Cedar shake roofs are aesthetic and long lasting when properly maintained, especially in areas where there is plenty of moisture. However, due to the low humidity conditions and unique vulnerability to wildfires in the Front Range, the emphasis in Colorado Springs area has been to move away from the cedar roofs. Pikes Peak Regional Building Department has disallowed more than 25% replacement on cedar roofs. What this means is that if your roof is two thousand square feet in area than you’ll be able to replace up to 500 square feet of wood shakes if you need to repair your roof. However if you experience a hail storm and the insurance company totals your roof than you’ll have to replace the entire roof in Colorado Springs. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Most likely you’ll have to install a Type A fire rated roof system.
The most affordable and common replacement is a composition roof made of asphalt shingles. This meets the fire rating requirements for the local building codes. New shingles are great when installed with roof vents.
Is Your Asphalt Roof System Properly Ventilated?
Cedar wood shake roofs naturally breathe, so ventilation is not normally an issue. Asphalt roofs, on the other hand, are air tight and do not breathe without adding a proper ventilation system. When transitioning from a cedar shake roof to an asphalt roof, the ventilation system has to be addressed or the underside of the roof may create condensation.
The lack of airflow causes moisture to build up inside the house. Heat from the exterior causes it to rise and condense, much like a cloud. Eventually it may perspire causing a raining affect inside the home. As a roofing company in Colorado Springs, Integrity Roofing and Painting has witnessed this phenomenon occur in attic spaces. All one has to do is climb in the attic during the winter of a home with no ventilation and one might see water droplets forming on the underside of the roof deck. I witnessed a cathedral ceiling that drizzled drops of condensing from its ceiling at a steady trickle due to lack of ventilation.
A Possible Solution is To Install More Vents
The way we attempted to resolve this issue was to install soffit vents and ridge vents. The only issue was that this property had a cathedral ceiling. In addition to the cathedral ceiling were some unusual fire blocks that were installed by the builder. A cathedral ceiling doesn’t have an attic air space that’s found in most homes. The only air space that may exist is what’s available between the decking and ceiling material. Ultimately, this roof started to sweat again. We returned to this property, removed shingles and some decking. That’s when we discovered the fire blocks. The blocks were removed to allow the air to flow upward from the intake vents at the soffits to the exhaust vents at the ridge.
Each home is built differently so it is advisable to consult with an architect regarding the optimal ventilation for your home when transitioning to an asphalt roof from a wood shake roof. It could prevent interior damages as well as save considerable money over time on utilities. If your looking for a roofing company in Colorado Springs, Integrity Roofing and Painting can provide some assistance with ventilation. We recommend that the final ventilation decisions be made with an architect, engineer, or builder.