Shake Roof Repair & Maintenance
Cedar roofs have been used for hundreds of years. The quality of the roof depends upon the grain (“edge” grain or flat grain), the thickness (1/2” for medium, ¾” for heavy, 1 ½” for jumbo), the exposure of each course, ventilation, and the proper care and maintenance. Contact Eastman Roofing to discuss your Shake Roof Repair & Maintenance concerns.
Tree/Bush Growing Over Roof
This can break the shakes and damage the roof. It also can shade the roof, causing it to take too long to dry out, which can cause dry rot in the roof. The solution is to trim the tree/bush away from the roof line.
Debris On The Roof
This can cause water to back up and allow seepage. It also causes dry rot in the shakes, which in turn leads to premature roof failure. Remove the debris.
Steel metal flashings exposed to the elements can rust over time. Today’s flashings are made of galvanized metal, a process that protects the steel core from rusting. There are rusted flashings on this roof. Rust cannot be simply sealed over, as it will continue to grow. The rust needs to be treated chemically, and then sealed properly. Since the rust is open to the surface and flashings are vital to the integrity of your roof system, we suggested repairing the rusted flashing areas before seepage causes structural damage.
Shakes Too Narrow
Some shakes installed are too narrow, with not enough side lap. When there’s not enough side lap, water can get under the roof and if the felt is exposed to the sun, it can eventually destroy it, causing seepage. Adjust, shim and/or flash the area or replace with a new shake.
This is an installation error. If there is not enough overlap, it can cause premature roof failure, or not work at all and the roof has to be replaced. The top course of shakes is overexposed; maximum exposure is 10” per course. The top of the overexposed shakes and the course below are not as thick and will wear out faster shakes are tapered ½” (medium) or ¾” (heavy) to 0” than the rest of the roof. Therefore, it typically will need repair sooner and more often than the rest of the roof. Replace the shakes or shim to protect the felt.
The wood has deteriorated, exposing the shake felt below. If the shake felt is not protected from the sun, it can develop holes within 2 years, allowing seepage. Replace the damaged shakes or “shim” below the damaged shake to protect the felt from the sun.
Shakes Curled Up
This is caused by the “grain” in the wood. When the wood gets wet, it dries from the top down, causing the wood to shrink on top and curl up. If the shake felt is exposed to the sun, it needs to be repaired. If the shake felt is not exposed to the sun, the curled shakes are a cosmetic issue only.
No Felt At Bottom Course
The original installer did not put shake felt below the starter course. When the starter course breaks down, the roof deck is exposed, which causes dry rot at the edge of the roof. Install shims or flash to bypass the damaged starter course.
The shakes may not have been nailed (short nailed) and have slid out. The shake cracked in a place that wasn’t fastened and slid out, or the shake had a thin spot that deteriorated and broke off. Replace with new shakes.
When the wood gets wet it swells up, putting pressure on the nail and causing it to loosen. The wind puts pressure on the fasteners. The sun breaks down the wood. Over time, if the roof is not maintained, it can blow off in strong winds. Replace with a new ridge.
Ridge Split Open
When the wood gets wet it swells up, putting pressure on the nail and causing it to loosen. The wind puts pressure on the fasteners. The sun breaks down the wood. Over time, if the roof is not maintained, it can split open. Replace with a new ridge or flash the apex under the ridge.
Ridge Is Loose
When the wood gets wet it swells up, putting pressure on the nail and causing it to loosen. The wind puts pressure on the fasteners. The sun breaks down the wood. Over time, if the roof is not maintained, it can come loose. Re-nail loose ridge.
Gap At Plumber’s Flashing
This space between the flashing and the pipe should be sealed. Some people use sealant, which has to be resealed. Some people seal with tape, which is better. Some people seal with an EPDM collar that is guaranteed for the life of the roof and is the best solution. Reseal to prevent seepage.
Plastic Gasket Cracked Open or Concave
The sun eventually damages the gasket that is mechanically fastened to the galvanized base, which can leave a large opening for water intrusion. Replace the flashing or seal with rubberized asphalt.
Abandoned Plumber’s Flashing
Often during a remodel, when plumbing is moved, new flashings for pipes are installed and the abandoned plumber’s flashings are left open. Cover hole in old flashings with sheet metal.
Plumber’s Flashing/Vent Popped Up
In strong winds the flashing can come loose and pop up, allowing seepage. Reanchor the flashing vent base.
Vent Cap Rusted Out, Damaged, Missing
Over time, exhaust from appliances will corrode and deteriorate the vent; damage from termite fumigation people or wind can cause the top to blow off. Repair or replace as needed.
Collar At Vent Missing/Not Sealed
The collar may never have been installed. Install if needed. Apply sealant between the pipe and collar to prevent seepage.
Chimney Flashing Not Oriented Properly
Improperly installed chimney flashing will allow seepage. Reorient flashings or replace with new.
Counterflashing Not Sealed/Coming Off
Over time the mortar/sealant can come loose. If it is not repaired, seepage will cause interior damage.
Mis-oriented Ell Flashings at Bottom of Wall
Step or Ell flashing is designed to bridge the roof to wall transition and allow for protection against water intrusion. Water which runs down the roof and wall is caught by the ell or step flashing and channeled to the roof’s edge. It is important that the ell or step flashing’s end be flared so it sticks out past the siding/stucco. On this roof, the installers did not flare the flange end and it terminates behind the stucco/ siding. This provides a direct path for water to flow behind the wall surface and into the building. Often this type of leak takes time to show up and may only be noticeable in heavy rains, after the wall has soaked enough to be evident.
No Step Flashing in Top Roof
This is a shortcut which will allow water intrusion to the roof below. Cut siding and install proper flashing to prevent seepage.
Step Flashing Not Behind Siding
Proper orientation for step flashing is to put them behind the siding or counterflashing so water will not get under the roof and seep into the structure. Either apply elastomerics and polyester fabric to counterflashing or cut the siding and orient the flashing correctly.
No Water Channel At Valley
Some installers put shakes to the apex of the valley. This does not allow for a water channel for the water to escape, which can cause water to back up and seep in, especially if there is debris. It can also cause the flashing to rust and fail prematurely. Trim the shakes to allow for a water channel and proper drainage.
Electric Insulator Not Sealed
The original insulator was installed on the original roof; the roof was replaced and the insulator left in place and never sealed. Install a water diverter above the insulator and seal around the insulator with rubberized asphalt.
Gutter Popped Out From Eave/Loose
The gutter was never fastened properly and/or the downspout was clogged and the weight of the water caused it to come loose. If the gutter is not reattached and oriented properly, the eave will get wet and dry rot will result.
Open at Hip/Gable
Water will get under the roof system and allow seepage. Reorient the hip/ridge pieces and/or install flashing.
Rotten Spot in Roof
Roof rot is caused by debris and/or the roof never drying out because of being in the shade. Replace the damaged area and/or flash the area or, if severe enough, replace the entire roof.
No Water Diverter at Solar Penetration
The solar installer never installed a diverter above the anchor that holds the solar panels to the roof. Without a diverter and proper sealant, this area will get super saturated and eventually cause seepage. If possible, install a diverter above the anchor and seal without removing the solar panel. If there is no access, have the panels removed, then effect the repair.
Hole in Roof
Over time, the thin spots in the shakes wear and expose the felt. Felt exposed to the sun will eventually get a hole. This is usually on the south side, which will wear faster than the east, west, or north sides. If the roof was maintained properly, it would never get holes in the felt. A small hole can be shimmed. A large hole may require taking the roof apart, installing new felt and new shakes. Sometimes animals make holes in the roof.
Skylight Installed Improperly
If flashings are not interwoven into the roof properly, seepage will occur. Reorient flashings.
Tie-in at Flat Roof is Mis-oriented
The roof system must be integrated correctly or there will be seepage. Reorient the intersection of the two roof systems.
Less Than a 3/12 Pitch
Anything less than a 3/12 pitch is an improper pitch for a shake roof. A shake roof installed on a pitch of less than 3/12 must have a built-up roof under it with a grid of 2” x 2” boards embedded in the built-up roof and attached to the structure with 1 x 4 space sheeting on top. Then the shake roof can be installed for aesthetic effect.
Less Than 4/12, Not Less Than 3/12 Pitch
This must have a solid roof deck and a minimum layer of 30 lb underlayment installed before the shake roof is installed. If this is not done, there will be seepage and premature roof failure. The only way to correct this is to replace the roof.
Damaged Valley Metal
Replace with New valley metal or seal with urethane and new sheet metal.
Improper Skylight Installed
This skylight is designed to be installed in flat roof systems. It has a built-in flashing that is part of the skylight frame. It is not designed to be installed in a shingle roof. Mastic has been applied to seal it to the roof. It is not to code. It may or may not work? For how long? The only proper remedy is to replace the skylight and install proper flashing.
Patio Cover On Roof Not Flashed
Wood Shingle Roof Under Shake Roof
The amount of time it takes for the plastic dome to break down depends upon the quality of the plastic used to make the skylight. The dome can sometimes be replaced. It is easier just to replace the whole skylight. Some manufacturers give a lifetime warranty, even for plastic domes. Glass is heavier and more expensive than plastic. Glass has a higher R-value and lasts indefinitely.
The flashing does not go up high enough for the skylight frame to overlap the flashing and the wood curb is exposed. This is open and will allow seepage. Remove the skylight and install a counterflashing on top of the curb that overlaps the flashing on the side.
Solar Penetration Not Flashed
Seal with elastomerics. Install a water diverter if possible above the solar penetration.
Gutter in Stucco
When the house was built, the sheet metal installer put the gutter too close to the stucco paper. When the stucco was applied, it went around the gutter, not behind it. Over time the gutter joint can deteriorate, allowing seepage in the wall. Remove the gutter, cut the end back, reinstall the gutter end, repair the wall with waterproofing materials, then reinstall the gutter.
Plastic gutters do not come with a wing. The plastic gutter company makes a plastic diverter to divert the water into the gutter. If it is not installed, the edge of the roof deck will develop dry rot.
Chimney Chase Leaks at Top
A chimney chase is usually a wood framed box. The pipe for the fireplace goes through the box and out the top. Typical roof chimney flashings are installed then siding covers the framing and overlaps the chimney flashing. Last a metal top is installed which allows the chimney flue to go through to the outside air. The metal top usually has a metal piece that prevents water from flowing down the opening in the metal top. The flue usually has a collar that overlaps the metal piece on the metal top. The flue usually has a metal top to prevent water from going down the inside of the flue. Any one of these items in this assembly can leak if not done correctly or if it has deteriorated. Invest all the potential issues and effect a repair.