How to Waterproof Wood Shingles

11 months ago

Exterior wood shingles can withstand the elements for years if they are properly waterproofed and otherwise maintained. The shingles that require the most maintenance are wood roofing shingles, which should be completely waterproofed every 3-5 years.

No matter what type of wood shingles you have on your home, the technique is the same. If you must waterproof roofing shingles, you should consider your comfort working on your roof before beginning. If you are comfortable working on the roof and navigating a ladder, you shouldn’t need help to complete this project.

Step 1

Clean the wood shingles with a mixture of wood cleaner and water. You should dilute the wood cleaner according to the manufacturers instructions and apply it to wet shingles that have had 15 minutes or so to absorb water. Wait 15 minutes before continuing.

TIP: If you are working on a roof, start from the top and work down to the gutter, working in sections. Wood shingle cleaner can make the roof very slippery, creating a falling hazard.

Step 2

Scrub the shingles with a soft bristled nylon brush, removing any mold and mildew as well as debris. Add more diluted wood cleaner as necessary to the shingles.

Step 3

Rinse the shingles, making sure to point the hose in a downward angle to avoid forcing water between the shingles and creating leaks.

Step 4

Examine the color of the wood, especially if it has altered considerably while cleaning it. If you would like, you can apply a wood brightener to clean, wet wood. Simply apply with a brush and allow it to soak into the wood for approximately 45 minutes. The excess should then be washed off of the shingles. Wait at least 24 hours, until the wood shingles are completely dry, before attempting to waterproof them.

Step 5

Apply a combination waterproof stain and sealer to the surface of the wood shingles. Just like cleaning shingles, it is best to start from the top and work your way down. Maintaining a wet edge will prevent apparent brush marks. When applying, be sure to be generous, but do not apply more than can be absorbed the shingles in 30 minutes.

Step 6

Use a dry brush to remove any wet areas of waterproofing on the shingles. This will ensure that the color is even and no area is over saturated with waterproofing.

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