When it comes to a beautiful roof, nothing beats the appearance of a cedar shake roof. As one of the most preferred roofing systems in the country, cedar shake never goes out of style. In fact, both homeowners and contractors love installing cedar shake roofs because of its ability to age gracefully, from a natural wood color to a grayish silver tone.
If you are considering installing a cedar shake roof for a new home, let Pro Roofing NW help you. We are the trusted source for top-of-the-line roofing systems and services throughout the greater Seattle area, from King County and Pierce County to Snohomish County and surrounding areas. With us on the job, you can rest easy knowing your cedar shake roof installation is done with close attention to detail and the utmost care.
Get started with a free estimate! Call us today at (425) 598-0998 or submit an online contact form.
The Appeal of Cedar Shake Roofing
Aside from its timeless beauty, a cedar shake roof is also very durable, lasting for at least 10 years longer than common roofing materials such as asphalt. Cedar shakes also hold up well in extreme weather conditions including strong winds, heavy rains, hailstorms, snowstorms, and more. If you are looking to save on energy costs, cedar shake installation provides natural insulation that can give you plenty of savings on heating and cooling bills.
However, there are also downsides to cedar shake installation as with any other roofing material. They include:
- High initial material and installation cost
- Requires regular roof maintenance to prevent mold growth, insect infestation, or rotting wood
- Unrated by fire safety codes
In our over 12 years of service, many of our customers find cedar shake installation as a worthwhile investment with the advantages far outweighing the disadvantage.
Common Signs Your Cedar Shake Roof Needs Replacement
Cedar shake is much thicker than cedar shingles, causing the roof to be more durable. But given the natural wear from external forces (weather, nature, etc.), your cedar shake roof will not last forever and will need to be replaced at some point.
Call our cedar shake roofing contractor team if you notice the following:
- Cracks or Splitting: This can happen when the wood expands and contracts over time from moisture and drying. As the wood ages, more cracks and splits will form, weakening the roof.
- Fraying: Bottom edge rot can cause your cedar shake roof to fray. Usually microorganisms such as algae, lichen, and moss are the culprit.
- Curling: If you notice your cedar shingles start to curve upward or look distorted, it’s time to call the professionals. UV rays and rain can stress the wood, causing it to curl.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to schedule a cedar shake roof replacement. Our expert cedar shake roofing contractors are available in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, and the surrounding area. We have the experience and tools necessary to ensure your cedar shake roof is strong and maintains its gorgeous appearance for years to come.
How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last?
A cedar shake roof can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, depending on various factors. Here are some of the key factors that influence the lifespan of a cedar shake roof:
- Quality of Cedar: The type and quality of the cedar used for the shakes play a significant role. High-quality cedar with tight grain patterns tends to last longer than lower-quality varieties.
- Installation: Proper installation is crucial for the longevity of a cedar shake roof. If installed correctly, with appropriate ventilation and fastening methods, it is more likely to last longer.
- Climate and Weather Conditions: The climate in which the roof is located has a major impact. Cedar is more prone to decay in humid or wet climates, while it tends to last longer in drier climates. Harsh weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, and wind can also affect the lifespan.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as cleaning, treating, and inspecting for damage, can significantly extend the life of a cedar shake roof. Treating the wood with preservatives or sealants can help protect it from moisture, UV rays, and other elements.
- Pests and Fungus: Insect infestations and fungal growth can be detrimental to cedar shakes. Regular inspections and appropriate treatments can help prevent these issues.
- Gutters and Drainage: Properly functioning gutters and an effective drainage system can prevent water from accumulating on the roof, which can lead to premature decay of the cedar.
- Sun Exposure: Continuous exposure to direct sunlight can cause the cedar to dry out and become more susceptible to damage. Using UV-resistant coatings or treatments can help mitigate this.
It's important to note that regular inspections by a professional roofing contractor can help identify any issues early on and allow for timely repairs or maintenance. This can significantly extend the life of a cedar shake roof.
How Do I Maintain a Cedar Shake Roof?
Maintaining a cedar shake roof is essential to prolong its lifespan and keep it in good condition. Here are steps you can take to properly maintain a cedar shake roof:
- Regular Inspections: Have a roofing professional conduct visual inspections of your cedar shake roof at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. Look for signs of damage, such as cracked or split shakes, missing shakes, or signs of moss or algae growth.
- Clear Debris: Remove leaves, branches, and any other debris that may accumulate on the roof. This prevents moisture retention and potential damage to the shakes.
- Clean Moss and Algae: If you notice moss or algae growth, it's important to remove it promptly. You can use a soft-bristle brush or a pressure washer on low setting, along with a mild cleaning solution specifically designed for cedar roofs.
- Trim Overhanging Branches: Trim branches that hang over the roof to prevent excess debris and shade, which can promote moss and algae growth.
- Treat with Preservatives: Apply a wood preservative or sealant to protect the cedar from moisture, UV rays, and fungal growth. This should be done every few years, depending on the product and local climate conditions.
- Replace Damaged Shakes: If you find any shakes that are cracked, split, or otherwise damaged, they should be replaced promptly to prevent further deterioration.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation: Adequate ventilation helps prevent moisture buildup in the attic, which can lead to premature rotting of the shakes. Make sure vents are clear and unobstructed.
- Clear Gutters and Downspouts: Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to allow for proper drainage and prevent water from backing up onto the roof.
- Apply Fire Retardants (if necessary): In areas prone to wildfires, consider having a fire retardant treatment applied to enhance the fire resistance of the cedar shakes.
- Consider Professional Help: For complex or high-risk maintenance tasks, it's advisable to seek help from a professional roofing contractor experienced in cedar shake roofs.
Remember, regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your cedar shake roof. If you're unsure about any aspect of maintenance, consulting with a professional is always a good idea.
For proper cedar shake roofing installation in King County, Pierce County, Kitsap County, or Snohomish County, trust Pro Roofing NW. We are an award-winning roofing contractor dedicated to providing only the highest level of workmanship and customer care. From your first phone call to the completion of the job, our professional roof replacement contractors will take care of your every need.
“Pro Roofing NW was excellent from start to finish.” - Anonymous