Cedar Vs. Shake Shingle Roofs

Cedar shakes and shingles have been used as roofing materials for hundreds of years. The natural preservatives and superior insulation properties of cedar are among the top two reasons for using cedar roofing. When building a new home or restoring a period home, you may have to encounter the tough question, should I use cedar shakes or cedar shingles for my roofing choice?

Before making a final decision on roofing material, it is best for the consumer to research the history and heritage of each style of roofing. From the shape, size and cost, there are definitive differences between cedar shakes and cedar shingles.

When it comes to style, roofing is quite different with a variety of hues that need to be looked up online so as to get a better idea of what exactly it signifies for a house for which roof is of utmost importance. For further research, you can search for Perth WA online to get a basic idea.

Cedar shakes are created from wooden blocks used specifically for roofing and siding material. These blocks are split into one (1) inch thick slats referred to as blanks. Either a hydraulic press fitted with a blade, or a froe and mallet is used to split the blanks. If the splitter turns the block between each split the cedar shake will be naturally tapered. If the block is not turned, the blank will have to be sawn on one face in order to achieve the taper needed to produce a cedar shake.

Cedar shakes are then treated with chemicals called extractives to preserve the wood and help to prevent mold and fungus from appearing on the cedar shake roofing. This preservative is especially susceptible to rainfall and UV damage. With prolonged exposure to the elements, cedar shakes will need to be retreated with a preservative. Annual inspections will be needed to ensure the cedar shake roofing is not being damaged by the elements with routine maintenance falling every three (3) to five (5) years.

Cedar shake roofing is available in 18″ and 24″ lengths with varying thicknesses. Cedar shakes fall into the grades of No. 1, No. 2, and Premium depending on the quality of the wood and the presence of defects.

Cedar shingles are quite similar to cedar shakes. Cedar shingle roofing is produced from the same blocks as cedar shake roofing. The cedar shingle is sawn with a 42″ – 48″ circular saw. The blocks are passed back and forth through the blade of the saw tilting a little with each pass forming the tapered effect. After the block is sawn into a cedar shingle, a trim saw finishes the edges and the cedar shingle is complete. The difference between a cedar shake and a cedar shingle is the use of a saw in the production process. The cedar shingle is sawn on all sides while the cedar shake is only sawn on one side.

Cedar shingles are treated with preservatives in the same nature as the cedar shake and will require the same routine maintenance every three (3) to five (5) years.

Cedar shingle roofing is available in 16″, 18″ and 24″ lengths with varying thicknesses. Cedar shingles are graded as No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 grades.

The general maintenance for cedar shake and cedar shingle roofing includes debris removal, cleaning to remove algae, fungi, moss and application of wood preservatives. Though this routine maintenance will help keep your cedar shake or shingle roofing healthy and strong, regular restoration will need to be completed every ten (10) to (15) years. The restoration process for cedar shake or shingle roofing includes repairing the roofing including but not limited to replacement of shakes, shingles and ridge caps.

When roofing a newly built home or restoring a 100 year old beauty, your choice between cedar shakes and cedar shingles will inevitably depend on the overall look and feel you want to achieve. Both cedar shakes and shingles are naturally resilient to damage and age to a brilliant silver hue. Cedar roofing material is an extremely popular and earth friendly choice for your next roofing project.