Monday, June 23, 2014

Caring for Your Little Library: Roofing

Launching Skookum in the winter of last year was a challenge! British Columbia's weather tends to be cloudy with a chance of meatballs but the harsh climate is a good test for building materials and finishes. I originally used Thompson's WaterSeal (tinted Oak) for the cedar shingles; however, after six months of rain and snow the integrity and look of our roof diminished. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. So, I picked up my handy dandy notebook and hunted around the tool shed for another product to use. This is what I found:

I prepped the shingles by cleaning them off with a thick nylon brush. I know that the prepping process typically requires a much more intensive cleaning and for those interested in learning more about the care of cedar shakes click here! I then applied a couple of coats of Varathane (clear satin finish) to the shingles. While sealing the roof, I kept thinking about master carpenter Norm Abram from This Old House reminding homeowners to "brush with the grain of the wood." Thanks Norm!

In the image below, the left side of the roof has been sealed with Varathane and the right side is how the roof appears with no sealant.

Once dried, the Varathane leaves a slight sheen to the roof:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this product preserves the colour and durability of the shingles. During my Kickstarter campaign, I received several comments and words of advice about roofing the structure. Those librarians living in harsher climates all recommended shingling the roof and I am glad we did. I thought about using vinyl shingles but purchasing such a small quantity is difficult.

If you have roofing suggestions for these little structures, please share!




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