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Somerset County Roofers: Article About Wood Shingle Weathering Process

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Every roofing material weathers in its own unique way. While some weathering changes are unsightly, wood shingle roofs weather quite beautifully. Along with the change of color, there are a few other changes that occur as the wood is exposed to the elements. Normal weather patterns aren't concerning, but if a homeowner notices anything they think isn't normal, they should contact their Somerset County roofers for a thorough inspection.

The first thing that will noticeably change on wood shingles is their color. After a year, homeowners will notice their shingles are slowly losing their red color and transitioning into a shade of silver grey. The graying process is a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation that strips away the surface of the cells responsible for the red color. Mild weather conditions will allow this process to happen gradually after the roof is a year old, but harsh conditions may start the graying process within a few months of installation. The silver color isn't permanent and will slowly change into a darker gray that resembles the color of graphite.

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This is an important step because it lets the roofer know the wood has been successfully colonized with microfungi and signals the end of the primary aspect of the cycle.

The second part of the weathering process actually changes the texture of the wood. Wood naturally attracts water which makes the wood swell. When it begins to dry, the wood contracts. This is a reoccurring process that repeats itself fairly quickly. After a few of these cycles, the wood starts to develop compression and tension stresses that ultimately result in microscopic cracks. These cracks will get larger with each cycle and eventually become visible to the naked eye. As the cracks get deeper and trap water more deeply each time, it makes it more difficult for the shingles to dry. Besides trapping water, damaging microorganisms penetrate the wood and accelerate the aging process.

Finally, the wood will weather from exposure to the particles carried in wind and water. These particles are abrasive and wear away the surface of the wood. Debris from nearby trees will also aid in the weathering process as it gathers in the valleys of the roof and between the shingles.

The weathering process is unavoidable, but it can be slowed down with good maintenance practices. Homeowners should become educated on the normal weathering process so they can learn to head off serious problems before they begin.

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