Will Cedar Shake Roofs Last a Lifetime?

Cedar Shake Roof

A roof, like a body’s skin, needs regular maintenance to keep in shape and look attractive. Cedar shake roofs are beautiful to use as a roofing option on your house, but the question that lingers is, how long will it last? Wood, most consider it to be a less durable material for roofing compared to others like metal.

However, in this guide, you will have your mind made up on using a magnificent cedar shake roof.

1)  Life Expectancy

Some factors contribute to wear and tear of cedar roofs. They include weather, installation, and maintenance. Water can lead to the destruction of cedar, shortening its life span.

Your location can affect the expectancy of the roof; thus, you have to consider this factor. The cedar roof, however, can live longer like any other roof type given proper care.

If you want to enjoy cedar shake roof durability, you may have to employ an experienced contractor. The roofing contractor can suggest a roofing product that looks like a real cedar roof. The replica products will serve you longer compared to the cedar shakes without the need for regular maintenance.

2) Installation

If you desire to have cedar as your choice roofing despite the conditions being against it, choose experts. The installation stage is vital for prolonging the lifespan of cedar shake roofs. A professional will give it the sealing and treatment it needs during installation.

Lack of following the right procedure during installation will leave the wood vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. Humidity at 20% is enough to cause rotting and molding on the roof leading to irreparable damage. With the right installing techniques, your roof can last for over four decades.

3)  Maintenance

After installation, the next step to pay attention to is maintaining the roof periodically. If your home location contributes factors that can deteriorate the state of the cedar roof, you may have regular maintenance. It can be between two to four years, depending on the severity of the conditions.

A high humidity area or one with high salt content may require you to schedule regular maintenance. You can treat the roof using water repellents to help reduce moisture retaining for long on wood. Application of algaecides and fungicides helps mitigate the effect of fungi and algae on wood.

Other Ways to Boost the Life Expectancy of Cedar

1) Keeping Gutters Clean

When gutters collect dirt, they tend to slow down in redirecting rainwater off. Clogging later leads to water stagnating on the channels making water start soaking in the roof. Fall is the best time to keep the gutters clean to get rid of the leaves that end up clogging.

 2) Clean The Surface

The surface cleaning can be a DIY routine where you clean the roof from time to time. It does not necessarily have to wait until debris gathers on it. It can help clear fungi and moss that can damage the roof.

3) Clearing Debris

Lichens, fallen leaves, and other forms of waste can collect on the roof over time. If left for too long, they become a barrier to letting water flow down freely. In turn, moisture collects fast, leading to the roof deteriorating; that is why it is necessary to clean the roof regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cedar Shake Roofs

Q: Why do people choose cedar shake roofs?

A: It depends on the style, but cedar roofing provides a tailored or a rustic appearance. The excellent variety of shades with reds, ambers, browns, and golds turn cedar in a beautiful kind of roofing. Its appearance is just one of the reasons people choose it, but durability is a powerful one to consider. Cedar is an reliable material for homes and commercial buildings alike. It comes in a shake, shingle, or hip &ridge unit formats, so people have many options.

Q: Do you need to check the cedar shake roof all the time?

A: Proper maintenance is fundamental for durability. Unless there was heavy rain, you shouldn’t check the roof every week. However, you need to take a good look at it before and after winter, especially if you live in an area with heavy storms.

Q: When should you develop general roof maintenance?

A: Fall is the best season to address the general cedar roofing maintenance. If heavy storms, strong winds, or severe weather hit your area, you should clean up, take a look at the roofing structure and make the repairs as soon as possible.

Either way, the phone numbers of a licensed and certified roofing contractor is always good to have. You don’t really know when it’s time to give him a call. No matter the weather, annual maintenance is required every year for your cedar shake roofing.

Q: Is there a risk for moss to grow on you cedar shake roof?

A: Moss doesn’t look very bad as ground cover. However, moss growth on your roof is anything but pretty looking. Also, moss and fungal growth will keep the rood’s moisture, making the cedar shake rot and fall off. The moss may also damage other elements of the roof, and even the structure and decking can be altered.

If your house is in shaded areas and lots of trees around, you need to check the roof for moss regularly. Green or brown grass-like protrusions near the edges of the cedar shakes are the first signs to notice.

Q: Will mold and mildew affect the durability of the cedar shake roof?

A: Mold and mildew are other typical issues with cedar shake roofs. The spores of moles come from natural elements. Mold and mildew often develop together as they both like the same growing conditions. Black, gray, brown, and green spots in the cedar shakes should make you call the professionals for cleaning the roof of the mold and mildew buildup. Sizable stains on the ceiling are signaling that the problem is also too severe to postpone fixing.

Q: Is it possible for cedar shakes to rot?

A: Moist surfaces and black stains that don’t dry together with the rest of the cedar roof suggest that your roof shakes are rotting. Please don’t rely on smell, as it doesn’t always develop. Rotting cedar shakes won’t affect your health, but the risk for getting hit by falling cedar shakes is higher if they’re rotten. Clogged gutters, ineffective ventilation, and reduced installation of the cedar shakes will only speed up the rotting process, so don’t wait to fix it.

Q: Should you worry if the cedar shake roofs has cracks?

A: It’s expected for the shakes and shingles to expand and contract in time, so spacing is essential upon installation. When the spaces are too wide, the risk for leaks and humidity is high, whereas shakes installed too closed will not expand properly, smashing into each other. It will only cause cracks in the shakes. The cracks will allow water to seep through the roof, causing more problems.

Small cracks are common, as cedar ages, and it’s part of the natural process. However, if the shakes are split, you need to call the roofing contractor for inspection and repairs.

Q: Do cedar shakes roofs get termites?

A: Any house made of wood looks nice, but it always poses a risk for termites to invade it from foundation to the roof. Termite infestation is always possible with a cedar shake roof, as it’s still wood. However, cedar has particular resins that keep termites at a distance. Even if they eat it, they will eventually die.

It’s yet another reason for which people turn to cedar (shakes, shingles) for roofing. Resistance to termites is a great benefit to consider, adding durability to your cedar shake roof.

Q: Are cedar shakes stable?

A: Another high quality of cedar is that it can maintain the original dimensions in sticky situations. Cedar has a low density and has minor shrinkage. It remains flat, stays straight, and keeps the fastenings tight, which explains the durability of cedar shake roofs.

Q: What’s the cedar shake’s resistance to elements?

A: Cedar impresses with the natural preservatives that provide resistance to insect, moisture, UV rays, to some extent. Cedar shake roof will take varied and challenging weather conditions, presenting a low risk for developing moss growth, especially when compared to other roofing materials.

Cedar also allows treatment for fire-resistance and fungus resistance. As long as you’re willing to pay the extra buck, you will also be able to find cedar resistant to moss and insects, which can only expand your roof’s lifespan.

Q: Will cedar shake roofs take long time use?

A: Cedar is seen as one of the most durable woods, so it’s naturally long-lasting. Even if you pay a bit upfront, the durability and toughness make it a wise investment for your home on any given day.

Q: Do cedar shakes present insulating properties?

A: The list of natural abilities of cedar is very long, including insulating capabilities. Cedar will let the cooler temperatures inside in the summertime, but keep the warmth inside your house throughout the winter. Thanks to its insulating abilities, you will be able to use less the AC in the summer and the heater in the winter. It makes perfect sense that your utility bill will decrease once you install the cedar roof.

Q: Should you pressure-wash the cedar shake roof or not?

A: Even if the cedar shake roof has incredible natural durability, many aspects will affect the life span. Pressure wash is trendy, and it’s useful for cleaning the garage door, driveway, fence, patio, and many things around the house. However, pressure wash is not a good idea for your cedar rood. The high pressure and moisture will not remove only the dirt, but also the resins in the cedar shakes. Treatments applied to the cedar roofing throughout the shakes’ production process may also be eliminated with a pressure wash. On top of everything else, most of the materials used on the roofing will not dry immediately, allowing water to go to the cedar shakes’ core.

For safely cleaning the cedar roof from dust and fine debris, use the garden hose any now and then. The pressure won’t affect the roof, but it will be enough for a good cleaning.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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