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Why is it important to leave enough space between cedar shingles?

November 27th 2020

From one season to another, wood expands and contracts. As a result, it is common for some cedar shingles to slightly move. After all, that is part of its charm!

However, it is abnormal to see cedar shingles cupping and curling over most of the surface. When this problem occurs, it is almost always because of an installation issue.

Here are 3 basic principles to follow to avoid unpleasant surprises:

1- Spacing between each cedar shingle

Wood is basically “alive”. The shingles dry out or become damp with temperature changes. When you install green shingles, the humidity level is about 25% to 35%. They will shrink in the sun and will regain their size on a rainy day. On the other hand, when you install kiln dried or factory stained shingles, the humidity level is between 8% to 14%. They are “pre shrunk” and will expand in wet weather.

Before installation, it is important to always check the shingles relative humidity level. This will help you decide the proper spacing to allow your cedar shingles to freely expand.

When installing a stained or dry shingle, leave 1/8″ to 1/4″ between each piece depending on the humidity level recorded. If your shingles are large or very dry, it is best to go with 1/4″. For green shingles, leave 1/16″ to 1/8″.

2- Exposure

The exposure is the exposed surface of the shingle once installed. It is important to keep it at a maximum of 5″ to help maintaining the pressure that shingles exert on each other to avoid cupping and curling.

3- Fasteners

As for the fasteners, make sure they are placed 3/4″ on each side and 1″ above the butt-line of the preceding course. To help you, there is an embossed nailing line on each of our shingles (at 6 1/8″) to guide the installer in aligning the fasteners.

If you are using air tools, don’t forget to adjust the air pressure so that the fasteners are flush with the shingle.

By respecting each of these principles, your shingles siding will retain all its charm for many years to come. If it’s the first time your installing cedar shingles, please refer to our Installation guide by clicking here.




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