Cedar roofing has an undeniable beauty derived from the appearance of natural wood. Cedar roofing offers excellent wind resistance and very good insulation qualities. Cedar is an ideal choice for historical restoration as well. Cedar roofing is available in either shingles or shakes. The shingle offers a more uniform appearance while the shake is generally thicker and has a more rustic appearance.
Pros & Cons
Wood shakes offer a natural look with a lot of character. Because of variations like color, width, thickness, or cut of the wood, no two shake roofs will ever be the same. Wood offers some energy benefits, too: it helps to insulate the attic, and it allows the house to breathe, circulating air through the small openings under the felt rows on which wooden shingles are laid.
A wood shake roof, however demands proper maintenance and repair, or it will not last as long as other products. Mold, rot, and insects can be a problem. The lifecycle cost of a shake roof may be high, and old shakes can't be recycled.
Most wood shakes are unrated by fire safety codes. Many use wipe or spray-on fire retardants which offer less protection and are only effective for a few years. There are pressure-treated shakes, however, that are impregnated with fire retardant and meet national fire safety standards. Made by companies like Chemco, this pressure treating extends the life of wood shingles and provides better fire safety performance. Installing wood shakes is more complicated than roofing with composite shingles, and the quality of finished roof depends on the experience of the contractor as well as the caliber of the shakes you use.
The best shakes come from the heartwood of large old cedar trees. Care should be taken when selecting shakes as the quality varies greatly from different shake mills.
We are licensed and insured for all kinds of Wisconsin Roofing projects.