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How to Apply Preservative to Wood Shingles

Applying preservative to wood shingles protects the wood. By learning how to apply preservative to wood shingles, you can restore the natural oils to the wood fibers, safeguard the roof from fungus and rot, and protect the roof from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Wood shingle preservatives come as both oil-based and water-based preservatives. The oil-based type is preferable because it penetrates deeper, combats weather stress better, and lasts longer. Most preservative applications last three to five years, depending on the climate. Keeping the roof clean and free of debris helps extend the lasting quality of the preservative and the life of the roof.

Pigmented preservatives have added ultraviolet protection. The pigment actually masks the sun’s ultraviolet rays, preventing them from damaging the wood. The pigment also blends together, into one color, older and newer replacement shingles.

Although you can apply preservative with a garden-type pump sprayer, you can do a more thorough job using an airless paint sprayer. You can rent one for about the same cost as a pressure washer. The process is simple:

  1. Spray the oil onto the roof.

  2. When the surface becomes shiny, stop spraying in that area and move on.

Apply preservative when no breeze is blowing, so that the majority of the product ends up on the roof and not on the neighbors’ new car. Work backward from the low end to the high side, being careful not to walk on an already treated area, which may be slippery.

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