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Look-alike wood shakes are a puzzle to Builder

Q You once wrote about a new roofing material that looked like wooden shakes. At that time our city reported that these shingles were expensive and had some wrinkles that needed to be ironed out, one being that in a climate such as ours the shingles crack. Because we now need a new roof, we want to know if this type of shingle was ever improved and where it is available? Doloris Moore Dearborn, Mich.

A The trusty old Ask a Builder file, although indexed, shows no shakelike roofing material as a subject. We have written about wood shakes, wood shingles, composition roofing and shingles, vinyl roofing, cement asbestos shingles, cement and clay tile, fiberglass roofing, and metal roofing, but I am stumped about the type in which you are interested.

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In planning your reroofing, if the pitch is 2 or 3 in 12, or less, unit shingles of any sort are not recommended. Roll roofing, or preferably hot-mopped , built-up types, are a better assurance of no leaks.

Roofs of more than 3 in 12 may take to unit shingles with reasonable expectation of being leak-free.

Discuss with your roofer if the new roof should be placed directly over the old one.

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