Wood Shakes Insurance Policies

Wooden roofing is a very popular choice for Colorado homes, the rustic character and color does well to fit the mountain air surrounding them. Many homeowners can’t imagine their cabin or rustic home with anything but a wooden type of shingle but lately residents are receiving phone calls from their home insurance providers requesting that the homeowner change their roofing material or risk being dropped from coverage.

Insurance companies, especially in Colorado, view wooden roofs as a large liability. Many wooden roofs are installed properly with great materials and are able to stand up against wind and snow very well. However when wooden roofs are past their prime many issues begin to rise. Mold, rot, cracked shingles and the risk of fire covers these roofs.

Wood Shakes Insurance Changes

Wood Shakes as a Maintenance Hazard

As stated above, some wooden roofing materials can be a nightmare for maintenance and repair work. Wooden shingles are an organic material and they behave as such. A wood such as cedar does have naturally occurring preservatives that will resist moisture, insects and rot, but these will break down over time. Wooden shingles have been known to experience the following problems:

  • Mold, mildew and rot
  • Insect damage
  • Swelling and shrinking
  • Cracking

Wood Shakes as a Fire Hazard

Wildfire is an ever present danger in the state of Colorado and wooden homes and roofs are a prime fuel source for wildfire. Wooden roofing is usually classified with a Class B or C fire resistance. This classification comes from the American Society of Testing and Materials, a third party testing organization.

The material is exposed to a test flame at one end and then the amount of flame spread is measured across the material during a set period of time. Class B means that the flame spread covered 26 to 75% of the material, while Class C equals a coverage of 75% or greater of the material. Obviously the lower the flame spread, the more likely the material will be able to stand up against fire damage.

This Class B and C rating means the materials are a risk for you and your insurance provider.

What You Can do About It

If your home has a wooden roof it is best to be proactive before your home becomes uninsured. Contact your insurance company and a qualified Denver roofer to find the steps you can take to avoid having to pay out of pocket for damage.

The Wide World of Wooden Roofing

It is not uncommon to see a wide array of wooden roofing in the Denver Metro area. Wood shakes and shingles are one of the oldest roofing materials that exist today. Their rustic character gives a charm to the home that no other material can match and many homeowners can’t imagine their house with anything but a wooden roof. But many new residents are hesitant on installing a wooden roof. In this article Roofcorp takes a look at cedar shakes and shingles, their advantages and why they are not seen as often anymore on the Front Range.

Advantages of Wooden Roofing

The primary advantage of wooden roofing is its rustic appeal. They help the home blend in to surrounding trees and areas. They are a great match for cabins, vacation homes in the mountains and forest hideaways. There are not many color choices because the natural wood beauty holds the appeal for most people that choose cedar.

When properly maintained wood shakes and shingles have a long lifespan. A well built and maintained wooden roof can last anywhere from forty to sixty years, this is much longer than many types of asphalt shingles.

Natural preservatives in cedar make it resistant to rot and insect infestation. They are also very lightweight and stand up well against wind, driving rain and hail.

They are easy to repair, often you only need to replace a few cracked or broken shingles at a time by inserting a new shingle where the old one went.

Drawbacks of Wooden Roofing on the Front Range

Without proper maintenance wooden roofing is very susceptible to different forms of degradation. They are an organic material after all. They are likely to receive damage from the sun and are susceptible to mold and mildew if they are not coated in a protective barrier.

This biggest drawback of cedar shingles, especially on the Front Range is their poor fire resistance. Most wooden materials are classified as “Class C Fire-Resistant.” This is the lowest grade a material can receive from the American Society for Testing and Materials.  Many Colorado districts have began outlawing wooden roofing in their new buildings and homes due to this high risk of fire.

In the end the choice of materials comes down to the homeowner, you need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to decide if wooden roofing is right for you.