Cedar Shingle Application

As it is with many buildings here on the farm, eventually something will wear out and need to be replaced, whether with age, wind, or minor catastrophe. So it was this fall with the roof on the Northwest porch on our house. After many years of deflecting Mother Nature's storms, heat, sun, and ice, the roof wore thin and needed to be replaced before the autumn rains and winter snows arrived. So began the task of replacing it.

Because our home's roof is made of clear red cedar, we are able to replace it as it need be and not the roof in its entirety. We began the arduous task by first removing all the old worn out shingles with two silage forks. Carefully we placed the tines of the forks in-between the small rows of nails that were holding them down.

With great pushing and lifting, the rows of shingles were pried loose and tossed into an awaiting wagon below the roof line. Once we removed the old shingles, the next task ahead was to sweep off the roof and remove the rows and rows of tiny roof nails. This was done with the help of a claw headed hammer. All the nails are carefully removed and placed in a receptacle; this is done to avoid the need to repair lawn equipment tires should one of those little nails find its way into them. As Dad always said "A Stitch in time saves nine." No truer words could ever be spoken on a farm. Once we removed the roof nails, the copper flashing along the roof that abuts with the house was removed. The old tar paper needed to be removed as well - one should never reuse old tar paper no matter how good it looks. After the black paper was removed we went over the roof boards one more time to check for leftover nails, and to see if any of the boards themselves needed to be replaced or gaps needed to be filled.

Now we could begin the re-roofing. The new tar paper, known now as mineral surfaced fiberglass cap sheets, was placed across the roof, overlapping a minimum of 2" or more which seems to do a better job of protecting. Once we laid the sheets out, we secured them to the roof with flat head shingle nails. We now commenced with the laying of shingles. When applying wood shingles to your roof, allow time for cutting and placing them correctly onto the surface. Remember you're laying one shingle at a time. We began at the edge of the roof applying the shingles in straight shingle courses. Again, shingles must be doubled at all eves. The butts of this first double course should project 1 1/2 inches past the roof line. Spacing between the adjacent shingles, also known as the joints should be 1/4" to 3/8" apart. As you move upward with your courses, remember the joints should not be directly aligned.

We used hot dipped zinc coated nails to hold the shingles down to the roof. We then placed two nails to every shingle irregardless of the shingle's width. Too many nails can cause your shingle to either cup or split. Too few and you could loose your shingle all together. Each nail should be placed not more than 3/4" from the side edge of the shingle and not more then 1" above the exposure line. Make sure the nail you are using is long enough to penetrate at least 3/4" or through the sheathing. Drive them flush, but not so that the head crushes the wood.

Our roofing information that we use here on the farm comes from:

Watkins Sawmills
P.O. Box 3289
Mission, B.C. Canada V2V 4J4

We now have a beautiful new roof on our porch, which we can enjoy for years to come.

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