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  1. #1
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    Default pits on wood shingle

    is it from power wash?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    nail shoes?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Or possibly "spark holes" from a nearby fire place chimney? Or even evidence of some tiny critters sampling the shingles?

    I never understood the concept of using wood shingles on any roof. Don't perform well, are likely to easily burn, and they tend to look "crude."


  4. #4
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Some sort of insect infestation/damage.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Please Log In

    Click the link above and scroll down to figure 76

    Looks similar?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    So Bryce, whats the log in name and password?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    I thought it were racoon which are always seen around.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    My guess is that these are pine shingles.
    Have never seen anything infestation wise on cedar shingles.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    The holes are 'cork' holes! Golf shoes, in other words.
    So, yes, Peter, it is from power washing, from the shoes of the power wash operator.
    We call them corks, but the word is spelled 'caulks', crazy English language, n'est pas?

    Point out the cracked shingles and inform the buyer that the roof may need patching until such time as they install solid sheathing and a new fiberglass shingle roof. To patch cracks, a roofer will slide metal strips or in extreme cases, shingles, under the cracked shingles. Yes, they are cedar shingles. Note saw marks on the surface, pic 2.

    Your attic pic shows open strapping and roofing paper under the shingles. The roofing paper helps to keep leaks from getting too serious, so tiny cracks are not really bad. When cedar gets wet, it swells and the cracks close up.


    Roof washing and painting is a scam that should be exposed, but given time, there will be no more cedar shake or shingle roofs to wash.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-24-2013 at 02:38 PM. Reason: First response was rude :>)
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    I fully agree with John. It is common to see this in my area of Minnesota. "spikes" or "cleats" from shoes used for traction on wood shakes.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    The beauty of being a home inspector is that you learn something new everyday!

    I have been in construction for over 40 years and have never seen this before! There are not a lot of cedar shingle installations in my area of Southwestern Ontario.

    If this is the result of special work boots, personally I would be leary of having anyone on my roof.

    I must admit that on a second look at the phtographs, the wood does look as though it has been recently power washed.

    Thanks for the info.

    P.s. just curious as to the edit, what was rude?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Yes I too have seen a fair number of wood roofs and have never heard of anyone using golf shoes to walk a wood roof, this is the first.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    There are contractors here on the moldy coast that power wash cedar roofs. In some high end burbs, back in the day, all roofs had to be cedar shingle or shake. The best of the best. 25 years later, those roofs are covered with debris and moss and looking like crap. Can't get up there because they are slimy and slick as a ....... 's ......

    After the washer boys have had their way, there are mulit cracks and holes from them walking around up there, and in one place, there were ceiling stains around the light fixtures. I had to climb the stinking shingle roof in my normal sensible shoes to prove to the buyer's dad that the water was not leaking in around the vents but was instead from the power wash spray shooting in thru the vents.

    I said something rude about you guys missing the obvious and I am so sorry.

    This roof was washed and painted, and the dark spots are from golf shoe spikes. The roof still has some life left in it, but I warn people that it only take one bad spot to become a leak. Enjoy.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-25-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    They are not golf shoes ( although that could work). There is an attatchment that goes over regular shoes. A type of slip on spike that straps to your shoes. These allow you to walk as if they were climbing spikes.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle


  16. #16

    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    John, that was a good call identifying the marks as having been made by the footwear of a power washing crew, and a good job by Mike in tracking down and posting a link to the type of footwear.

    Weathered wood shingles and shakes are typically covered with a film of algae that is slicker 'n greased owl poop when it's wet, so anyone trying to walk on them while wetting them would have a hard time of it. And in my not-so-humble opinion, anyone pushing the idea of power washing a weathered wood roof should be slapped, and then encouraged to slide right off the roof!

    Peter, these appear to be medium-thickness Western Red Cedar wood shakes, and the straight grain identifies them as No. 1 grade material. They are in good to excellent condition as indicated by their appearance and they show only minimal cracking and splitting.

    All wood shingle and shake roofs can be expected to have cracked shingles over time. In a regular wood shingle roof cracks and/or joints aligned vertically in any three contiguous courses is a direct leak, but is easily repaired. In a shake roof (course exposure usually around 10") cracks and splits only become a problem when they open up and allow sunlight to disintegrate the felt paper interlayment. Unlike asphalt shingles, where the felt underlayment is placed under the shingles, a shake roof is applied with 18" strips of felt applied at 10" O.C. and the shakes are inserted into the courses of felt. The way the felt and shakes are laid the felt interlayment is never exposed to direct sunlight - unless a split opens up enough to expose it. Once that happens leakage is likely at that location; otherwise, a shake roof like the one in your photos should last at least 25 years.

    The best thing for a wood roof is lots of direct sunlight. The worst thing for a wood roof is tree cover, tree droppings, and shade. Tree debris clogs the joints between the shakes and holds moisture, rotting that area of the roof. Wood roofs are not a good choice under heavy tree cover, but this condition can best be maintained by using a leaf blower aimed down the slope on a dry day. For further info about cleaning wood roofs see: http://www.cedarbureau.org/frequentl...g/cleaning.asp

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    I don't think those pits are from spiked roof shoes.....unless some roof walkers were doing some dancing on the roof......all of the roof.........every square inch of the roof. A guy power washing the roof (which I agree is a bad idea) wouldn't step on every square inch of it.

    I've seen those pits occasionally too. I don't know what causes them, so I just write it up as "general Gremlin mischief"..............NO, not really

    I've never seen evidence that these pits are causing or speeding up deterioration of the shingles so, I don't think they are a concern, but they certainly are a curiosity.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Look at the pics again, Lon. The holes are only where the walkers have walked, or danced.
    My first pic is where they were getting on and off the ladder. Under the eaves and on the ridges, no holes.

    The holes are not good because they slow down the drying process, but it is the excessive walking that cracks shingles where they shouldn't be cracked, right above a gap in the row below.

    I take pictures of those cracks, cracks and gaps lined up, and put them in my report.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Moser View Post
    Wow, takes me back. I wore korks when I was logging back in the 70's. Mine weighed a ton. 14" tall. Build massive quads. Learn, not to drag your feet when you walk.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    John, I will defer to your onsite observations. I can't see in your photos quite the detail that I can in Peter's. But in your photos, there seems to be more pitting than I would expect to see from spiked shoes, unless someone has been on the roof a lot with them. Normally, unless someone is servicing something on the roof like an evaporative cooler, I never see evidence of that much traffic. And on a roof that steep, I don't think the pitting is a big concern with drying, but I'll concede that you are in a wetter clime and it make a difference there. I know from my days working in the Dallas area, that wood shingles can be slimy in more humid areas. Here, you never see that, and I can walk wood roofs in my regular shoes with little trouble. I never used spiked shoes in Dallas, but I was younger and more agile.

    The government loves wasting....er.....I mean spending money on research. Maybe we can get a research grant to definitively tell us how pitting on wood shingles, affects the life of these shingles. I can see it now. Several different zones with different number of pits per 10X10 areas with a pit free control area. The research would have to be conducted in at least three different climes and in 15 - 20 years, we may finally have the answer. For a few hundred thousand dollars, I'll volunteer to do a study here.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    If there is a concern about drying the shingles (ideally) should have been installed on spaced planking and not on a solid deck.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Not a problem. It was old growth cedar, 500 to 1000 years old. We will have plenty of time to debate the merits of this and that while we wait for the second growth crop to mature.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    If there is a concern about drying the shingles (ideally) should have been installed on spaced planking and not on a solid deck.
    These days, around here, the interlaced courses of roof felt on a solid deck is the norm whether shake or shingle.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Thanks for the information. Live and learn!


  25. #25
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Yes, I told buyer the more or less 25 yrs life expectancy. Buy some pcs may be fixed or replaced in 1 or 2 yrs.


    is the other roof treated? one roofer told owner 40 yrs life. Sorry, no better pics.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    Yes, I told buyer the more or less 25 yrs life expectancy. Buy some pcs may be fixed or replaced in 1 or 2 yrs.


    is the other roof treated? one roofer told owner 40 yrs life. Sorry, no better pics.
    40 years is a stretch of the imagination. Some of those shingles will last 40 years. Parts of all those shingles will last 40 years. But parts of some of those shingles will rot out in 20 years. It's a wood product, not standardized.
    As the good quality wood gets harder to find, you see a few inferior piece getting thrown in to the bundles. Those soft shingles are going to rot and take out the whole roof. Or you patch it.

    Most of the cedar roofs we see here in town are sawn shingle. The outer surface is rough cut and they rot quicker than split shakes.

    When I get a cedar roof these days, I search it for bad spots like this. You can see the paper showing , what Don was talking about. Patch immediately, budget for replacement. 95% of these shingles are still OK.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    the last pic I posted is the black shake which is different from that I always see. Is it treated for longer life?

    In addition, what is suggested once a lot alge on the roof except power wash?


  28. #28
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    They are sawn shingles, not shakes. Shakes are split with the split surface exposed. Resaws are split with the back side sawn to give the shake a taper. See Raymond's illustrations. The split surface of a real shake sheds water better because the cells of the wood fibres are left intact.

    Those black cedar shingles are probably just stained with dead algae. There may be an applied black stain out there, but I have not seen it.
    That roof still has lots of life left in it, but I would warn the owner that a bad spot can become a leak at any time. All it takes is a soft spot.

    There are chemical products for killing moss and algae on roofs. Zinc strips nailed along the ridge are good for a few years until the zinc washes off.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  29. #29
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    Default Re: pits on wood shingle

    Many thanks


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