Wood Shingles: Adding Traditional Roofing to your Home

Wood shingles have been used for centuries, but more recently asphalt shingles have replaced the traditional wood shingle. Although wood shingles are more aesthetically pleasing than their asphalt counterparts, they require much more care and attention. However; if you want the traditional look of an old fashioned North America, you will choose wood shingles instead of asphalt. Most people might not contemplate using wood shingles because they are so many other options. One of the reasons why some people opt for wood shingles, instead of any other material is because they are renewable. With many people opting for a more sustainable way of living, and with architects trying to find a way of achieving sustainable architecture. They are becoming more and more popular in certain areas.


Are there any benefits to choosing wood shingles over any other type of material, such as asphalt or fibreglass?


Wood is a natural insulator, therefore installing wood shingles could keep a house warmer than say, a concrete roof. What does this mean? It means that over time it is possible to save energy and money.


Appearance may not be important to some, however; it can make a property look interesting and unusual. They change colour over time due to weathering, and this can make them look even more interesting. Just like trees age and become richer in colour, so do wooden shingles.

Wood shingles are very durable, because they are have natural protective properties. Trees manage to withstand years, even centuries of bad weather. Therefore they are genetically predisposed to withstand bad weather and rot. They could possibly erode over time due to natural weathering, this is why the best thing to do is treat them to protect them from wear and tear. If you have them fitted properly, you should expect to keep your wood shingles in place for more than 20 years. There are also various treatments that you can use that can make them last longer.

There are various treatments that can be carried out to to make wood shingles last for a longer period of time. When it comes to treating wooden shingles there are three options. Penetrating, preservatives and film forming.

Penetrating treatments are usually stains that are consist mainly of oil or latex. Oil treatments work well in places where the weather is not very warm. Whereas latex treatments are good for warm climates. This type of treatment is good for saw textured or split surface shingles.

Film Forming
Film forming treatments are paint or full bodied colour stains. This type of treatment can be used on most types of wood shingle. They can help prevent mould and protect wood shingles from erosion, the treatment usually lasts for about 15 years.

These are considered water repellent preservative stains. Which are mainly designed to protect the shingles from water. They don't last very long, and so are considered a short term solution.

Keeping Shingles Clean
One of the most important things to think about when taking care of wooden shingles is, keeping them clean. This means removing any old leaves and natural occurrences such moss and dust. Leaving them on the shingles can cause fungal growth and could shorten the lifespan of the shingles.

Planning on Installing Wooden Shingles?
If you are planning on installing wooden shingles it is best to contact a professional. Although when they first came about people were constructing their own wood shingle roofs. Advances in technology means that there are various new and innovative ways of installing them that can make them last longer. Therefore if you have them professionally installed, it is more than likely that they will last much longer than if you were to attempt to install them yourself. Another thing to consider is safety, professionals have all the safety equipment available to make sure that they are safe whilst installing the roof. However a non-professionally may not have this readily available, and could risk injury. One other factor to consider is, insurance. If you try and install them yourself and something goes wrong with the roof you might not be covered by your insurance.

Final Thought
Wood shingles may not be right for everybody, however; they are biodegradable, renewable and they keep the heat in. There are a variety of wooden shingles to choose from, it all depends on what will look best on your property.