Fast Facts About Cedar Roofs
What is Cedar Roofing?
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Shake or Shingle?
Differentiating between a shake or shingle is important for your cedar roofing installation. A cedar shingle is just that—a shingle carefully cut on both sides to be tapered, thin, and symmetrical. Shake is sawn on one side and split on the other – hence its more rugged and textured appearance. Cedar shake is also thicker than a cedar shingle. You should ask your contractor about which choice is better for the appearance and protection of your home prior to purchasing.
Quality of Wood
There are four main grades of wood, 1 being the highest and 4 being unsuitable for use. 1 is often the best selection of wood with no defects or knots and is taken from the heart of the tree. Grade 2 may have some knots or minor defects. These are often used for cedar roofing repair or re-roofing. Grade 3 is budget quality and is often used for undercoursing on roof.
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What Kind Of Cedar Roof?
Installation of shingles is dependent on how steep and what shape your roof is. You can opt for a more rough and textured appearance on your roof if you choose resawn and split cedar roof options. For a smoother look that lies perfectly flat and neat ask your contractor about taper sawn shake roofs.
Threats To Your Cedar Roof
A cedar roof can last up to 50 years with proper roofing maintenance. Buyers should be aware of the following main causes of damage and discuss them with their contractor prior to the installation of the roof.
- Trees: Tree branches hanging above a roof can grow onto the roof, or fall or be thrown onto the roof in a storm potentially damaging cedar shake on impact. Shade caused by trees can also allow mold or dry rot to form as those areas of the roof will not dry out in the sun as quickly.
- Debris: It’s important to keep your roof free of debris. The most common type of debris is leaves which can accumulate and trap water or ice on the roof causing seepage.
- Poor installation: If your cedar roof wasn’t installed correctly, gaps and poor quality of materials can cause major problems resulting in early replacement.
- Sun and rain: Wood that is exposed to back and forth humidity and dryness over time can crack from constant expanding and contracting. UV rays from the sun can also weaken the strength of the wood over time.
When to Replace a Cedar Shake or Shingle
Cedar roofs are designed to look rustic and more rugged, so sometimes it’s hard to determine if they need repair. Watch for these signs of damage:
- A crack or split: if the shake or shingle has a crack it has been damaged by being struck by something hard i.e. hail or a tree branch
- Curling: Aging from heat, cold, and humidity cause wood to curl over time. When cedar curls upward repair is needed to prevent lower levels and structures of your roof from exposure
- Fungus: Wood rot, moss, and mold can all grow on wood and left untreated can spread shingle to shingle or even to your homes roof structure. If there appears to be fungus on your roof call a professional contractor to apply a treatment to the shingles or shake
Cedar roofs are a valuable addition to every home, their proper care and installation are essential to getting the most out of your investment. If you see damage or have questions about keeping your roof in top shape it’s always best to call a professional who can either repair damage or help you put effective preventative measures in place.
Have more questions and need an expert? Have a roof but it’s not cedar? We can still help you – we are experienced in working with a variety of materials and have a wide selection of roofing services for homeowners like you! Contact us today to learn more about cedar roof installation!