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Shake Roofs


Sherlock
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What is the standard, if there is one, regarding felt underlayment on shake roofs. I have heard it is optional but highly recommended especially to minimize wind but is it required and has that requirement always existed or are there some roofs that might be grandfathered? Thanks for any help.

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Hi,

With a shake roof underlayment is required - no if, ands or buts about it. Regardless of whether you are applying shakes over skip or on top of solid decking with battens, it is required. Anyone who says differently has his head tucked up his or her bottom and needs to go to a proctologist and get that taken care of.

It is amazing to me the degree of misundertandings there are when it comes to shakes. I've found that a lot of that comes from inspectors who are in areas where shakes are not used very much that haven't bothered to educate themselves about the product and don't understand the differences between wood shingles and shakes. Yet, because shakes are commonly used in relatively small areas of the country, misinformation persists because those inspectors outnumber those of us who see them on a daily basis.

However, don't take my word for it. Go to the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau's site and get it straight from the source of the foremost experts on this roofing product. You'll be able to download free manuals there on shake and shingle application for both walls and roofs.

Here's the link: Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Required on wood shakes.

Not required on wood shingles.

Many people don't know the difference between these two items.

Maybe the people who've been giving you conflicting advice were talking about different products.

A hand-split cedar shake roof installed without felt *will* leak. Particularly if they're heavy shakes.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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On shingle and shake roofs and siding, I lay 30# felt w/ an 18inch lap as a first step and then course in 12 inch felt strips between each course of roofing/siding. Felt's dirt cheap and it hardly takes any time to do it. It makes for a pretty damn water tight system that'll dry out if it does get wet. I did a carriage house w/ cedar shingles when I was 18.. that's 26 years ago and the roof is still in excellent condition. I fell off the cupola on that job ....but that's another story.

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As a side note to this...

I had a phone conversation with a local roofer the other day regarding roof pitch for wood roof coverings. His statement was that wood shakes (and shingles too, I suppose) CAN be applied to a roof pitch of less than 4/12, but you'd need to use ice and water shield on the entire roof to do it.

Is this consistent with what you've heard?

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Hi,

I don't know why anyone would want to mess around applying a roof contrary to the way that those the most expert at it in the entire country would do it. To my way of thinking, that is just looking for trouble.

Here's a link to how the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau says low-sloped roofs may be done with shakes. Note that there is nothing there about using ice and water shield.

Shingling low-sloped roofs with shakes

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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