The Many Benefits of a Cedar Shingle or Cedar Shake Roof
(Updated February 2017)
A walk through virtually any residential neighbourhood will quickly confirm the popularity of asphalt shingles as a roof material. The vast majority of builders/roofing contractors prefer this option for new home construction projects, as asphalt shingles are affordable, relatively easy to install, and have an average lifecycle of approximately 20 years. And, when these shingles do eventually need to be replaced, homeowners generally choose to have the same material installed again.
However, when such a roof replacement opportunity arises, property owners might want to consider the option of cedar shingles or cedar shakes. Although some might question the validity of using wood shingles for the roof a home or business, the installation of a cedar shingle or shake roof can offer several advantages over asphalt shingles including:
- An overall longer lifespan – up to 30 years or more
- Resistance to rot/decay due to natural oils in the wood
- Sound absorption properties – provides excellent noise reduction
- Insulating properties – energy efficient in both summer and winter
- Durability – can withstand severe weather (wind, rain, hail, and sleet)
- Curb appeal – lends a natural and aesthetically pleasing look to the home
- Environmentally friendly – requires less energy to produce; 100% recyclable
- Naturally resistant to insect penetration and degradation from ultraviolet rays
To add perspective to the above, it would be important to note some possible drawbacks to cedar shingle or shake roof installation; property owners who are perhaps considering cedar as a roof material should be aware of the following:
- Price – cedar shingle is more expensive to install than asphalt shingle
- Maintenance – cedar shake and shingle roofs are prone to fading over time
- Application of chemical preservatives may be needed every few years
While property owners will need to bear in mind the potential costs of these drawbacks, both upfront and over time, the significant list of benefits associated with a cedar shingle or shake roof installation may prove to be a more cost-effective option in the long term; it may be particularly noteworthy when one factors in the longer lifespan of cedar shakes and shingles plus their impact on the curb appeal and market value of the property.
Are Shakes and Shingles One and the Same?
Although references to cedar shingles and cedar shakes are often made interchangeably in the context of roof material or exterior wood siding, they are by definition different to some extent. The following comparison is offered to help distinguish between the two:
- A bit thinner than shakes and tapered from the butt end to the front edge
- Made with greater exactness – usually sawn on both the face and the back
- Are often installed in three layers which provides stronger weatherproofing
- Can be installed directly on top of each other due to the precision in cutting
- More irregularity in their surfaces than shingles due to method of production
- Cleaved from blocks of cedar by machine or hand-split with a mallet and axe
- Do not lay flat – layer of felt paper is required in gaps to prevent water leaks
- Can provide a rugged or more rustic appearance in terms of aesthetic appeal
Natural Cedar Wood is a Viable Alternative for Exterior Siding Installation
Based on the properties demonstrated by cedar shakes and shingles as roof material, it should follow that natural cedar wood siding can be a viable alternative to installing vinyl or aluminum siding on the exterior of any home or business. Once again, upfront cedar siding cost will need to be weighed against the long-term returns for any such initiative.
From a curb appeal perspective, cedar shingle siding or cedar shake siding can give any property a distinctly upscale look, one that combines a sense of warmth and character with a natural touch. In fact, wood siding installation could have a somewhat significant impact on curb appeal and property value due to its immediate visibility to passersby.
Paralleling the use of cedar as a roof material, cedar siding can provide property owners with several functional and economic benefits; to briefly recap, these would include:
- Economic Benefits
- Curb appeal
- Longer lifespan
- Energy efficiency
- Resistant to degradation
- Functional Benefits
- Noise reduction
When property owners are contemplating the advantages of natural cedar wood siding or roofing for their homes or businesses, quality of installation will play a significant role in terms of overall return on investment. Installing wooden shake or shingle siding/roofing requires a particular degree of expertise, based on rigid standards as established by the Canadian Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB) as well as local building codes.
Subsequent to rigorous and detailed inspections of numerous completed installations of cedar shake and shingle roofs and siding, the professionals at Avenue Road Roofing have been awarded the prestigious status of CSSB Approved Installers, a distinction that is granted to only a few select roofing contractors for the installation of cedar shingles and shakes in Ontario.
For further information on the installation of cedar shakes and shingles by the specialists from Avenue Road Roofing, see our Cedar Roofing page.
Entrust the installation of your natural cedar wood siding or roofing to the CSSB certified professionals from Avenue Road Roofing. Call Avenue Road Roofing at 416-785-5129 today or Contact us to request a no-obligation cost estimate for the installation of your cedar siding or roof.