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Cedar Shake Shingles 101: Benefits, Limitations, Cost, and More

Posted on December 18, 2023

Cedar Shake Shingles 101: Benefits, Limitations, Cost, and More

Have you ever looked up at a beautiful house and noticed its charming, textured roof made of overlapping wooden pieces? Chances are, you were admiring cedar shake roof shingles. These shingles, made from natural cedar, have been a popular roofing material for years, adding a touch of elegance to homes across the globe.

In this guide, we’ll uncover the details behind the popularity of cedar shake shingles. Imagine having a roof that not only looks stunning but also stands strong against the forces of nature. That’s precisely why these shingles are sought after—they’re not just about aesthetics, they offer durability, too.

Over the years, we have served hundreds of houses in Mississippi, and a lot of homeowners have asked us about the viability of cedar shingles, which is why we have come up with this extensive guide. In this blog post, you will learn all about this material so that you can make the best decision for your roof. At the end, we will also talk about alternative materials.  

What Are Cedar Roof Shingles? 

To start, cedar is a type of tree known for its strength and natural beauty. These shingles are crafted by splitting cedar logs into thin sections, which are then installed on roofs in an overlapping pattern. This process gives roofs a textured appearance, adding character to homes.

What’s special about cedar shake roof shingles is that each piece is unique, just like a fingerprint. They come in different sizes and shapes, making every roof an individual masterpiece.

In the next section, we’ll explore why these shingles are loved by homeowners.

Benefits of Installing Cedar Shake Shingles

When you install cedar shake shingles, you will get a host of benefits, including:  

Strength That Lasts:

Cedar shake roof shingles are a very resilient and durable option. When storms rage outside, these shingles stand strong, protecting your home from wind, rain, and even hail. With their sturdy nature, you can feel safe and secure, knowing your house is well guarded against the elements.

Their durability also means you won’t have to worry about replacing your roof as often, saving you money in the long run. Installing cedar shake shingles is like having a reliable shield over your home, keeping it snug and sheltered over the years.

Natural Beauty:

These shingles aren’t just strong, they’re also stunning! Picture a roof that’s a patchwork of natural wood, giving your home a warm and welcoming feel. The textures and warm tones of cedar wood make your house an eye-catching gem in the neighborhood.

Each shingle is unique, adding character and charm to your home’s appearance. The natural aging process of cedar gives it a beautiful silver-gray patina over time, enhancing its beauty as it weathers gracefully.

Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter:

Cedar is an incredible insulator. When the sun beats down, these shingles help keep your home cool, reducing the need for excessive air conditioning. Conversely, during chilly days, they trap warmth inside, making your home cozy and snug.

This natural insulation also means lower energy bills, as your home stays comfortable without relying too much on heating or cooling systems. 

Environmentally Friendly:

Cedar shake roof shingles are a win for the environment. Cedar trees grow quickly and are a renewable resource, making them an eco-friendly choice for roofing materials. These shingles also have a low carbon footprint compared to other roofing options due to their manufacturing process and lightweight nature.

Additionally, when these shingles are replaced, they can be recycled or repurposed, reducing waste and environmental impact. Choosing cedar shake shingles is a green choice for your home.

Boosts Home Value:

Having cedar shake shingles can significantly increase your home’s curb appeal. They add a touch of elegance and uniqueness that sets your home apart from others in the neighborhood. Prospective buyers often find cedar roofs attractive, which can increase your home’s resale value.

Plus, homes with cedar shake roofs are often considered well maintained and visually appealing, which can positively impact their selling price.

Sound Insulation:

Cedar roofs don’t just protect your home from the weather, they also absorb sound, reducing outdoor noise transfer. When it rains, you’ll get to enjoy a dampened sound without it being too loud, creating a peaceful ambiance inside.

This noise absorbing quality also makes your home feel more private, as it shields you from outside noises. This natural sound barrier that adds tranquility to your living space.

Cedar Roof Shingles

Limitations of Cedar Shake Shingles

While cedar shake roof shingles offer many benefits, it’s important to know they also have some limitations. Let’s explore a few things to consider before choosing these shingles for your home.

Maintenance Requirements:

Cedar shake roof shingles need regular maintenance to stay in top shape. They require periodic inspections to ensure they haven’t been damaged, especially by insects or rot. Additionally, treatments and cleaning are necessary to prevent moss or mold growth. This maintenance can be time consuming and may require professional help.

Failure to maintain these shingles properly could shorten their lifespan and lead to costly repairs down the line. 

Weathering Vulnerability:

While cedar wood is naturally durable, it can still be affected by extreme weather conditions. Intense sunlight, heavy rains, or snow can cause the shingles to deteriorate faster. Over time, they might warp, split, or lose their original color due to weather exposure. The weathering process is natural for cedar, but it’s essential to consider how your local climate might impact the longevity of these shingles. 

Fire Resistance Concerns:

Cedar shake roof shingles are not as fire-resistant as some other roofing materials. While they are treated to improve fire resistance, they may still pose a higher risk in areas prone to wildfires or where fire codes are stringent. It’s crucial to check local building codes and consider fire safety measures when opting for cedar shake shingles. 

Other Considerations About Cedar Shakes Shingles

So far we have talked about what cedar shingles look like, the benefits they offer, and what their drawbacks are. But these factors are not the only thing you need to consider. Here are some of the other things you keep in mind: 

Know Your Insurance Policy and Local Building Codes:

As you know, installing a new roofing material is not cheap. So, to protect your investment, it is essential that you have a home insurance policy that covers the roofing material. 

Some areas have specific regulations or insurance considerations regarding the use of cedar shake shingles. Some insurance companies might have different policies or premiums for homes with these shingles due to fire risks or other factors.

It’s advisable to check with local authorities and insurance providers to understand any restrictions or implications before choosing these shingles for your roof. It’s similar to understanding the rules and terms before joining a club or organization.

Compatibility with Roofing Structures:

Not all roofing structures are ideal for cedar shake shingles. These shingles can be heavier compared to some alternatives, so the existing roof structure needs to be sturdy enough to support their weight.

Before installation, it’s essential to assess whether your home’s structure can accommodate cedar shake roof shingles without compromising its integrity. 

How Much Do Cedar Shingles Cost?

Among the things you look at before deciding to install a particular roofing material, price is the most crucial factor. The cost of roofing material is usually calculated per square foot. 

Before jumping into the costs, it’s important to note that there is a difference between cedar shingles and cedar shake shingles, or cedar shakes. Cedar shakes are hand-split and have a rough surface, while cedar shingles are mechanically sawn and have a smooth appearance. 

Cedar shingles can cost you anywhere from $4.50 to $8.50 per square foot. The average cost of cedar roof shingles is around $6.50 per square foot. So if your roof has an area of 3,000 square feet, the whole roof replacement project might cost you between $13,500 to $25,500. 

Now let’s take a look at the cost of cedar shakes. As we know, there is a slight difference between cedar shakes and shingles, and price is also one of them. Generally, cedar shakes are more expensive than regular shingles. You can expect them to be around $6 to $11 per square foot, with the cost of the whole project for a 3,000 square foot roof being around $20,000 to $33,000.  

How To Install Cedar Shake Shingles

Installing any shingle is a difficult process, but more so if it’s a cedar shake shingle. To give you the gist, the roof deck should be prepared with an underlayment that acts as a moisture barrier. Then, starting from the bottom, the shingles are installed in overlapping rows and secured with nails to the roof deck.

However, it’s essential to note that installing cedar shake shingles requires expertise and precision. It’s important to hire a contractor to ensure proper installation for weather resistance and longevity.

Cedar Shake Shingles

How Long Do Cedar Shingles Last?

Cedar shingles typically have a lifespan ranging between 20 to 40 years, depending on various factors such as the quality of the cedar wood, the climate of the region, maintenance efforts, and exposure to elements like sunlight and moisture. Properly maintained cedar shingles can last towards the higher end of this range or even longer.

Maintaining Your Roof Shingles 

Maintaining cedar shake roof shingles is crucial to preserve their beauty and durability. Here are practical maintenance tips to ensure your roof remains in top notch condition:

Regular Inspections:

Schedule routine inspections at least twice a year, especially after severe weather conditions. Look for signs of damage, such as cracked or split shingles, mold growth, or loose sections. Promptly address any issues to prevent further damage.

At Renova Roofing & Construction, we offer free roof inspections. 

Clear Gutters and Downspouts:

Keep gutters and downspouts free from leaves, twigs, and other debris to ensure proper drainage. Clogged gutters can lead to water pooling on the roof, potentially causing water damage or moss growth.

Professional Maintenance:

Last but not least is hiring professionals for periodic inspections and maintenance. Roofing experts have the experience and tools to perform thorough inspections, repairs, and treatments, ensuring your cedar shake roof remains in optimal condition.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the ins and outs of cedar roofing shingles allows you to make an informed decision when it comes to safeguarding your home. As you weigh the benefits, limitations, and cost considerations, it’s evident that cedar shake shingles offer a blend of natural charm and practicality. These shingles can look good on your Mississippi home and increase its value, however, it’s also important to take care of your investment. 

However, if you feel that these are not for your home, you can also consider the following alternatives: 

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the U.S. and are reasonably priced and available in a variety of colors. They are also less expensive than cedar shake shingles. 

Metal Roof: If you have a sizable budget, then you can also opt for a metal roofing system. These are highly durable and are available in a variety of style options, including shingles.  

Tile Roof: Tile roofs may not be as common in Mississippi, but they can still be a durable and effective option. Though they are expensive, they offer a longer lifespan with few maintenance requirements.  

Want To Install Cedar Shingles On Your Roof? 

We hope that you got all the information you needed regarding cedar shake shingles. If you feel it’s the right roofing material for your home, get in touch with our team! 

Renova Roofing & Construction is a premier roofing company serving the Gulf Coast area We are experts at installing and maintaining various types of roofing materials, including cedar shake shingles, for both residential and commercial properties. Contact us today at (601) 647-343 to schedule a free roof inspection.