If you've noticed a few broken or missing shingles on your wood roofing, you can replace them fairly easily. If you notice more serious signs such as rot, damage from pests, moss growth, graying colors that may indicate micro-fungal growth or a substantial amount of splitting, contact a qualified wood roofing contractor for an assessment. And of course, if there are any signs of leak damage, performing wood roof repair on a few shingles is not going to solve the problem.
If your wood roofing looks like this, don't bother with a wood roof repair - call a contractor! | @ iStockphoto.com / Frantab
How to Perform A Wood Roof Repair
Firstly, you need to secure replacement wood shingles. Hopefully you will have some of the original wood shingles on hand from the original installation. If not, go to your local hardware store to purchase new wood shingles. Ensure you buy the same wood shingles that are on your roof – wood species, thickness and size.
These new wood shingles will likely be a very different color than those on your roof, so you can pre-weather them to match. Simply dissolve baking soda in water and brush it onto the wood shingles. Set them out in the sun for about five hours, and then rinse off the baking soda mixture. If the color isn’t quite right, repeat until you are satisfied.
The next step is to remove the damaged shingles. A roof is a dangerous place to be, to be sure to take the proper safety precautions before heading up (a harness is not going above and beyond – a broken back is not worth the cost.) Take a chisel and a hammer, and split the damaged wood shingles until you can remove the pieces. Take a hacksaw and slide it under the overlapping shingles to saw off the nail heads.
After removing all of your damaged wood shingles, it is now time to insert new ones. Using a utility knife or a chisel, cut a new shingle to size. Slide it into the space, and use a wooden block and a hammer to gently tap it to within 1 inch of the original position. Drive in two galvanized nails at an upward angle directly below the butt of the overlapping wood shingles. Tap it into place.
What to Do When Your Wood Roofing Starts to Curl
It is no mystery that wood absorbs moisture. If your roof is not properly ventilated, your wood shingles will probably start to curl as they cannot dry out. This is because the top of the wood roofing has dried, while the underside is still moist.
Of course you can replace curled wood shingles, however you must solve the underlying problem lest your quest to repair your wood roof is ultimately done in futility. Contact a qualified contractor for problems of this magnitude (not the one who installed your wood roofing without ventilation in the first place!)