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Old 12-31-2021, 04:12 PM   #1
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Longest lasting, most bulletproof treatment for roof wood

Looking for the most bulletproof, longest-lasting, least maintenance-intensive products/strategies for protecting wood on the roof from sun & water damage/aging. I can take all the time in the world applying it. Just don't want to have to keep re-applying it.

Wood will be yellow pine or douglas fir (likely the latter), and not pressure-treated.

This will not be used for a deck - it's more a catwalk for servicing other parts of the roof, and a foundation for storage containers. Not sure it matters, but foot traffic will be limited.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-31-2021, 08:04 PM   #2
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Wood

Use redwood. No coatings needed.

William
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:14 PM   #3
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Stuck on wood? You could use aluminum grating which will keep the weight down, goes up fast, doesn't need painted. Theres a stock by me on Facebook marketplace for cheap.
https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...ce=sh%2Fx%2Fim
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I am stuck on wood, unfortunately, but it's not a performance-driven decision. I think aluminum is a great choice. Just not the choice I have the freedom to make. There are other concerns that eliminate that option.

Can't do redwood; We need more strength/density than redwood provides. And anything we put on the roof is going to still need a treatment or the sun will make short work of it.


FWIW we decided on a 2-part marine varnish. Going to be a lot of work but from my research it appears that - like paint - 2-part systems are miles ahead of anything else in terms of longevity. Once it's up maintenance is going to be extremely difficult, so I'd rather spend the time now so I can spend less and effort later.
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Old 01-01-2022, 02:11 PM   #5
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Why wood on a moving vehicle? It seems anachronistic to me to still use wood for this in the 21st century. If you're making something on the roof, it should be light (to prevent upsetting the bus's CoG), maintenance free and strong. Aluminum is the only suitable material that's readily available, easy to work with, and inexpensive.

I made a 12"-wide walkway between my two roof hatches, onto which I have hinged my eight solar panels. The walkway uses 25 ft lengths of 6061 angle, onto which are bolted 48" x 12" pieces of 3003 diamond-plate, and it's attached to the roof with 36 through-bolted stainless socket-head 3/8" bolts and SS nylok nuts. It sits a few inches above the roof on 6063 aluminum spacers with 6061 cross and longitudinal braces to prevent any movement, and all roof penetrations are sealed with EPDM washers under SS washers; after all the recent heavy rains here there were NO roof leaks at all!

It never needs painting, is light and strong, and should never need any attention from me in the future. For me, the choice of material was simple.

John
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Old 01-01-2022, 02:51 PM   #6
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I appreciate the input. And am definitely concerned with weight among other issues.


May need to think this over a bit more...


Thanks all.
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Old 01-01-2022, 04:13 PM   #7
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i started a reply last night but never finished it?
what about trex deck lumber or pvc boards?
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:06 PM   #8
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The problem is I'm going to have some pretty long spans between supports... most over 24", and a couple approaching 48". 2 x 4s of Douglas Fir with 3/4" gaps will work for me to walk on, but it's pushing it. None of the composite lumber I've seen is as strong, most doesn't come in 2x4 dimensions, & the brands I've looked at are heavier than Douglas Fir as well. if this was a deck, 24" would be the limit, with much closer board spacing. Also, I don't have the capability of adding more support, so those spans can't shrink.
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:30 PM   #9
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If I was me, I would start with something renowned for weather resistance.
Maybe something used in decks on stand-still houses.
Something requiring zip nada in treatments for longevity.
.
Eugene, Oregon.
Mike's Bargain Lumber on Highway 99 at Beltloop.
They carry the darnedest stuff... the kind of stuff you did not know you needed until you saw it.
.
For our 'gypsy vardo' ceiling in our ExpeditionVehicle, I stumbled across a zany mad-cap pile of dozens of gorgeous clear 2x4 cedar, beautifully finished on four sides.
Problem -- each twelve-footer was warped in three dimensions.
Pretzeled.
Mike's was going to chop the stack into kindling.
I saw potential!
By judiciously sorting, I racked a dozen or so sections of similar arcs... perfect for my arched ceiling.
Some trimming, some spar-varnish, and they are still going strong nearly two decades later.
.
Mike's is the local go-to spot.
They always have intermural somewhat-competitive teams of semi-professional geezer wood-workers jostling through their recent deliveries, hoping for something unique for a cabinet, table, mantle, bowl, presentation-box, pen-pencil set.
.
For your deck, you might like:
* Ipe wood.
Remember to slope.
.
.
https://mikes-bargain-center.business.site/
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Old 01-06-2022, 01:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am stuck on wood, unfortunately, but it's not a performance-driven decision. I think aluminum is a great choice. Just not the choice I have the freedom to make. There are other concerns that eliminate that option.

Can't do redwood; We need more strength/density than redwood provides. And anything we put on the roof is going to still need a treatment or the sun will make short work of it.


FWIW we decided on a 2-part marine varnish. Going to be a lot of work but from my research it appears that - like paint - 2-part systems are miles ahead of anything else in terms of longevity. Once it's up maintenance is going to be extremely difficult, so I'd rather spend the time now so I can spend less and effort later.
Interesting discussion. If long term maintenance is a problem (sounds like due to access) I would strongly recommend in this order: 1. Aluminum; 2. Steel, painted; 3. Pressure Treated Lumber.

Sounds like you have other reasons to go with something else.

Doug Fir or yellow pine is quite soft, though harder than Redwood. Even with a two part paint, I would worry that any nicks in the paint would allow the wood to deteriorate quickly. Marine epoxy is only as strong as its substrate, which I imagine is usually oak or equivalent.

Maybe you can get some Poplar.
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Old 01-06-2022, 04:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
Interesting discussion. If long term maintenance is a problem (sounds like due to access) I would strongly recommend in this order: 1. Aluminum; 2. Steel, painted; 3. Pressure Treated Lumber.

Sounds like you have other reasons to go with something else.

Doug Fir or yellow pine is quite soft, though harder than Redwood. Even with a two part paint, I would worry that any nicks in the paint would allow the wood to deteriorate quickly. Marine epoxy is only as strong as its substrate, which I imagine is usually oak or equivalent.

Maybe you can get some Poplar.

I do. aesthetics. And as a function-over-form type of guy, I recognize it doesn't make sense
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Old 01-06-2022, 06:45 PM   #12
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Ipe is used for house decking, and holds up forever. Downside it is heavy, and the dust from cutting it is a bit toxic, wear a real mask. Varnish will not dry on it.
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Old 01-06-2022, 07:00 PM   #13
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I would get some used aluminum or steel catwalk and forget about it.
If you need wood to span 4 feet -- Railroad ties ?
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Old 01-06-2022, 10:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
The problem is I'm going to have some pretty long spans between supports... most over 24", and a couple approaching 48". 2 x 4s of Douglas Fir with 3/4" gaps will work for me to walk on, but it's pushing it. None of the composite lumber I've seen is as strong, most doesn't come in 2x4 dimensions, & the brands I've looked at are heavier than Douglas Fir as well. if this was a deck, 24" would be the limit, with much closer board spacing. Also, I don't have the capability of adding more support, so those spans can't shrink.

OK, crazy time. Lumber is really expensive now

As cheap as I am I would shop around for a used (new is high dollar for longer, heavier ladders) aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder. The longer the better (longer ones are made heavier, get the highest OSHA weight rating you can find) the rungs are usually 12 inches apart. Cut it into the required lengths, figure out how to fasten it to the roof and use treated 1x4s?, 5/4 decking, whatever? to span the 12 inches between the rungs and fasten to the rungs. A used 40ft ladder would be expensive, but would stretch the entire length of most buses with some left over to make an access ladder.

Maybe contact a large commercial roofing contractor and see if they have one (damaged?) that they would like to get rid of cheap. Residential roofers don't usually use longer, heavier ladders. Scrap metal yard? Shorter lighter ladders can be found at garage sales most any day.

I don't think a 48 inch span will be a problem, but you could test it before buying it by taking the 2 sections apart, put 2 - 2x4 blocks on the ground, 48 inches apart under 1 section and walk on it and judge for yourself, no sag you are good to go. The 1x4s (5/4 decking?) are going to make it even stronger.


Fiber glass is normally used around electricity where you worry about shocking experiences.
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Old 01-07-2022, 01:31 PM   #15
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I agree with magnakansas that redwood could survive a long while untreated. It will drip staining water for a while and would need a power wash every couple years. Forget about wood coating products, non last many years, guaranteed high maintenance.



If the wood looks like a deck to the insurance company are you going to be able to find/keep insurance?



Kidharris I like your idea a lot!



John
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Old 01-07-2022, 09:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kidharris View Post
OK, crazy time. Lumber is really expensive now

As cheap as I am I would shop around for a used (new is high dollar for longer, heavier ladders) aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder. The longer the better (longer ones are made heavier, get the highest OSHA weight rating you can find) the rungs are usually 12 inches apart. Cut it into the required lengths, figure out how to fasten it to the roof and use treated 1x4s?, 5/4 decking, whatever? to span the 12 inches between the rungs and fasten to the rungs. A used 40ft ladder would be expensive, but would stretch the entire length of most buses with some left over to make an access ladder.

Maybe contact a large commercial roofing contractor and see if they have one (damaged?) that they would like to get rid of cheap. Residential roofers don't usually use longer, heavier ladders. Scrap metal yard? Shorter lighter ladders can be found at garage sales most any day.

I don't think a 48 inch span will be a problem, but you could test it before buying it by taking the 2 sections apart, put 2 - 2x4 blocks on the ground, 48 inches apart under 1 section and walk on it and judge for yourself, no sag you are good to go. The 1x4s (5/4 decking?) are going to make it even stronger.


Fiber glass is normally used around electricity where you worry about shocking experiences.
Brilliant suggestion!
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Old 01-08-2022, 11:15 AM   #17
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I really appreciate all the input and great suggestions! Still trying to figure out what to do. Also still trying to figure out what I'll do with the gallon of 2-part marine varnish I bought if I don't go my original route (actually have a few ideas on that)
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Old 01-08-2022, 11:16 PM   #18
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OK, crazy time...As cheap as I am I would shop around...for a used ladder...
.
Ladder story:
.
A couple decades ago, I was in Wal*Mart in line for a return at Customer Service (a definitive separate part of the business from anything anybody else employed there does... [shoots sideways squints]).
.
The slacker ahead of me was returning a bendy compacto ladder, the fold-out kind with the rat-shits so it can be straight, a deck, or a one-section stand-off (although the value of that peculiarity escapes my fertile imagination...).
.
At the return register, the kosher asked the reason for bringing it back.
The slacker's three-word reply stands enshrined as a monument to stoner integrity:
* "Done with it."
.
The kosher calls the harried managerette.
The managerette rushes in, gives the approval, then turns to stride away... the very image of self-less commitment to corporation.
Sensing an opportunity, says I "What is going to happen to the ladder?" pointing to probably paint splotches and possibly the out-goings from an active colony of scavenger birds with an on-going familiarity in the tailings of a family-style buffet.
.
The dear managerette -- although I ought to show more respect to somebody of her rank and position, so from now on, she will be known as the mini-manager -- stopped in her tracks as if nobody ever asked her something so stupit.
Slowly she turned, inch by inch, beginning her appraisal of me with the corner of her eye.
.
"It will go into 'write-off..." leaving some room for further inquiries.
"Write-off...?"
"Right. Into the dumpster..."
"Should I make an offer on it?"
The mini-manager tries really hard to not smile, fails.
"How about ten?"
"How about I meet you half-way... does five sound square?"
.
Done and done.
And that is the story behind the bendo ladder I use at least a couple-three times a month.
.
Walking into the store, did I think I needed a new hundred-dollar ladder?
Not hardly.
.
I have a hundred more stories of fortune shaking some serendipitous seductions in my direction.
My part of the equation is simple -- pay attention.
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Old 01-09-2022, 12:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeMargeInBaja View Post
.
Ladder story:
.
A couple decades ago, I was in Wal*Mart in line for a return at Customer Service (a definitive separate part of the business from anything anybody else employed there does... [shoots sideways squints]).
.
The slacker ahead of me was returning a bendy compacto ladder, the fold-out kind with the rat-shits so it can be straight, a deck, or a one-section stand-off (although the value of that peculiarity escapes my fertile imagination...).
.
At the return register, the kosher asked the reason for bringing it back.
The slacker's three-word reply stands enshrined as a monument to stoner integrity:
* "Done with it."
.
The kosher calls the harried managerette.
The managerette rushes in, gives the approval, then turns to stride away... the very image of self-less commitment to corporation.
Sensing an opportunity, says I "What is going to happen to the ladder?" pointing to probably paint splotches and possibly the out-goings from an active colony of scavenger birds with an on-going familiarity in the tailings of a family-style buffet.
.
The dear managerette -- although I ought to show more respect to somebody of her rank and position, so from now on, she will be known as the mini-manager -- stopped in her tracks as if nobody ever asked her something so stupit.
Slowly she turned, inch by inch, beginning her appraisal of me with the corner of her eye.
.
"It will go into 'write-off..." leaving some room for further inquiries.
"Write-off...?"
"Right. Into the dumpster..."
"Should I make an offer on it?"
The mini-manager tries really hard to not smile, fails.
"How about ten?"
"How about I meet you half-way... does five sound square?"
.
Done and done.
And that is the story behind the bendo ladder I use at least a couple-three times a month.
.
Walking into the store, did I think I needed a new hundred-dollar ladder?
Not hardly.
.
I have a hundred more stories of fortune shaking some serendipitous seductions in my direction.
My part of the equation is simple -- pay attention.

I sold my last 40' ladder at Home Depot, just hung around the ladder section until some one came by looking at ladders, told him that I had one for half the cost sitting on my truck out in the parking lot. Done. Most people don't use ladders often enough to want to pay full price, but your story is less than scrap price. Wonder what the mini-manager did with the $5
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Old 01-09-2022, 03:24 PM   #20
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Brilliant suggestion!
I agree, the Kid nailed it. I'm going to remember this suggestion.
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