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Wood Shingle Roofing Guidelines

Where wood shingles were the original material used on a Registered Heritage Structure, any project for that structure involving restoration of the roof shall use wooden shingles.

It is the recommendation of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador that the structure owner use Eastern White cedar shingles, 18" or 16" length. Either number one grade or number two grade are permitted, but number one grade shingles are recommended. These are suitable on sloped surfaces, with a minimum 4 in 12 slope. Each bundle of Eastern White cedar shingles should cover 25 square feet (2.3 m square) of roof area when laid at the recommended exposure.

A self-adhering waterproof membrane called "ice and water guard" can be placed beneath the shingles at all unheated overhang areas, and may even be used over the entire roofing surface. This membrane is a reinforced rubberized membrane with adhesive on one side to bond directly to the roof decking and seal itself around each nail shank to prevent the nail holes from enlarging during expansion and contraction. It is often used to prevent damage from ice damming, and its use will prevent water from entering the building. It may be substituted with two layers of 15 pound felt, but the membrane has a self-sealing capability that the felt does not. In the event of a lost nail, the membrane should be less likely to leak than the felt.

The Foundation also recommends the use of a shingle underlay or cedar breather, a three-dimensional nylon or plastic mesh which provides a continuous air space between roof deck and the shingles. This eliminates excess moisture, reduces potential rotting and warping, and allows entire underside of shingles to dry. Cedar breather also eliminates the need for furring strips laid under the shingles.

Shingles should be laid in straight courses rather than staggered. Single width should not exceed 6". Shingles greater than 6" in width should be cut lengthwise and then used.

Eastern white cedar shingles, roofing membrane, cedar breather and proper roofing nails are all items that may be funded under a restoration grant.

Wood Shingle Roof Maintenance

Re-nail loose shingles, and cover the heads with roofing cement. Drill a hole for a new nail to prevent splitting the shingle. Splits and holes can be fixed with a piece of metal under the shingle, nailed in place through the shingle. Badly split, rotted or missing shingles should be replaced. Loosen the shingle above it, remove the shingle, cut off the nail with a hacksaw blade. Slide a new shingle into place, with about 1/4" space on each side, and 1/2 to 1 inch below the exposed course. Place zinc-coated roofing nails at a slight angle towards the course, the tap the shingle in line with existing course to cover nails.

Dark-coloured areas, warping shingles, moss or fungi are clues that replacement may be necessary. should moss or fungi be known to exist with an existing roof, use zinc flashing in valleys and around chimneys as well as zinc nails. The chemical reaction of the zinc will deter the return of moss or fungi.

Maintenance costs incurred during a full restoration may be funded under a restoration grant. Ongoing yearly maintenance of a Registered Heritage Structure however is not eligible for funding under a restoration grant.

Note: The reader of the information provided by this site assumes all risks from using the information provided herein. Property owners are encouraged to seek the advice of professionals, reputable contractors or carpenters as the specific project requires.