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Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wooden Shakes and Shingles

Wooden roofs aren’t for everyone. They are a little pricier than asphalt shingles, but they are very attractive! Wooden shakes and shingles offer a rustic and natural look with a lot of character.

Normally wooden shingles are sawn and have smooth surfaces and a uniform thickness. A shake is a wooden shingle, but it’s made from split logs (generally Cedar). Shingles are the thinner of the two, and they only last around 15-25 years. Shakes on the other hand can last up to 50 years! Shakes guarantee a rugged appearance. Shakes come in a variety of styles including width, color, thickness, or cut of the wood; no two shake roofs are ever the same. The quality of wood shakes varies as well. It’s important to investigate where your shakes are coming from, as different shake mills produce different grades in their products. Higher grade shakes are typically used for roofing purposes, while the lower grades are used for siding. Installing wood shakes is more complicated than installing your average roofing composite material. The quality of the finished wood shake roof really depends on the experience of the contractor doing the installation, as well as the particular features of the shakes you use. The best shakes come from the heart wood of large and old cedar trees and come from a quality mill. Wood shingles are to be installed over open sheathing made of 1 by 6 boards with spaces between them. These spaces allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup beneath the shingles. Since wood shakes often have deeply grooved textures, they may be applied over solid sheathing with interlays of 30-pound roofing felt. Wood shakes don’t need to be installed over open sheathing unless they lack the deep grooves which promote air circulation.

Wood shake roofs are beautiful, but they also require additional maintenance and repair compared to your average composite roofing shingle. Mold, rot, and insects may be a problem if your roof is not taken care of properly. Luckily power-washing and cleaning the roof are pretty much all you need to do to rid the roof of mold! The lifetime cost of a wood shake roof is higher than others, but the beauty and character outweighs the negatives regarding upkeep.

Generally, wood shakes are not rated by the fire safety codes. Often spray-on fire retardants are used, despite the protection and effectiveness lasting for only a few years. Pressure-treated shakes are available though. They even last longer than your average shake! These shakes are treated with fire retardant and meet the national fire safety standards.

Having a wooden roof can reduce your energy bill. Wooden shakes help to insulate the attic. Shakes allow the house to breathe by circulating air through the small openings under the felt rows on which wooden shingles are laid.

If you’re not down to maintain a wooden roof for a few decades, but still desire the appearance of one, luckily there’s now another option! They’re not popular, but you can find cement shingles manufactured to look like wood shakes. Use of these “fake” shakes is increasing, and for valid reasons. Not only do they satisfy fire codes, but they are also long-lasting and don’t require maintenance.

Thomas, Steve. “Choosing Roofing Materials.” Home Improvement and Remodeling: This Old House. Web. 11 Aug. 2011.

Vandervort, Dan. “Wood Shingle & Shake Roofing.” Dan Vandervort’s Home Tips. Web. 11 Aug. 2011.

Contact Lone-Star Roof Systems, LP. or visit our office today!

Mailing Address
1511 South Texas Avenue, #172
College Station, TX 77840

College Station Office
18476 State Highway 6 S.
College Station, TX 77845

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