Shaking it up- Chelan, Wenatchee and Leavenworth Home Inspections

Here’s an article on wood shingled roofs from a colleague on the west coast. We don’t see this type in the Montreal area very often. Here this roofing would be used for visual detail rather than construction economy.

Please link through to the original article when you leave comments.

Shaking it up- Chelan, Wenatchee and Leavenworth Home Inspections

Wood roofs- Is it a Shingle or Shake? This at times is very difficult to really know because the modern milling techniques for shingles can mimic shakes, but generally shingles are sawn (smooth) and shakes are split (rough/rustic).

The common wood species is western red cedar, though redwood, treated pine or even cypress may be used.

Wood roofs can be very beautiful but they need special attention during installation.

This issue I am seeing during the home inspection of the roof is with the use of solid decking behind the wooden shingles/shakes. Improper installation technique on solid decking is causing the shakes to wear much quicker, curl and split. This is shortening the life of the roofing.

Roof Curl and lifting

Wood shakes/shingles need to breath and have air movement around them. The older tradition was to install skip sheeting which allowed proper air movement around the shakes. Skip sheeting is usually 1×4 or 1×6 evenly spaced for shingle attachment. The more humid the environment the more critical this breathability is.

Skip Sheeting installation

On the solid decking if this air movement is not properly accounted for you will see issues in the shakes and the decking from moisture and excessive heat.

There are breathable membranes that can be installed and some manufactures of the shingles actually design the shingle to have built in integral ventilation.

Continuous Ventilation installation

When hiring a roofing contractor it is critical to hire one who truly understands the roofing materials being installed, the environment and the proper installation techniques involved for such environment.

You don’t want to be the one who hears from the home inspector or roofing contractor that the roof is done and it is only 10 years old.

Here is a case study on wood roofs. A 70 year old shake roof

Shaking it up. Observations from a Chelan, Wenatchee and Leavenworth Home Inspections service.


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post