End of useful life?

Hello all,

I don’t get to see a lot of wood roofs in my area. This is my first one this year. Saw maybe two last year. Anyway, the home was built in 1996. Most of the homes in the neighborhood have asphalt some have wood. Shingles not shakes right? I’m leaning toward commenting that the roof is at the end of it’s useful life. Not drying out properly. Holding excess moisture. yada yada… No signs of leaking in the attic. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

I see it as a 1996 roof. I would just recommend that they clean and seal the material.


  1. Cleaning a Cedar Shake Roof
  • 1 Hose down the roof with a garden hose to remove any surface dust or debris. You can use a high-pressure nozzle for this purpose. On a new roof, you can go right from here to the wood brightening process. If the roof is older, weather worn or has a preexisting stain, clean the shake with a wood-cleaning product.

  • 2 Apply wood cleaner to the roof. Most wood cleaners come concentrated. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the strength. For a general cleaning there is typically one solution, and for a stronger mix that will break down and remove old coatings, a stronger solution.

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  1. 3 Allow the cleaner to sit on the surface for 15 to 30 minutes. Then scrub with a nylon brush. Rinse the roof thoroughly with water.

  2. 4 Brighten the wood. Cedar will tend to darken after cleaning. Mix a solution of wood brightener and apply it to the wood. Allow it to sit for 30 to 45 minutes, then rinse the roof thoroughly with water.

  3. 5 Allow the roof to dry for 24 hours prior to applying stain.

Applying Stain to the Roof

  • 6 Mix the stain. If you are using several separate gallon cans of stain, pour them all into a 5-gallon bucket. This will ensure good consistency throughout the job. Stir frequently as you work; the heavier pigments in the product will tend to sink to the bottom of the can.

  • 7 Apply the stain with a paintbrush, roller or sprayer. Start in one corner, maintain a wet edge and work one shingle at a time.

  • 8 Back brush. A penetrating stain should completely soak into the wood’s surface. After the stain has been applied, go back over any areas where the stain appears shiny and is still sitting on the roof’s surface. Use a dry brush to “back brush” and remove the excess stain.

[/LIST]Google is a great tool to use…

I would just say its older and needs maintenance…and these are the maintenance tips. PS…I don’t have shake roofs in my area neither

They are shakes. Shingles are thinner and milled smooth. Shakes are thicker and rough.

Why do you say it is at the end of it’s life?

Because of the uneven shakes? Some are designed that way. I would not say it was at the end of it’s ife. If you are concerned about the condition recommend additional evaluation by a licensed roofer. It likely needs maintenance as Russel suggests.

This is a roof that was put on in 2007. These are designed to look the way they do.

We have a lot of wood roofs out here and i always hear the same thing from the realtors - they should last for 50 or 70 years. Unfortunately thats just not right, wood shake roofs under the right conditions will see 40 years, under the wrong conditions 20 years. Most wood shake roofs start to wear immediately upon installation and most homeowners don’t have preservative and UV inhibitors installed as specified by the manufacturers. within the first year and every 3 to 5 years after that treatments should be applied. The roof in your pictures is starting to decay which is evident at the bottom of the shakes. Look at my website main page that roof is 20 years old and has been cleaned and preserved every 2 years - see any difference. The roof in your pictures has less than 10 years left and treating it now is not going to make much of a difference.
I have a great article on wood roof maintenance but its too large to upload here but if can email it to you.

Thanks for commenting. This is what the upper level windows look like. They all need replacement. The termite inspector was there at the same time. Home was infested. I thought end of life due to a combination of window condition, age (almost 20 yrs) and neglect.

got it…very helpful…thank you.

From the picture only it looks like wood rot to me…

End of useful life? :stuck_out_tongue:

Gee when I saw the thread title I thought someone was going to be talking about me;-)

Based on the pictures Robert, I would see the roof as still viable.

If in doubt, recommend a roofer evaluate the roof. Express your concerns to the client and make the recommendation.

understood:shock: thanks…lol

That’s exactly what I did Jay. I took the video course available here…I read the article Alan sent me…paid a visit to inspectapedia…I spent some time googling:) I’m much better prepared for the next one I run across. I only like to ask once. Thanks to all that helped. I really do appreciate it:mrgreen:

Your welcome. It was a great question. We are all learning here. That’s what makes NACHI inspectors the best!

Robert, you should try to align yourself with a local prof’l roof repair contractor. That will be the best way to educate yourself on what’s happening in your area. Pass out their cards and they will help you also.