Just got cedar shingles or a shake roof? Did the roofing professional treat them with Water-Repellent Preservative (WRF)? Did you opt for superior cedar shakes and shingles with a pressure-impregnated preservative to protect your roof against moisture damage?
Must Read: 5 Issues With Multi-Layered Roofs
Wood swells as it wets and shrinks as it dries, and considering it rains and snows a lot in Maryland, your roof will crack, split, and even warp due to water damage.
Water damage to the wood is quick and harder to repair. The best thing is to prevent the wood from further water damage and contact experts to resolve your issue.
The adverse effects of water on wood can be easily noticed as the edges get softer and swollen over time. Most people ignore this effect of water on the wood, for which they end up destroying their wooden roofs and wooden rafters.
It is hard to repair water-damaged wood, but it’s necessary because it can engulf your precious roof and cause it to weaken over time. This in itself is a great risk to the residents as a weakened roof can collapse at any time.
Why Is Water-Damaged Wood So Bad?
Wood is a dead part of the tree. As soon as a living organism (tree) dies or gets cut, it is further eaten by decomposers like fungi and bacteria.
The thing is, decomposers are more likely to attack the wood that is exposed to water than the drier ones.
For us, wood is a handy material. But for decomposers, it’s food! And when the wood is soft and slime, it gets more delicious food, making the wood susceptible to the attack.
Fungi love moisture. Their enzymes are potent, and they keep eating the wood until it’s completely gone. Fungi are also pretty resistant to antifungal chemicals, making them harder to get rid of.
5 Ways To Prevent Or Fix Water’s Damage To Woods
It’s natural to think about how to fix water-damaged wood after reading these horrendous facts.
It is almost impossible to prevent invisible organisms from attacking the wood. But you can maximize the life of wood to some extent.
You must repair and restore the water-damaged wood to make it more durable and blooming.
1. Cleaning Gutters
People often overlook the importance of gutter, thinking that they won’t get clogged ever – wrong!
The sole purpose of the gutter is to move water away from your house to prevent water build-up. If the gutters are clogged, water can extend to the lowest course of the roof, causing severe risk to the overall integrity of the roof.
Dead foliage can retain moisture during the decomposition process, leading to clogged gutters. Debris, leaves, and snow can also accumulate in the gutters, causing serious damage to the roof in case of extreme weather conditions.
Moreover, the elevated moisture content in the roof promotes fungal growth, making the surface change to a dark gray or black color. This indicated that the natural preservatives present in cedar heartwood have depleted, and the roof has started deteriorating.
Clean the gutter twice a year to keep your wooden roof safe and healthy. If you find yourself occupied throughout the year, hire Mid Atlantic Remodeling Co. to take care of these pesky clogged gutters.
Water leads to moisture, and that consequently causes algae, moss, or lichen growth. How does the moss grow on your roof? Check out our guide on The Effects of Algae, Moss, or Lichens on a Roof.
2. Applying Water-Repellent Preservative (WRF)
Although water-repellent compounds naturally occur in cedar heartwood, they will stop functioning one day due to exposure to rain, snow, and UV light. Also, end grain areas in shakes and shingles attract more water and hence take a lot longer to completely dry. This makes these areas more susceptible to wood-rotting microorganisms.
Plastic paints are one of the widely used methods that are used to increase the lifespan of a wooden roof. Applying WRF will create a protective layer to protect against water damage from snow/rain, ice, and moisture while giving the cedar shingles a nice glossy look.
Why do WRF or plastic paints work?
Unlike wood, plastic is water-resistant. Plastics neither absorb water nor get dissolved into it. Plastic painting doesn’t allow water to be exposed to water as plastic works as a barrier between two elements.
Oil-based and water-based preservatives also effectively prevent the water from damaging the wood but don’t restore the already damaged wood as it requires a professional repair.
3. Sand And Oil
Sand fills the pores and reduces the chances of wood getting moisturized. This method is also quite common and used for preserving the wood for longer times. Sand therapy is effective because it absorbs some amount of water before it reaches the wood.
Oil treatments are effective too. Oil is insoluble in water. The greasy layer of oil acts as a barrier between water and wood. The oil provides both strength and durability to the wood. It also saves the wood from dry rot.
4. Dehumidifier – For Indoor Furniture
Fungi exist because of moisture. When you find a way to eliminate moisture, fungi leaves too.
Dehumidifiers these days are like common household appliances in homes. Dehumidifiers are commonly used to reduce humidity in rooms.
You can use this appliance to get rid of moisture from the water-damaged wood. To repair the water-damaged wood, you have to move the dehumidifier and the affected wood in the same room and run the dehumidifier for some time. It works!
5. Prevention & Inspection
Prevention is better than treatment. One of the best ways to get rid of water-damaged wood is to secure the wood from moisture.
This is possible by moving your woody objects to places where the weather is less humid and water leakages are less likely to occur.
The best thing is to keep examining your woods every week and see if they require any repair work.
For roofs, snow mustn’t be allowed to build up. It leads to moisture damage and leaks, causing serious damage to the interior ceiling, ceiling-mounted lights, and fans.
Water is as harmful to the wood as it is to iron. The exposure to water makes the edges of the wood soft and slightly upwards. Molds and other decomposers eat up entire wood in a matter of days deforming roofs, floors, and furniture.
Several methods are useful to repair and restore the wood from getting water damaged. Complete fixtures are not easy to perform as you will need some professional help. MidAtlantic Remodeling is the company helping many homeowners across Maryland by repairing their water-damaged roofs.
Mid-Atlantic Remodeling Company mainly focuses on maintaining and cleaning roofs. We make sure that your roof stays in perfect condition throughout its lifetime. Contact us to get a free estimate of your roofing and remodeling needs!