Skip to Content

What Is a Cedar Shake Roof? A Comprehensive Guide

What Is a Cedar Shake Roof? A Comprehensive Guide

A roofing material that is popular in the Northeast, Rocky Mountain A cedar shake roof is an attractive, durable type of roofing that both looks great and protects your home.

Cedar shakes are usually made from Western Red Cedar (or other types of cedar) but can also be made from cypress, redwood or even pine.

The natural oils in these woods make them resistant to decay and insects which makes this a long lasting choice for your home.

When installed properly, they will last for decades with little need for maintenance.

So What Is Cedar Shake Roof? Cedar shake roofing is a type of shingle that can be used on homes and buildings. These roofs are made from cedar wood, which is why they’re called Cedar Shake Roofs.

They’re often referred to as “shake” because the shingles are thin strips of wood that are cut into pieces by hand or machine. 

A Cedar Shake Roof can be installed with either asphalt or tar paper, but asphalt is most common. This type of roofing material has many benefits for homeowners who want to protect their home’s exterior.

The shakes provide insulation against temperature extremes, resist water infiltration during storms, and offer natural beauty in addition to the durability needed for a long-lasting roof system.

One downside of these roofs is they provide shelter for birds and other wildlife, which can cause a mess on your roof.

What Are the Benefits of Cedar Shake Roofing?

Cedar shake roofs are durable and long-lasting.

The natural oils that occur in cedar, cypress, redwood or pine wood make them resistant to rot and insects which is why they’re commonly used for roofing material.

Cedar shingle roofs are also aesthetically pleasing, as they give homes a wooded feel that many landscaping styles incorporate.

Additionally, cedar shake roofs are long-lasting, requiring little or no maintenance during their lifetime.

The natural oils in these woods work to resist insects and rot which makes them durable- often lasting up to 50 years or even more.

Cedar Shake Roofs Are Energy Efficient

One of the major benefits of cedar shake roofs is that they are energy efficient, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs for homeowners.

When installed properly, they provide insulation against temperature extremes while also protecting against water infiltration during storms.

Many people choose cedar shakes because of their resistance to rot and insects.

These roofs are great for homes in Northern climates, where there is plenty of rain, snow and changing temperatures throughout the year.

Additionally, they’re one of the most environmentally friendly types of roofing system options on the market today.

Cedar shake roofs biodegrade quickly if they need to be replaced, making them a great choice for homeowners who want to minimize their carbon footprint.

How Are Cedar Shake Roofs Installed?

Cedar shake roofs are most commonly installed by professional roofers in sections or panels that run from the eave to ridge on your home.

Each piece of cedar is attached with nails and adhered according to local building codes.

The pieces are installed parallel with the roof slope, overlapping each one by at least two inches to create watertight coverage for your home.

Although these roofs come in pre-assembled panels that are easy for a homeowner to install, it is recommended that you hire a roofing professional if you need to replace your cedar shake roof.

This will ensure that the new roof is installed properly and safely to protect your home.

What Is a Cedar Shake Roof? A Comprehensive Guide

How Much Do Cedar Shake Roofs Cost? 

Cedar shake roofs are priced by the square foot, with each piece of cedar costing about $3-$8 per square foot.

The addition of asphalt or tar paper may add to the overall cost, depending on the materials you choose.

Cedar shake roofs are one of the more affordable types of roofing system options available today.

The natural beauty offered by cedar makes it a great choice for homeowners who want a wooded or rustic feel to their home’s exterior.

Cedar Shake Roofs Are Not Fireproof

Although cedar shake roofs offer many benefits, one downside is that they are not fireproof. If your home experiences a grass or vegetation fire, it can spread to your roof very quickly.

There are some options for adding protective coatings to the shakes to help with this issue.

Also, cedar shake roofs are not recommended for homes in areas that experience strong hurricane-force winds.

These gusts can loosen the shakes or even rip them off completely, requiring fast action to prevent further damage.

The main reason homeowners choose cedar is for its beauty and unique rustic look, so it’s important to keep in mind that some of your neighbors may have cedar shake roofs, but not everyone does.

Cedar is a great way to add beauty and value to your home, while also protecting it from the elements.

However, you should consider other factors before choosing cedar – such as the style of your house or landscape, maintenance costs and cost of installation- especially if you plan to install a new roof yourself.

Maintenance Required of Cedar Shake Roof

A cedar shake roof requires more maintenance than most other types of roofing system options. For example, cedar requires an annual deep cleaning of your cedar shake roof to remove debris and keep the shakes looking fresh.

During heavy rain storms or periods of high wind, they also require closer inspection for any damage that may have occurred.

While cedar shake roofs may not need replacement as often as some other types of roofs – they do need to be replaced eventually.

How often you’ll have to replace a cedar shake roof will depend on the quality of your initial installation and how well it has been maintained over time. In general, most professionals recommend replacement every 15-20 years.

Wooden roofs tend to last longer than those made from asphalt, and the addition of a protective coating can help extend their durability considerably.

Cedar shake roofs also benefit from an initial sealing to prevent mold and mildew, as well as using roofing materials that protect your roof from UV rays.

Although cedar shake roofs need more maintenance than some other types of wooden roofs, many homeowners see this as just another benefit of this type of roofing.

Deep cleaning and regular inspection helps to preserve the beauty of your home’s exterior by removing debris and keeping your roof looking fresh and new for years.

Choosing a Cedar Shake Roof

There are several factors you should consider when choosing cedar shake roofs, such as:

  • The long-term cost – Including any necessary repairs, replacement or restoration.
  • What is your budget? Cedar roofs are an affordable option, but they still require a significant financial investment. Other options, such as asphalt or metal are also low maintenance but may cost more to install.
  • Style of your home – Does the style of your home fit with cedar shake roofs – or would you prefer another material that will look better with your home’s exterior style?
  • Does your roof need to fit with the exterior style of your home – or are you free to choose any type of roofing you’d like?
  • What is the quality of cedar available in your area? – If you are willing to do some research, it may be possible to find high-quality cedar, even if your local lumber yards don’t carry much in the way of cedar.

Once you have determined the most important factors in choosing a type of roofing for your home, you can begin researching different options and comparing costs.

You should also contact several roofing contractors to get quotes on the cost of installation and any necessary repairs, replacement or restoration.

Once you have done your research and chosen cedar, it’s time to choose a contractor – based upon references from friends or family, for example.

If you are going to install the cedar yourself, this should be fairly easy.

The next step is to get your cedar shake roof installed. If this seems daunting, you can certainly hire a contractor to do the work for you.

Although hiring someone else to install your cedar shake roof will be more expensive than doing it yourself, having professionals provide their expertise ensures that the installation process goes smoothly and quickly so that you and your family can enjoy the benefits of this type of roof as soon as possible.

What Is a Cedar Shake Roof? A Comprehensive Guide