Shake Roof

Isn’t the wood shake or wood shingle a product that was most commonly used and seen in our neighborhood 100 years ago? This historic, natural appeal as well as a common believe that cedar shakes last long is a main reason why many homeowners are desiring to have a wood shake roof installed on their homes.Real cedar shingles and shakes are also perennial favorites for roofs because of their natural, rustic appearance. Shingles, the thinner of the two, have smooth, sawn surfaces. Shakes may be either sawn or hand-split for a more rugged appearance.

There are few things you should consider when deciding for a wood shingle or shake roof:

  • In fire-prone areas, wood shingles and shakes may require pressure treatment with fire retardant or may be forbidden entirely.
  • In humid climates, where fungus and mildew can be a problem, wood roofs should be treated with a fungicide after the first year (you can also buy types pretreated with preservatives).

Wood shingles are available in a variety of shapes, including fish- scale, cove, and V-cut patterns.

Wood shakes, with deeply grooved textures that allow for air circulation, may be applied over solid sheathing with interlays of 30-pound roofing felt. Some shakes may be applied over open sheathing.

You might be concerned about the fact that wood shingles and shakes are not lasting as long as they used to because the old trees are gone and new products are made from faster growing, new trees. You also might be looking for a more “green”, recyclable product – preservative treated wood cannot be recycled. And you do not like the everlasting wasp problem or other attic intruders. But you still like this old, rustic appearance. Your option might be to look into metal shakes that resemble wood shakes or synthetic shakes. Please check the metal roofing section for metal shakes remembering that the costs for cedar roof and metal roof might be comparable. Synthetic shakes are also a great choice. Manufacturers offer a variety of products which resemble wood shakes, are covered with lifetime, 50 year warranties and which do not change color over time.

Please let us know if you are interested in a shake roof and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

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