Learn More About Wood Shakes

There are a number of different roofing materials to choose from. As a homeowner you may decide to break away from the majority of the country and choose a material other than asphalt shingles. One roofing material that has endured for centuries is the wood shake or shingle. Let’s profile the wood shake as a roofing material including its advantages and disadvantages.

Qualities of the Wood Shake

Wood shakes have been used for centuries as a roofing material. Many homeowners love the material for its aesthetic appeal and staggered pattern. The wood shake also matches many rustic styled homes, or homes found in a forested of mountain setting. Most wood shakes are manufactured from cedar.

Advantages of the Wood Shake

Very aesthetically pleasing, some homeowners couldn’t imagine their cabin or country cottage with anything but the wood shake. Modern wooden shakes are more durable than you would believe. Many manufacturers now coat or impregnate their wood shakes with preservatives to prolong the material against weather, mold, mildew or insects. These preservatives mixed with the wood’s naturally occurring compounds give a good average lifetime for the wood shake.

Wood shakes are also fairly good against severe weather like high winds and hail. The wood shake seems to have a good “bend but not break” quality that lets it weather any adverse conditions.

Disadvantages of Wood Shakes

While many manufacturers coat their wood shakes with flame retardants this material is still known as a fire hazard. In some states and jurisdictions probe to wildfire wooden roofing materials are being disallowed altogether and in some cases homeowners are being told they have to change their roofing material.

It is the same way with insurance policies covering wooden shake roofs. Many insurers are raising premiums or cancelling policies altogether for wood shake roofs, especially in areas that are susceptible to wildfire. Your policy will depend on where you live and who the insurer of your home is.

Overall wood shakes are a great fit for many homes but you need to make sure they don’t put you at any risk. Talk to your local roofing contractor to find out if wood shakes are right for your home.

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.