Cedar Shakes: A Closer Look At This Natural Roofing Option

If you're looking for a green, eco-friendly roofing option, it's hard to imagine a better choice than wood. Cedar wood used for roofs is a renewable resource, it breaks down in landfills, and it does not create a ton of pollution during production. Read on to learn more about cedar roofing so you can determine if it is a wise choice for your home.

What are the advantages of cedar roofing?

In addition to being eco-friendly for the reasons described above, cedar wood shakes are also embraced for their beauty. They add a rustic, yet tidy appeal to a home and fit in well with country-style and Craftsman architectural schemes.

Cedar has some unique properties that make it a very good wood for roofing. It is resistant to insects, thanks to the naturally repelling oils it contains. Thus, it won't attract a lot of birds (who would want to eat the insects) either. Cedar does not need to be finished or stained, since it does not warp, as it absorbs and releases water like most woods do, and it is rot and algae-resistant as well.

Cedar shakes are also an energy-efficient choice. They do a pretty good job of insulating your roof, so you may notice your energy bills go down.

While cedar roofing does not last as long as metal or slate roofing, it does have a fairly long life expectancy of about 30 years. The milder the climate in your area, the longer your roof will last.

What are the downfalls of cedar roofing?

Cedar roofing is more expensive than standard asphalt roofing, and you might have a harder time finding a roofing contractor to put a cedar roof on your home since it's more of a specialty roofing material.

As the cedar ages, there will be some maintenance involved. Some shakes may crack when exposed to many years of hot sunlight or persistent hail, and these will need to be replaced. After many years, cedar can lose some of its mold-inhibiting properties, and you may need to have the roof sprayed to prevent mold growth.

If you are willing to pay a bit more and do some maintenance once the roof ages, a cedar roof can be an environmentally friendly, beautiful, and long-lasting roofing choice. Talk to a roofing contractor who specializes in cedar roofing to learn more and to find out if cedar is compatible with your home.