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    Credit: David Mills

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Cedar Roofing Needs to Dry

I appreciate your magazine and have relied on it for guidance for many years. I have been building a lot of garden sheds this year and am doing a fair amount of cedar-shingle siding and roofing. I read with interest the letter from David Mills, “Wood Shingle Roofing Tips” (6/12), in which he refers to “verticals” and “skippers.” What do those terms mean?

I’ve often noted that on the underside of cedar shingle roofs there’s a fair amount of seeping, especially in older buildings. New materials like OSB would never survive that treatment for long, but the roofing boards last indefinitely as long as they can dry.

Keep up the good work. I like down the down-to-earth, practical articles. There aren’t a lot of high-end jobs these days; most of my work is run-of-the-mill stuff, but my goal is to do it well and put in the extra effort to make our product stand out. Happy customers means steady, good-paying work.

Jay Livesey

Bridgewater, Maine

“Skippers” refers to skipped sheathing — the gapped roofing boards you see when you look at the underside of a cedar roof, which, as you say, allow the roof to dry. You can’t do much better than that on a small building like a garden shed. By “verticals,” David Mills means the 2-bys that are run up the slope over the rafters and sheathing of an existing roof to provide soffit-to-ridge ventilation channels; these can be crossed by either horizontal skipped sheathing or another layer of sheathing. They might be used during a reroof for a built-up roof assembly in an insulated structure (see the photo below that David Mills kindly provided of 2x4 verticals on a double-sheathed job). — The Editor