Long known as a durable, reliable, and beautiful roofing and siding material, cedar shake adds character to any home. When it comes time to make the decision about what type of roofing material you want, whether for a new build or updating an existing roof, there are many factors to consider. With the right care, you are making a significant investment into your home that will last for decades. You want to make sure you are choosing the right materials, installation, and contractor.
Here are 5 things to consider when choosing cedar shake roofing.
Cedar shake adds a classic touch to your home. You can opt to keep your cedar a natural color, that will age and weather accordingly, or you can stain the cedar to match the aesthetics of your home. There is lots of flexibility with stain colors, but brown and gray are popular colors that provide a neutral roofline. Keeping your roof relatively neutral will add curb appeal while also highlighting to other parts of your home.
Cedar shake roof materials can cost more than other options, like asphalt or tiles for roof materials. However, the increased price comes with increased value: not only is cedar shake an incredibly durable material, it also is a long-term investment. Cedar shake offers natural insulation, an important factor to consider in the blazing Arizona sun. Any material you use on the outside of your home can help with the cost of heating and cooling the interior.
Resale value can factor into any significant home improvement project, and cedar shake is appealing to new buyers who can enjoy it for many years to come after their purchase.
3. Durability & Longevity
You want material that will stand up to the elements, giving you a good return on your investment. A good cedar shake roof can last up anywhere from 20 to 30 years—or longer with the proper care.
Cedar shake is durable material, and less likely to fly off than other roofing materials in the event of harsh weather. Given the relatively dry environment of Phoenix, homeowners do not need to worry as much about things like mold and rot than people living in other parts of the country that see considerably more rain and snow than Arizona.
No matter the material you choose, replacing a roof or building a new home is a significant investment and a major project. Ideally, one that you’re not undertaking any more often than you need.
With the proper coating and sealing during installation, cedar roofs do not require much maintenance. Often homeowners choose cedar for its natural ability to weather and age with time, giving it a weathered patina and a sense of evolution as time goes on.
Like any roof, regular inspection and care will help you maximize your investment. Inspecting regularly for damage, debris, and mold, particularly after a severe weather event.
Protecting your roof’s cedar shake requires protective treatments every few years to prevent degradation of the wood. Water and fire repellents can add to its efficacy in protecting your home from the elements.
While often homeowners focus on the roof itself, its aesthetics, and its cost, the importance of having functional gutters, and maintaining them, cannot be overlooked. Gutters play an important role in making sure that moisture stays away from your roof. You want to make sure that water does not sit or gather along your roofline, and with regular gutter maintenance your roof will last longer.
Most cedar shake shingles are more environmentally friendly than their asphalt counterparts. Made from wood in well-managed forests, cedar shake shingles are a renewable resource that is reusable and recyclable. Given that many of the forests are based in the US and North America, they do not need to be shipped as far which can lead to an overall greener option when compared to other materials.
Factories that process cedar shake are also well-versed in using all the scrap and cuttings from the shingle manufacturing process, taking on another life as other building materials or paper products.
When it is time to replace a cedar shake roof—which will be several decades from when it was first installed—the old wood can be recycled, chipped into garden mulch, or otherwise repurposed.
Other roofing materials have a larger environmental footprint from everything to the manufacturing process (like mining of materials) to shipping.
Time to put a new roof over your head
Every time you approach your home you will see the roof, one part of the overall exterior design of your home. Replacing or installing a roof requires careful consideration of roofing materials plus aesthetic and functional design. A cedar shake roof is a multi-decade investment that you can enjoy for many years to come.
No matter what your plan is, we recommend you speak to a roofing expert to evaluate all your options when it comes to a cedar shake roof.