Wood Shingle Roof

I see very few wood roofs in my area. The attached photos taken today show a 3 year old roof. Is there too much shingle exposed at each course and I question the small “filler” shingles. Asking for opions.

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If I remember correctly exposure should be 10". It also looks like the felt is directly under the visible or top course. Like it is almost one layer off. I have seen this and it will rot very soon and tear when disturbed. To address the question of shingle width I don’t like them that narrow and drew the line at 4" but it is tough to find many wide shakes and we would set the wide ones aside for the cuts and valleys. I am sure very soon one of the resident exerts will start posting links etc…

I’m not a wood shingle/shake expert by any means, so I went to the InterNACHI roof section. The following link shows exposure, side lap, etc requirements or recommendations.

some shingles look undercut and without overlap. (deficiency)
were the shingles triple lapped?
any indication of leakage?
underside appearance from attic?
over battens or sheathing?

based on images incorrectly installed

There should be a minimum 1.5-inch sidelap. In other words, no less than 1.5 inches between joints in adjacent courses, so that’s one defect widely visible on this roof. It’s kinda’ hard to tell what the exposure is from photos taken up the roof. Proper exposures vary with the length of the shake. It’s 7.5" maximum for 18" shakes and 10" maximum for 24" shakes

Those aren’t “filler shingles.” That’s simply wood shake. We don’t do wood here in San Diego because houses with wood roofs have been proven to burn quite readily during our May to November fire season.

Once again, the professional input from members has been very beneficial. It is more obvious now that the current home owner paid for a poorly installed roof. A few more details: The sheathing is solid plywood on a truss system. The shingles were stapled, not nailed. This is a townhome community, wood roof required by the HOA! Hard to believe the local permit and planning office would endorse a townhome community with wood roofing. Would be a rapid fire spread, especially on a windy day!
I plan to go back to the property this morning to measure the exposure and re-check in more detail. Other images not shown on original post:

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Take a pic or the headlap and measure it while you’re at it.
As for those filler pieces, I believe those are where splits occurred on wider shakes and happen to line up with edges of the lower shakes. When they line up like that, the only protection is the felt. Try for some closeups between the cracks.

Solid sheathing is acceptable and so are staples if they’re properly placed.

Just a heads up for any Florida Inspectors the FBC changed the verbiage when adopting the IRC to specify that only ring shank nails or wood screws can be used for attaching wood shingles or shakes

Good point, Mark… and Florida’s not the only place. Other places that get strong winds are likely to have similar regulations. Those regulations won’t apply to roofs installed before the regulations were enacted.