Cedar shakes are different from shingles in that they are not as cleanly cut, and provide a more uneven, asymmetrical aesthetic to the house that they are applied to. While the differences between cedar shakes and shingles are purely appearance based, cedar roofing in general is very different from other types of roofing materials. Understanding the benefits of cedar shakes can help you decide whether or not they are the right fit for your home.
The Advantages of Cedar Shakes
- Aesthetic: Though this depends on personal preference, cedar shakes provide a natural, rustic appearance that many people like.
- Strength: Cedar shakes are more durable than asphalt shingles, and last on average for yen years longer. This means that in areas of heavy rain and harsh weather, cedar shakes can help protect your home from flying debris and hail. Furthermore, the longer lifespan of cedar shakes means that you can save money in the long run.
- Rot and Pest Resistant: Cedar is naturally rot and pest resistant, and will not decay due to weather exposure. Getting pressure treated cedar shakes can help enhance this natural resistance, and ensure that your roofing lasts for as long as possible.
- Environmentally Friendly: Though this largely depends on the manufacturer of the shakes that you purchase, most producers of cedar roofing products harvest their wood in a sustainable and renewable manner, planting new trees after they cut down old ones. This means that you can buy your roofing materials secure in the knowledge that you are being completely environmentally friendly and sustainable in your consumption.
- Insulation: Cedar shakes provide better insulation than standard asphalt shingles, which can help insulate your home in both the winter and summer. This means that you will have to spend less money on energy to control the temperature in your home.
Considerations of Cedar Shakes
- Cost: Cedar shakes will pose a higher initial investment than asphalt roofing, because they require a more extensive installation process and because the cost of the materials itself is higher. However, it should be noted that the longer lifespan of cedar shakes means that the higher upfront cost can be offset by the longer time between replacement.
- Maintenance: Though they are naturally water and rot resistant, and can be treated to prevent mold and plant growth from developing, semi-regular maintenance is still needed to keep the shakes clean and your roof in top shape. However, this maintenance is not extensive nor constant - a once a month cleaning should be more than enough, which is comparable to regular maintenance of asphalt roofs.