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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.


Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Getting The Most From Your Cedar Shake Roof

by Kelly Simmons

A new cedar shake roof on your home is beautiful and adds a touch of elegance over asphalt shingles. Natural wood is durable and will protect your home for years. Do It Yourself says you can expect to get 30 to 40 years from your roof, if you take a few precautions. Here are some ways to keep your roof looking good and sheltering your home for as long as it possibly can.

Common Hazards for Your Cedar Roof

Weather and temperature extremes, mold, mildew, birds, insects and rot are the typical threats to a cedar shake roof. As the seasons change and nature becomes more active in your neighborhood, watch for these signs of roof damage:

  • Winter snow and ice can cause wood shingles to split or crack.
  • Heavy wind and rain can break shingles or cause them to crack.
  • Birds will drill holes in the wood looking for insects, especially during the spring nesting season.
  • Wood boring insects, such as beetles and termites, can eat through shingles and weaken them.
  • When a portion of the roof doesn't dry out, wood rot can set in and cause cedar shingles to deteriorate.
  • Moss can also grow on wet shingles, sending roots down into the wood, weakening it.

Regular cleaning and inspection of your roof is important to prevent serious damage by any of these threats.

Keeping Your Roof Healthy

Branches, twigs, leaves and other organic debris on your roof trap water, attract birds and insects, and provide a fertile ground for moss to set in. If allowed to stay on your roof for long periods, the accumulated damage from all of the above hazards could result in replacement of a major part of your roof. Keeping the damage down to a handful of shingles maintains the integrity of the roof, and limits your maintenance costs.

Once or twice each year, and after any extreme weather, inspect your roof for any damaged shingles. If you have a single-story home, and the roof is dry, you can do an inspection from a ladder placed against the house. A wet roof or one with mold growing on it is slippery. Have a roofing company like Roof Tech inspect your roof if it is wet or you have more than one story. Any damaged shingles should be replaced to prevent further damage to the roof.

Once a year, or as needed, clean off any organic debris from the roof. A power washer and a stiff broom are the typical tools used for the job. Only clean what you can safely reach from a ladder against the house. You'll risk a slip and fall injury by trying to walk on a wet cedar roof. To be safe, have a roofing company do a thorough job cleaning the roof, inspecting it as they clean.

Also keep your gutters clean and flowing freely. Debris in the gutters can cause water to dam up against the edge of the shingles. Once mold starts growing on the shingle edges, water won't drain off of the roof properly and you'll develop a much larger mold problem.

Alternative Roof Treatments

Your local roofing contractor has a variety of products that they can use to treat your roof and slow down the moss growth. They are most effective when used in the early years of a new roof's life. You get less protection with these products when treating a well-weathered, older roof.

Make it a habit to clean and inspect your roof regularly. Get the full 30 to 40 years of life from your roof. Don't let weather and nature rob you of a few years of protection by your cedar shake roof.