Roofing: Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Cedar Shakes

Posted on: 8 February 2017


If you are looking to erect a new roof or replace your current one, of the popular materials you will come across are cedar shakes these roofing materials are quite attractive as they add a touch of rustic elegance to your structure. In addition to this, they blend in well with conventional timber frames and trusses as well as the outdoors making your structure seem one with nature. Nevertheless, it should be noted that working with cedar shakes can be quite complex. To ensure that your cedar roof shakes have prolonged longevity, the following are some of the mistakes that you should avoid.

Mistake 1: Not allowing the cedar shakes to acclimate

One of the main mistakes people make when working with cedar shakes is rushing to install them as soon as they receive their roofing materials. However, this approach will make your shakes susceptible to damage and compromise your roofing as they begin to expand and contract once installed. To prevent this, it is crucial to allow these shakes acclimate to the ambient climatic conditions of your location. To do this, lay down the shakes under a shelter outdoors and leave them be for several days. This will greatly decrease the chances of them starting to acclimatise once they have been installed on your roof.

Mistake 2: Using any type of nails for installation

Another aspect of cedar-shake installation that is typically overlooked is the type of nails used. Unlike other types of roofing materials, you cannot simply use any nails to secure the shakes. This is especially true if you live by the coast. Nails made from materials that contain steel alloys would be more susceptible to corrosion over time and this can compromise the integrity of the cedar shakes. Instead, you should use nails either that are galvanised or that are made from aluminium. In addition to this, ensure that you install ring shanks once the nails are hammered in. these shanks function to prevent your nails from popping out of the shakes as the cedar contracts and expands due to temperature changes.

Mistake 3: Installing the cedar shakes with a nail gun

A nail gun is one of the most convenient tools you could have for any construction and repair projects around the home. However, the use of a nail gun on your cedar shakes could cause you more harm than good. This is because the nail gun will drive the nails much farther into the shake than if you took the time to manually hammer in the nails. If the nails penetrate too far, the pose the risk of cracking in the shakes, leading to premature replacement.