Cedar Shake Roofs: What You Need to Know About This Roof Type

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If you need a new roof and have grown tired of the appearance of asphalt shingles or just want to learn about more roof types that work well for Illinois homeowners, then you should learn all about cedar shake roofs. These roofs have an attractive, rustic appearance; provide great home insulation; and have an average life expectancy of 30 years or longer. 

Read on to learn more about cedar shake roofs to determine if this roof type is right for you and your home. 

Cedar Shake Wooden Roof tiles - Jerry Newman RoofingWood Shake Roof Facts

Wood shakes are thick, hand-split wood panels that are typically cut from premium-grade wood. Wood shakes are similar in size and shape, yet not all the exact same size or shape. These slight variances in shape and size are desirable and what provide a shake roof its unique appearance. In addition, wood shakes protrude from the roof surface slightly instead of lying completely flat to provide a multi-dimensional roof appearance. 

There are three main types of wood shakes: tapersawn, medium-split and resawn, and heavy-split and resawn shakes. While tapersawn shakes have relatively smooth surface, medium-split and resawn shakes have textured surfaces, while heavy-split and resawn shakes are heavily textured and heavier in weight than other wood shake types. 

The right wood shake type for you depends on your personal roof appearance preference, the weight load your roof frame can support, and your budget. 

Cedar Shake Roof Benefits

Cedar shakes not only have an attractive appearance, but they offer a homeowner many unique benefits.

A wood shake roof provides superior home insulation when compared to many other roof types. When your roof offers great insulation, it can help keep it warmer naturally in the winter and cooler naturally in the summer to conserve energy and help lower heating and cooling bills. 

While wood shakes can be created out of many wood species, cedar shakes have their own unique benefits when compared to shakes made from other wood species.

Cedar shakes are not only relatively affordable when compared to other types of wood shakes, but they are also strong and durable, since cedar is a naturally strong wood, which make them resistant to damage of all types.

Cedar also repels humidity and other forms of moisture naturally, which helps prevent wood rot and the growth of moss and mildew on cedar shakes. Moist roofs are breeding grounds for moss and mildew. This wood species also expands and contracts very little as temperatures fluctuate, which helps prevent warping of shakes, and the oil present in all cedar wood makes it naturally insect-resistant. 

Cedar Roof Maintenance

While cedar shake roofs are attractive and durable, these roofs do require regular maintenance to slow down inevitable, natural deterioration of the wood called weathering that occurs when all wood is exposed to the outdoor elements. 

To keep your cedar roof in great shape, you should clean it every several years to remove weathered wood and then apply a surface treatment that contains a moisture repellent and UV light inhibitor. This surface treatment will help prevent wood rot and prevent wood oxidation that the sun’s harsh UV rays can cause. 

An additional regular application of a wood preservative can slow down wood decay to extend the lifespan of your roof. Depending on the specific wood preservative you choose, this product should be reapplied every two to five years. 

You can also opt to apply a wood roof stain on an occasional basis to preserve your roof’s attractive reddish-brown color, since cedar tends to become gray in color over time as it weathers. 

If you plan to replace your current roof soon and are looking into your roof material options, then cedar shake roofing may be right for you if you want a roof that is attractive and durable, yet you do not mind performing periodic roof maintenance. Contact the roof experts at Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling Inc to schedule new cedar shake roof installation today. 

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