home’s style while meeting all your maintenance requirements.
Before making a final decision on your cedar shingles, it’s wise to consult an expert. Avoid film-forming finishes such as paint, which will restrict moisture absorption and eventually cause the wood to deteriorate.