I have a wood shake roof that was put in in 1992, when should i change my roof?

at 154 knightshaven way san jose ca 95111

  • June 11 2010 - San Jose
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Answers (10)

Peter, unfortunately my response went over the 2000k character limit and I could not post it! Please pm me or reply to the message I sent you( not spam, I promise!).  I did take an online look at your roof and I have some general info about shake roofs you may appreciate.
  • July 18 2010
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I got one installed in 1981. Only a small section needs to be repaired after almost 30 years. It gets an oil based treatment every 3 years.
  • July 17 2010
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Profile picture for Jeff Grenz
First, like other writers, have a licensed roofing contractor inspect the roof.  


While building homes, the last few that had wood shake roofs were in 1992.  I have recently seen one of them replaced, a couple of years later than it should have been.  Those last few "medium shake" roofs were unusually thin.  At that time we switched wholesale to concrete tile.

Age is not the only determining factor.  I currently live in a 50 year old home with its second roof, pushing 30 years old and it has a few more left, if I maintain it and keep it clear of debris.  The shakes are thicker than we received for the home above.  

A roof does not work like a submarine.  It is designed to shed water in an organized fashion, down hill.  It you let that get disturbed with debris, leaves, branches, moss, bird waste, you can cause water to move back into the roof creating leaks.  This happens with all roofs.  The repair may be as simple as removing the debris, or as complex as roof replacement if the debris or leak causes rot.


  • July 15 2010
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I would have to agree with Dan Sandweg below that a quality shake roof or any roof for that matter is only as good as the installation. You should call a quality roofer that specializes in shake roofs to get an honest opinion. Good Luck.

  • July 15 2010
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depending on the side of the roof(sunny or dark) and the quality. Did you apply a lint seed oil on them during tune up?
I have seen 30-40 years or as short as 25 years. You need to go up to the roof and plug the missing ones as wind tends to fly it off.
  • June 14 2010
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There are seveal quality grades of shakes and the installation method will determine the life of your particular roof. A roofer who specializes in shake should have a look.

Dan
  • June 12 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Peter - You might also want to check on two things...

First, is your wood shake roof pressure treated with fire retardants? After many fires in SoCal where wood shake roofs played a significant role, there was a move to only allow wood shake that was fire retardant. Since your roof was put on in 1992, it should be okay, but...

Second, how would getting rid of the wood shake impact your homeowner's insurance? Going from wood shake to a more fire resistant roof might give you a break.
  • June 12 2010
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Profile picture for ABBAUSA
You should consider asking a professional roof contractor in your area for a free inspection.

When properly applied with proper ventaliation they will give you a very long life. Keep tree limbs cut away from the roof.

Tips for a longer life are available at the link below.

Wood Shakes Longer Life Tips

Good Luck!

James Callas - Realtor®
  • June 11 2010
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Thank you have a great weekend
  • June 11 2010
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According to the USDA, a wood shake roof that has been properly installed and maintained should last 25 to 30 years.

See the link.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/finlines/knaeb98d.pdf
  • June 11 2010
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