Considering Cedar Shake Roofing? Learn What You Need to Know

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Cedar shake roofing is made from natural cedar that has been cut by hand. Although cedar shakes do require regular maintenance, this all-natural roofing material has many positive qualities that make it desirable to owners of high-end homes.

Are you considering cedar shake roofing for your home? Learn what you need to know about this classic roofing material.


Nothing Compares to the Beauty of Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes are most desirable because of their timeless beauty. As one of the original roofing materials, wood has an old-world charm that is unparalleled by any other material. Because wood is an organic material, cedar shakes naturally change in appearance over time. Shakes begin as a golden yellow color and then slowly fade to silvery gray. Over time, this silvery gray color darkens. 

This process is natural and expected. However, if you prefer, the color of cedar shakes can be restored periodically with a cleaning from a pressure washer. 

Cedar Is Environmentally Friendly

Cedar is harvested from sustainably grown forests. In addition, some cedar shakes are harvested from salvaged logs that otherwise might be left to rot in the forest. And when compared to asphalt or metal, cedar shakes require less energy from natural gas and fossil fuels in order to be produced. Cedar is also recyclable and can be made into mulch or chips for gardens. By contrast, asphalt shingles cannot be recycled and fill landfills as a result. 

Cedar Shake Roofing Needs Regular Maintenance

Cedar shakes need regular maintenance or they can deteriorate quickly. Make sure you keep up with the following tasks:

  • Remove debris like sticks and leaves on a regular basis.
  • Pressure wash shakes periodically to remove fungus and moss.
  • Have your roofing periodically inspected by a roofing professional.

Cedar shake roofing also benefits from periodic applications of wood preservative, which can prevent damage from moisture and fungus. Cedar shakes should never be sealed, however, as they are meant to breathe and must be allowed to do so. 

Cedar Shakes Can Last 30 Years

Under the right conditions, shakes can last as long as 30 years. However, cedar shakes are sensitive to their environment, more so than many other roofing materials. 

Shakes should not be cast in shade or left beneath overhanging branches. Most importantly, overhanging branches of trees should never rub against shakes. This rubbing action can cause the fasteners or shakes themselves to wear out prematurely.

Homeowners who trim overhanging trees to allow sunlight to reach the roof can help extend the life of their shakes. This must be done periodically, as overhanging trees may grow back with time. 

Some Materials Mimic the Look of Cedar

Some metal roofing types and composite asphalt shingles are designed to mimic the look of cedar shakes. These materials are desirable to some homeowners because they require far less maintenance than cedar shakes but still achieve the sculpted look of real wood. 

You should note, however, that these materials do not have the same beauty as cedar shakes. Even though they may look somewhat similar to wood shakes, close examination will reveal these materials to be not real wood. For this reason, homeowners who are concerned with authenticity or who own historic property often gravitate toward genuine cedar. 

If you would like more information about cedar shake roofing material, speak to a roofing expert in your area. A good roofer can give you information about the pros and cons of cedar shakes as needed.

At D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc., we’re happy to answer customer questions about cedar shakes and other types of roofing materials. To find out more, contact us today.