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What Causes a Cedar Roof to Buckle?

Updated: Apr 1


Even a new cedar roof can start to buckle if it isn’t properly installed or maintained. Something as simple as a nail or leaving shingles room to breathe can lead to early roof problems. You’ll want to use a reliable cedar roofing service to ensure that your shingles and roof will last many years.

The nailing, ventilation and spacing of roof shingles can also affect the longevity of your roof, and they should be properly managed during installation. After your roof is on, you’ll need to care for it with cleaning.

Always use specific cedar roof coatings that can protect your roof from UV damage — but these coatings should always be applied by a professional. Keep reading to learn more about how to prevent your cedar roof from buckling.

Why Do Nails Matter?

Nails are one of the biggest dangers to your cedar roof. This is because nails need to be placed lower on the shingle than on other roof types. Crews who aren’t used to working with cedar roofs may also use nail guns, which can lead to shingles that aren’t properly nailed. This can cause the shingles to trap moisture and rot.

Before installation, ask any potential roofer about their procedure before signing a contract for them to install your roof. You’ll also want to check and make sure they use stainless steel nails. Stainless steel nails resist rust and water damage. Your cedar shingles will safely absorb water and hold on to the nails, so they must be able to stand up to moisture. Common roofing nails, such as coated steel nails and plain steel nails, will rot quickly and can lead to buckling shortly after your roof is installed.

Venting Options for Cedar Roofs

A cedar roof has a variety of options for shingle ventilation, and you’ll want to employ a combination of these methods. Proper ventilation requires the right spacing for your shingles, which includes a gap of roughly ¼ of an inch between each shingle to allow for swelling when they absorb moisture.

For ventilation, make sure your roofers have a plan to include eave venting that allows air to enter and circulate at the bottom of your roof. Their plan should also include a skip sheathing that includes gaps to allow air to move around freely and bring in air from your eave venting.

It’s also a good idea to include an exhaust at the end of your roof to create a complete air flow from your eave venting. This exhaust, also called ridge venting, keeps air circulating and will help to remove moisture and keep your roof at a unified temperature. When the roof’s temperature is consistent and matches the outside temperature, it’s less likely to warp or buckle.

Fixing a Buckling Roof

Cedar roofs with buckling shingles or rot can be unsightly and make your home lose its luster. Thankfully, it’s possible to repair your cedar roof after a thorough inspection. Professionals like Cedar Roof Coatings can help you improve the look of your roof and safety to your home.

Our team can repair:

  • Damaged ridge caps

  • Buckling or rotting shingles or shakes

  • Rotting areas or damage to vents, valleys and flashings

The sooner you repair a damaged roof or buckling shingles, the sooner your home is protected and healthy. Contact us today online or call us at 203.847.5740 to ask about damage to your cedar roof and learn more about our repair services.

We proudly serve all of Fairfield County, Westchester County and surrounding areas.


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