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How to Install Cedar Roof Shingles

Cedar roof shingles are a popular roofing material because they offer an attractive appearance as well as excellent weather protection and durability. In addition to their natural elegance, cedar roof shingles also provide superior insulation compared to asphalt shingles. Homeowners may also choose cedar shingles because they can sometimes be installed over existing roof materials, they are insect resistant, and they offer a lifespan from 20 to 40 years. In most cases, you will want to hire a professional roofer to install your cedar shingles; but if you are an ambitious and experienced do-it-yourself handyman, you may want to embark on the task on your own. So, how do you install cedar roof shingles?

Before you begin to repair or replace your roof, you want to make sure the forecasted weather is rain free. You may or may not have to remove your existing roof before installing your cedar shingles, and as such you will likely expose your home and belongings to the elements. Once you have determined that clear weather is in the forecast, you can start to prepare your roof. You’ll first want to apply interlay paper over the entire surface of your roof deck. Once the paper is applied, you can start installing shingles.

All types of shingles, including cedar shingles, should be installed starting at the bottom of your roof at the roof eaves. Work upwards from the bottom of the roof towards the ridge, and be sure to double or triple cedar shingles at the roof eaves. Cedar shingles should be installed with the thick side of the shingle towards the bottom of your roof. Generally, you will want to use 2 rust-resistant nails to install each single approximately 4″ above the thick end of the shingle and 1″ from each side. Because wood will naturally expand and contract, you want to ensure that there is about a ¼” space between neighbouring shingles.

The first row of cedar shingles should extend approximately 1.5″ past your fascia and about 1″ over the gable of the roof. The next row of shingles will be installed above the first, and so on, ensuring that each shingle lines up properly with the last. You can use a chalk line so that you know each shingle is lined up correctly. You’ll also want to make sure that spaces between shingles in one row do not overlap with spaces between shingles in the next row. Once you have reached the peak of your roof, you can trim the edge of the shingles so they match the structure of your roof. Properly installed cedar shingles allow for air circulation under the shingles so to prevent rot and mould.

Remember, with a bit of experience small repairs of your cedar shingle roof should be no problem for a homeowner; but roof replacement is much more difficult. You should always consider hiring a roofing professional to ensure your roof is installed correctly.

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