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What Wood Is Used For Roofing

Maintaining Your Wood Roof

How to make Wood Shingles using hand tools

As with any roof, maintenance plays a role in increasing the lifespan and preventing weathering and rot from taking hold. Wood shingles and shakes need a little more attention than asphalt shingles, but keeping up with routine maintenance ensures your roof lasts for many, many years.

Here are some tips to help you maintain your wood shakes and shingles:

Best Wood For Construction Of A Pitched Roof

The pitch of the roof helps to determine the type of roofing materials, but in general the wood that is used is dimensional lumber which is less expensive. Pine is a very common type of wood in framing, because it is soft, not so heavy, and easier to work with.

The following video provides an overview of the best wood for framing a pitched roof as opposed to wood used to build fine furniture:

The wood that is used as the horizontal member to span long distances in the framing process is many times engineered wood. Some of the best outdoor picnic tables are made with this wood. Dimensional lumber can be utilized depending on the load and span, but there are times when the architectural design requires engineered lumber.

It is also known as composite or man-made wood and it includes a range of products which are manufactured by binding strands or particles of wood together with adhesives under intense heat and pressure. The consistency of the material quality is one of the key benefits, as the wood doesnt generally shrink, warp, cup, crown, or twist.

Roof Sheathing And Asphalt Roofing In Holland Mi

Your roof sheathing is an important component of your roofing system. Sheathing holds up your shingles, keeps the elements out, and helps distribute weight evenly across your roof. If you suspect your Holland or West Michigan home has damaged or old sheathing, get in touch with the experts at Werner Roofing.

Weve been building Holland roofs for years and would be happy to come out and inspect your roof sheathing to let you know whats going on. Schedule your free roofing estimate online today, or give us a call at 616-844-5382 and well get you a no-obligation estimate based on a professional inspection.

Read Also: How Much Does Equinox Louvered Roof Cost

How Long Do Wooden Shingles And Shakes Last

The lifespan of wooden shingles and shakes always depends on the type of wood that they are made out of. Cedar shingles and shakes typically last 30-40 years. Teak shingles typically last 50-80 years. Wallaba shingles typically last 30 years. Composite shingles typically last 50+ years on average. Pine shakes typically last 30-40 years.

As you can see, wood roofs are practically guaranteed to last a long time. Just keep them well maintained and treated. For more information on this topic, check out this post: How Long Does A Wood Roof Last?

Many Factors Affect Thickness

Truss Systems Hawaii  Maui

The thickness of plywood used for roof decking depends on the roof slope, the spacing of rafters and the weight of other material to be put over the decking, as well as the design “load” the amount of pressure exerted by various forces and the weather, especially weight of snow or ice accumulations. The wider the rafter spacing, the heavier the shingling, the lower the slope and the heavier the weather load, the thicker the plywood will have to be.

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What Type Of Timber Is Used For Roof Trusses

typesusedtimber trusses

. Accordingly, why is timber used for roof trusses?

Wood or Timber roof trusses are widely used in USA, Canada and other countries because of its advantages over other trusses, as it offers great flexibility in plan layout. The high strength-to-weight ratios of timber trusses permit long spans, offer greater flexibility in floor plan layout.

Also Know, what is the maximum span of a roof truss? Trusses can span up to approximately 90′, although very long truss spans are more challenging to deliver, erect, brace and install properly. While longer trusses may be wobbly as they are lifted off of the ground and onto the bearing walls, once they are properly braced, the truss system is extremely strong.

One may also ask, what type of wood is used for rafters?

Rafters are usually made of Pine or Cedar. For longer span rafters, building materials manufacturers have created LVL rafters that can be 25 times longer than typical wood rafter. In US, most wood rafters have maximum length of 20 feet.

How much is a wood truss?

Trusses run anywhere from $30 to $400 each. If you know the board feet, you can estimate between $0.60 to $1.50 per board foot. Large and complex roofs need specialized trusses at a higher price.

How Do You Replace A Rotted Roof Deck

How to Replace Rotted Roof Decking

  • Step One: Estimate the extent of the damage.
  • Step Two: Remove the roofing.
  • Step Three: Measure the area.
  • Step Four: Cut out rotted wood.
  • Step Five: Cut the replacement decking to fit.
  • Step Six: Position the replacement.
  • Step Seven: Secure the decking.
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    Types Of Pitched Roof Framing

    Understanding how a roof is built in order to create a waterproof layer is essential to the design. Realizing that the roof is supported by outside walls, interior weight bearing walls, and the ceiling joists as part of the overall water-shedding capability will help in planning a roof overhaul.

    bobwood / Pixabay

    Before construction of a pitched roof or any type of repair work, you have to factor in the age of the roof, the type of covering, and the climate of the location. In Colorado, the climate is generally considered semiarid in the lower elevations, with lower humidity and moderate precipitation, but the higher elevations will include lower temperatures along with more moisture.

    Roofs are under a lot of pressure, so in order to stay intact and in place, a roof must be able to resist loads that are pushing both downward and upward on it. There are four main types of pitched roof designs with many variations and combinations:

    Gabled The roof slopes around a triangular extension of the end wall. This piece of wall is the gable.

    Hipped A hip is the joint between two adjacent slopes of a roof. Some complex roofs have several hips.

    Shed This simple roof has only one slope. It is commonly used on lean-to structures, such as additions.

    Mansard A modified version of the pitched roof that creates a spacious living area in the roof space.

    See more here: All About Roofs: Pitches, Trusses and Framing

    Osb Vs Plywood For Roofing

    My New Used Roof – Metal Roofing Installation

    Oriented strand board is made by gluing small pieces of wood together and compressing them. OSB panels come up to 16 feet in length. OSB is easily identifiable by its characteristic wood strands.

    Plywood is made from multiple thin sheets of veneer that are cross-laminated and glued together with a hot press. The finished plywood is made from an odd number of veneer sheets, So that makes the balance of cross-lamination techniques.

    OSB has a greater shear strength than plywood panels. Plywood has less shear strength than OSB.

    OSB vs Plywood for Roofing

    Also Check: How Much Does It Cost To Pitch A Roof

    Are Wooden Shingles Waterproof

    Wooden shingles are not waterproof. They are, however, water-resistant. This means that with time, water will leak into your wooden roof and you will have to replace it, but due to modern water-resistant technology, this lifespan has increased. Different types of wood, such as wallaba and composite, are better if you live in an extremely wet climate.

    Types Of Wood Roofs You Should Know

    There are many different types of materials that can be used to build a roof. Whether you are building a new home, looking to replace your roof, or are just curious about roofing, you should look into the many different types of wooden roofs that are offered. Weve pulled together our research to make it easy for you to find the best one for your home.

    Wood roofs are most popularly constructed with the following types of wood:

  • Cedar shingles
  • Cedar shakes
  • Pine shakes
  • Choosing the best type of wood to complete your home roofing project can be difficult and even a bit overwhelming, but this guide should help you sort through all the information. Well also cover helpful questions regarding the lifespan of wood roofs, their waterproof capabilities, and even whether or not you can install the new roof over an old one. So be sure to keep reading.

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    Sheathing Boards Or Plywood

    Sheating boards are made from thin layers of wood adhered together, each with its grain at right angles to adjacent layers for greater strength and dimensional stability. Usually there are an odd number of layers so that the grain of the outside layers run together.

    Points of attention during installation:

    • Install the boards with staggered vertical joints, parallel to the ridgeline. The vertical joints between boards must be supported along the whole length and nailed down well.
    • Ensure sufficient support with a maximum of 600 mm in between two rafters.
    • Plywood panels should be installed with 3 mm spacing between them .

    Choosing The Right Shed Roof Materials

    Teak Shingles &  Shakes

    The most important thing you need to keep in mind when choosing the right shed roof materials is that the material you choose must be able to protect your shed from any extremes in weather the area you live in is likely to encounter.

    At the same time, since you and your neighbors are going to have to look at your shed and its roof, the material you choose should be at least somewhat aesthetically appealing.

    Bear in mind that it is important for you to understand that there are a number of shed roof materials for you to choose from including metal, asphalt shingles, rolls of roof felt, terracotta tiles, and more.

    One interesting thing worth noting, is that over the past few years there has been a major move from using natural materials such as cedar shakes towards using engineered roofing materials such as synthetic felts, sheet metals, and concrete tiles.

    There are several reasons behind this movement including cost, environmental concerns, and in many areas changes to local construction codes.

    Speaking of which, you need to be sure you check your local codes before building your shed or installing a new roof to be sure they do not require specific shed roof materials or outlaw others.

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    What Type Of Plywood Should You Use On Your Roof

    Roofs are framed with rafters that run from the peak of the rood to the eaves. These rafters are covered in a sheathing that consists of either plywood or oriented strand board. Plywood is typically used for sheathing because its water resistant, provides great structural stability and is low cost. However, oriented strand board is another favorite. It costs less than plywood and provides the same resistance and stability.

    OSB and plywood share many similarities as far as structural performance. When it comes to sheathing either makes a good choice. So what makes a professional choose one over the other? Here are a few reasons.


    Both OSB and plywood are made from very different components. Plywood is composed of thin sheets of veneer cross-laminated and bonded together with a hot-press. Plywood panels have odd number of layers so that the panel can balance around its center. This makes it less likely that the plywood will swell, shrink or warp.

    OSB, however, is made up of thin wood strands that are ground from logs. The strands from OSB are dried, mixed with glue and wax and formed into large, thick mats and finally hot-pressed together forming panels. These strands are aligned and positioned perpendicular to each other through alternating layers. This gives OSB the ability to support more weight than plywood.


    Wet Performance




    Required Dimensions And Thickness Of Plywood For Roofing

    Plywood typically comes in 4×8 ft. sheet with varying thickness. The minimum thickness of plywood used for roofing is 3/8th of an inch.

    This kind of plywood can be used on roofs with minimal load steeper rather than flatter roofs will have lesser load per sq. foot and with a maximum of spacing of 16 inches between rafters.

    The ideal plywood thickness for the standard rafter spacing of 24 inches is 5/8th of an inch. This carries enough structural integrity for most roof loads.

    However, 3/4th inch plywood is also used for a roofing system that has a heavier load snowfall and ice accumulation can affect the load put on a roof.

    For the less standard 20-inch apart rafters, plywood with ½ inch or 5/8th inch thickness can be used.

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    What Size Plywood For Roofing

    The most common rafter spacing is 24 inches. You can get plywood sheets with a length of up to 4 x 10 feet and OSB comes up to 16 feet long in length.

    Do Most people ask how many sheets of plywood do I need for my roof?

    Most people want to know how much square-fit plywood is needed in the roofing. Obviously, you dont want to buy extra plywood. Which is of no use to you and a waste of money.

    Standard plywood comes in 4×8 feet size. So how many square feet are there in 4×8 feet of plywood? To calculate it, you multiply the length by the width. So 4×8 feet plywood has 32 square feet.

    To calculate how many plywoods are required for your roof. Calculate your roof as if you calculated plywood square feet .

    For example, suppose some area of your roof is 1000 square feet. So divide by 32 into 1000. The number youll get is the number of plywood that you need. In case you need 32 plywood. Always buy one or two extra pieces of plywood for mistakes and wastage.

    Tips Reducing The Problem Of Wooden Deck

    Making Roof Shingles With Hand Tools
    • Properly ventilate the attic. This eliminates the amount of moisture absorption by deck panels and thereby reduces the amount of swelling and shrinking of the wood. This wood movement often causes the the buckling problems with shingles.
    • Leave the roof sheathing panels to acclimate to local humidity levels before installation. This reduces swelling after the panels are installed and avoid buckling problems with shingles.
    • Space deck panels 3 mm apart on all sides when fastening them to the roof framing.
    • Immediately cover the roof panels with an underlayment after installation in order to keep the wood dry.

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    Wood Shingle Or Shakes

    Wood roofs are very attractive, but they are also quite expensive and have limitations. They are not particularly long-lived, and they are a poor choice in areas that get lots of moisture or where wildfires are a danger. Still, they are among the most attractive of all roofing materials, which makes them a popular choice for luxury homes.

    Although both are made from natural wood, usually cedar or redwood, there is a difference between wood shakes and shingles. Shingles are typically thin, wedge-shaped slabs of wood that are produced by precise sawing. Shakes are produced by splitting wood and they are thicker wedges with a rougher texture.

    Shingles typically cost about $4.50 to $9 per square foot, installed shakes are more expensive, with average costs of $6.50 to $11 per square foot, installed. Longevity depends very much on circumstances and maintenance. In relatively dry climates a wood shingle or shake roof can last 60 years in damp conditions, you may only get 20 years from the roof.

    Type Of Plywood Used On Roofing

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    Builders love plywood for its water resistance, structural stability and low cost. They also love oriented strand board, though. It costs even less and is comparable to plywood on the other two counts, and they increasingly prefer OSB for roof sheathing. Either is an acceptable choice in most jurisdictions.

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    What Size Plywood Is Used For Roof Decking

    Most Common Thickness The most common rafter spacing is 24 inches, and 5/8-inch plywood is recommended for that. It will support roof loads for most situations and is the standard for most roof applications. Roofs with very heavy loads may require 3/4-inch thickness.

    Wood Roofing Is Sustainable

    Seeing the wood for the trees  the ups and downs of ...

    All homeowners are concerned about the impact their homes roof will have on the environment. The method by which roofing tiles are produced is one measure of their environmental impact. Their overall effect on the homes carbon footprint is another. The destiny of the tiles after they are finished being a roof also affects their sustainability rating.

    Homeowners can rest assured knowing that wood tiles are environmentally responsible:

    They are sustainably harvested. Each tree cut for wood shakes is replaced by another, and trees are harvested at a rate in keeping with the maturation rate of the younger trees. They are energy efficient. The thickness of wood shakes gives them an insulating value higher than traditional asphalt shingles, lowering the homes overall energy costs and reducing its energy consumption. Wood tiles are highly recyclable. At the end of its lifespan, a wood roof can be recycled into other products such as blown-in cellulose insulation.

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    Different Types Of Roof Decking

    There are many types of materials that can be used for roof decking, some of which are ideal for certain types of residential roofing systems.

    Oriented strand board OSB is the most common type of material used for roof decking. Its durable and readily available, and has relatively low costs. OSB is made of interwoven strands of wood bonded with adhesive.

    Plywood Half-inch construction-grade plywood is another common building material used for roof decking. The installation methods are the same as OSB, including the standard spacing required for thermal expansion and contraction.

    Tongue and groove Tongue and groove decking is built from two-by-six boards. Each board has a tongue on one end and a groove on the other that locks into each other during installation. This type of decking is used on roofs that do not have a ceiling. The boards have an aesthetic effect when viewed indoors.

    Plank sheathing While not as popular as it was before the 1970s, plank sheathing remains in use for certain types of roofs, such as wood shakes. Instead of a flat plane, the wood planks are spaced about one and a half inches apart.


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