After the early people thought of using stones and clay as their roofs, they turned to wood because trees were quite abundant during their time. Nowadays, wood is an excellent roofing material, especially laminated and reinforced variants that can deliver exceptional long-term benefits for homeowners. However, it still has some problems that you need to know about.

Natural Wear Out

Wood shakes and shingles — no matter how laminated or reinforced — can wear out and become curled, thinned, or split. Just like asphalt shingles, they can get missing especially right after a strong rain or windstorm in the area. While a bundle of wood shakes and shingles will always be an effective replacement for faulty wood shakes and shingles , natural wear out happens especially when your materials have reached the last few years of its lifespan and capability.

Rotting and Algae-Blackened Surface

Wood shakes and shingles are still organic materials. Tree wood is susceptible to the dangers of algae infestations, which can lead to the wood’s weakening and softening. Continuous exposure to algae-blackened surfaces — which indicate algae habitation — can result into long-term roofing problems. It can introduce leaks into your property too.


Pacific Northwest Pest Management Handbooks has a great summary about how weathering happens to different types of wood shakes and shingle roofs. Read more about it below:

Weathering is a combination of damage from sunlight, rain, and/or wind. As sunlight strikes the surface, its low energy is released into the wood, creating compounds that begin the degradation process. This process is typically slow (a few mm per century), but causes the wood surface to become slightly weaker. Cedar roofs will turn light gray within a year after installation, but the wood beneath retains its original color.

Rain or wind (which can carry tiny sand particles) can wear away the shallow weathered wood on the surface, exposing new wood to sunlight. This process results in a gradual wearing away of the surface. This process typically occurs more rapidly in the softer parts of the wood. In cedar, these parts are at the beginning of each growth ring (called earlywood). Over time, the shake or shingle can take on a washboard appearance.

Repeated wetting and drying can also lead to physical changes in the shake or shingle. Wood swells as it wets and shrinks as it dries. Repeated wetting and drying can induce stresses in the wood that eventually lead to the development of cracks or splits as well as cupping or warping. The wood species used for roofing tend to have lower degrees of shrinkage than other species, but even these materials can eventually develop physical damage. (Continued)

Fungi, Moss and Lichens

Lastly, if you’re dealing with a huge population of moss, fungi, lichens and the like, you’re definitely due for a new wood shakes and shingle roof. Similar to algae, these three wood pests can eat away at your roof and reduce its durability and capability. Most of the time, your Calgary AB roofers will advise you to remove your old roof and install a new one.

Make sure you’re working with trustworthy roofers in Calgary AB. No Payne Roofing has decades of experience providing exceptional roofing services for properties in Calgary and its surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more about everything that we can do for you.