What Are The Pros and Cons of a Cedar / Wood Shake Roof?

Have you ever stopped to admire the rustic beauty of a cedar shake roof? They really catch your eye - don't they? They add a natural elegance that can really help with the look of any house.

But although I love them, it's not always easy to live with these roofs. When you're trying to find out if a cedar shake roof is the way to go, it's a good idea to think about both the ups and downs. Let me break it down for you to help you make a smart choice!

Durability and Longevity

Cedar shakes, for starters, are super tough. Made from natural wood, they naturally keep away rot and fend off annoying bugs - a real lifesaver when you're dealing with pests that bug other parts.

I have to say, the thick, rugged texture of cedar shakes really pops, especially in rough weather. Living in a place with all kinds of weather, I really appreciate how well cedar shakes hold up against strong winds, heavy rain, and even snow loads. High-quality cedar shakes handle hail pretty well, too.

Durable Cedar Shake Roofing

One of the best features of these roofs is their impressive lifespan. With steady maintenance, a cedar shake roof can last between 30 to 40 years. I've talked to some homeowners who with careful upkeep and a bit of luck with the weather have seen their roofs last over 50 years.

Through conversations and seeing things myself, I've learned that regular maintenance is important to keeping a cedar shake roof in top shape. It's a good idea to keep it clean, treat it for moss and algae, and make sure it's well-ventilated.

Here's a tip as well: picking high-quality cedar matters. The cedar grade initially affects how your roof looks and its durability and longevity. Going for a lower grade might be cheaper at first, but it usually means a shorter lifespan and more trouble down the road. Investing a bit more in the beginning can save you a ton of hassle later on.

Energy Efficiency

Cedar shakes are pretty good at the natural warmth of wood - bringing along some major benefits that can help cut down your heating and cooling costs.

So, let's dig into why cedar shake roofs are so cool. They're made from natural wood, and these shingles are better insulators than the usual things like asphalt. This is mainly because cedar wood cells are full of tiny air pockets. These pockets act like little shields - keeping unwanted heat out, which makes your house warm in winter and cool in the summer. During the cold months, they hang onto the heat inside, stopping the cold air from sneaking through your roof. In the hot months, they bounce the heat off so your inside space stays relaxing.

Energy-Efficient Wood Shake Roofing

Here's a real-life story to show how good cedar is. I know a family from a usually chilly place who went for a cedar shake roof instead of the typical asphalt shingles. After their first winter with the new roof, they saw about a 20% drop in their heating bills, which really shows how awesome cedar's insulation is.

From my own switch to cedar shake, the benefits are amazing. That first summer I saw that my air conditioning wasn't working as hard, even though it was just as hot as before outside. It was a small help with - it really cut down my electric bills and made my house way more comfortable.

Picking cedar shakes might first seem like you're just going for the looks. Actually, it's a good idea for saving energy and being affordable in the long run. Besides, getting how these benefits play into your decisions can be incredible when you're looking at roof fixes or picking parts for a new roof. It's really helpful if you're trying to help with your energy use and lower costs.


Let's talk about cedar wood shakes and why they're an awesome pick for roofing, especially if you're into being eco-friendly. I've always liked parts that don't just end up in a landfill - cedar shakes definitely fit the bill. They're completely renewable, so we're not going to run out of them anytime soon, and they break down naturally. So, picking cedar for your roof is a nice thing to do for our planet.

Digging a bit deeper, I found out that a lot of the cedar used for these shakes comes from forests that are looked after really well. The people managing these forests are super careful about the long-term effects of what they do. They practice selective logging, which means they only take down a few trees to keep the forest alive and kicking. This strategy made me think back to my trip to a sustainably managed forest, which really showed me how smart these practices are.

Also, I've come across companies like the Shake Guys who push sustainability even more. They make sure that for every western red cedar used, they plant a new tree. This move really makes a difference and is something I totally respect. It sets a bar for which I think other suppliers should shoot.

Cedar Wood Shakes

It's also really important to make sure - especially when you're picking out parts - that you go with suppliers who are all in on sustainable practices. I always keep an eye out for certifications or any proof of sustainable methods.

All in all, picking cedar shakes is a no-brainer for anyone looking to make their home improvements more eco-friendly. do they look amazing but they also hold up well over time. It's a great mix of work, style, and caring for the environment.

Installation Costs and Difficulty

I've been through this whole process myself, and I remember that picking between a cedar or wood shake roof was a big decision. These roofs look high-quality and really do a great job - but they also come with a pretty steep price tag and some complexities.

Now, let's start with the costs, which might surprise you a bit. Cedar shingles usually cost around $4 to $7.25 per square foot installed. Cedar shakes are even pricier, costing about $6 to $9.50 per square foot. Overall, you could end up spending anywhere from $12,900 to $28,200, depending on the size of your roof and the parts you choose. This higher price mainly reflects the quality of the parts and the level of craftsmanship needed.

Wood Shake Roofing

Speaking of craftsmanship, installing cedar shakes takes more labor than standard shingles. Each shake has to be hand-nailed - demanding lots of care and skill to make sure everything turns out perfect. The goal is to fit each shake tightly with no gaps to keep water from leaking in. Installation quality plays a big part in how long your roof will last.

I've seen a few homes where the roof wasn't properly installed, and it was not a pretty sight. These roofs failed way too soon, leading to some expensive repairs and sometimes even complete replacements. That's why going for skilled labor, although more expensive initially, really pays off by extending your roof's lifespan, which makes it perform well.

Besides, having a good idea of these installation details can really change a homeowner's decision and readiness for such a big project. It's a smart idea to think about these factors carefully as they really affect the maintenance needs and the overall cost-effectiveness of the roof in the long run.

Maintenance Requirements

These roofs are known for their high-quality rustic beauty, but they do need a good bit of upkeep compared to other roofing types.

From what I've seen, keeping on top of these tasks can be a bit tough, but it's really smart to keep both the roof's looks and functionality in check.

Kicking things off with protective treatments is a good idea to extend the roof's life. This includes applying some water and fire repellents - fungicides and algaecides. I've found that doing this every once in a while - like every one to three years - helps stop common problems like degradation, buckling, and rot. Regular applications keep the roof solid and also reduce fire hazards.

Well-Maintained Wood Shake Roofing

A useful tip I usually give is to trim any branches hanging over the roof. This lets the roof dry out quicker after it rains, which cuts down on mold growth and the risk of damage from falling branches. Besides, making sure to clear off debris like leaves, pine needles, and sticks from the roof surface every now and again helps keep moisture out and - as you might guess - stops wood-destroying fungi in their tracks.

Now and then, getting an expert to power wash the roof is a useful way to get rid of stubborn moss, debris, and loose wood particles. If you ignore these, they can cause a lot of damage over time. But it's really important to make sure the washing is gentle to avoid hurting the shakes.

Next, let's talk about gutters - keeping them clean prevents water from building up, which could lead to bigger problems for the roof. As part of scheduled care, it's a good idea to check the roof twice a year, especially after harsh weather. This means looking for damage, clearing debris, and checking for signs of mold and other wear that might need quick fixing.

Lastly, having a professional check the roof every year can help catch potential issues early. In my experience, a little preventative maintenance now can save you a bunch of trouble and money later. Regular inspections help spot problems like curling or splitting early, which keeps repairs easy and stops them from messing up the roof's integrity.

Fire Risk and Insurance Issues

Putting up a cedar shake roof takes a lot of careful work. You have to nail each shake onto the roof deck one at a time, which helps them last longer and stay strong. Since the shakes all come in different shapes and sizes, not like uniform shingles, the installation part can be pretty complex; it's really a good idea for an expert to do the job.

Taking care of cedar shake roofs can be a bit of a chore. Over time, I've learned it's smart to treat them with preservatives to protect against moisture and rot. Also, cleaning off leaves and other things every now and again is important to stop moisture from building up and causing damage.

Residential Wood Shake Roofing

Picking a cedar shake roof means you're looking for something that looks good, knowing you'll have some upkeep to do. I personally love how the material weathers into a soft, silvery gray that adds to the house's beauty.

Again, environmentally speaking, cedar shakes are a plus since they break down naturally and come from forests that are looked after. But they do like to be pricier in terms of parts and labor, and all that maintenance might not be for everyone. It's well-known to think about how the roof will look and help the planet, along with the care it needs when picking out your roofing material.

Aging and Weathering Effects

The aging process of cedar shakes does bring up some challenges, like cracking, splitting, and curling. These issues mostly come from being exposed to the features. To give you an example, cedar shakes are awesome at resisting UV ray damage, which makes them perfect for sunny places - but they do have their downscores, like handling moisture. When it rains a lot or during snowfall, if the moisture isn't checked, it can soak into the wood, which makes it swell and leads to the problems I just mentioned.

Cedar shake roofs are also known for holding up really well under tough weather conditions - they stand strong against high winds from hurricanes and are sturdy enough to deal with hail storms. These were big reasons why I decided to go for it initially. The wood's natural oils act as preservatives, helping it resist rot and decay and making it last longer in typical weather scenarios.

Aging Wood Shake Roofing

But I've realized that the life and effectiveness of cedar shakes depend a lot on regular upkeep. Regular checks are smart to catch any damage early and fix it quickly. To give you an example, swapping out split or really curled shakes right away can stop more damage to the underlayment and the overall structure of the roof. And, of course, the finish and sealer that you apply to it matter, too.

Putting some time and effort into maintaining a cedar shake roof can majorly help with its lifespan and functionality. On the other hand, if you ignore it, it can break down quickly, messing with both its appearance and effectiveness.

Protect The Roof Over Your Head

So, you're looking into roofing options and cedar shake roofs have caught your eye, right? I totally get why. They're good-looking and also super tough and energy-efficient. It's pretty reassuring - knowing that you have a roof that looks great and holds up well through the seasons.

A Building With Wood Shake Roofing

It's very comforting to know that expert help is ready whenever you need it. Here at Colony Roofers, we've worked with all sorts of roofs for both homes and businesses in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. We're here to help you protect your investment and ensure your safety. If you're ever unsure about your roof, just give us a shout. A quick, free inspection can put your mind at ease, and we're currently offering free roof inspections!

We want to make roofing as easy as possible for you. Whenever you have doubts about the condition of your roof, remember we're a phone call away. Reach out to Colony Roofers - let us give your roof the expert care it needs!