Wood Shake Roofing: Everything You Need To Know
Looking For That Old Ranch House Style Roof? Then Check Out Our In-Depth Wood Shake Roofing Guide So You Can Decide If It’s Right For You.
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Are you building a new house or considering a roof replacement? Homeowners often feel overwhelmed by the different roofing options available, and they don’t know which roof type is best to meet their needs. At Maxx Roof, we repair and install all roofing types, and our team will help you make informed decisions at every step of the process. Wood shakes are among the most popular roofing options for property owners who value curb appeal. In fact, roofing manufacturers often try to make products such as asphalt shingles and metal roofing look like wood shakes.
However, are wood shakes a viable option for your home or business? Read this guide to find out. You can also call us to schedule a wood shake roof installation or repair.
What Is Wood Shake Roofing?
A wood shake roof consists of wooden rectangles or squares that typically overlap to cover the entire roof structure. Property owners often confuse wood shakes with wood shingles, but several differences exist between these two roof types.
Wood shakes are hand-split from a wooden log. Even though all wood shakes on a roof roughly have the same dimension and thickness, they have a rugged, grainy appearance. As a result, no two shakes look alike.
On the other hand, wood shingles are machine cut, and all shingles on a roof have precisely the same appearance and dimensions. Wood shingles are smooth, with precise square or rectangular dimensions—similar to other synthetic roofing materials.
The most common tree species that manufacturers use for wood shakes include:
- California Redwood
- Atlantic White Cedar
Each wood species is different in terms of grains, textures, colors, and costs. The varying dimensions of each wood shake give a roof a rustic appearance, which is why this roof type offers the highest aesthetic value.
Wood Shake Roofing Installation
Wood shakes don’t sit evenly on each other, which increases the risk of moisture entering through the roof. Improper installation can also affect your roof’s longevity, which means that you’ll have to replace it prematurely. At Maxx Roof, our team has all the necessary skills, experience, and equipment to install your new shake roof correctly, eliminating the risk of water damage.
Our roofing installation process consists of the following steps:
- Allowing the wood shakes to acclimate to the semi-arid climate
- Removing the old roofing materials
- Inspecting the roof decking to ensure that it doesn’t have structural issues
- Covering the roof deck with two or more layers of roofing felt (to make your roof watertight)
- Attaching the shakes to the roof decking using corrosion-resistant nails, screws, or staples, depending on the shake type
When attaching roof shakes, we start at the roof’s drip edge and work from one side to the other until we reach the ridge. Systematically attaching the shakes ensures that we don’t leave any gaps where wind or water can enter and cause damage.
What Is The Lifespan Of Wood Shake Roofing?
In a moderate climate region, wood shake roofs tend to last for around 50 years. Thus, the life expectancy of wood shake roofs is short as compared to clay or slate tiles, which can last for a hundred years or longer. However, you can maximize the lifespan of your wood shake roof with proper installation and regular maintenance.
Moisture is one of the most common reasons why wood shake roofs deteriorate early. As the wood absorbs moisture, it becomes a suitable habitat for fungi such as mold. Plants such as hornworts and moss can also start growing on your wooden roof, damaging its structural integrity.
Even though moisture is not a common problem, it can damage your wood shakes if you don’t maintain it regularly or if your roof is in tree shade for most of the day.
Exposure to the elements can also shorten your wood shake roof’s lifespan. Without regular treatments to your roof, the sun’s UV rays and heat will dry your wood shakes out, giving them an unsightly bleached look. Your roof shakes will also become brittle and crack.
With a routine roof maintenance service, our team at Maxx Roof can help you prevent deterioration and prolong your roof’s functional lifespan.
Wood Shake Roofing Costs
Cedar shakes roofing is not as expensive as slate roofing, but it’s not at the low end of the spectrum either. Because every roof differs in size and complexity, it’s impossible to give one price.
The cost of wood shake roofing includes the cost of materials and installation. Generally, installing wood shakes is more expensive than wood shingles because shakes don’t have consistent dimensions.
Factors affecting the cost of a new wood shake roof include:
- Roof size and complexity
- Wood type and shake dimensions
- Consistency of shake dimensions
- Condition of the underlying roof structure
The project type also affects the cost of your new roof. For example, if you are building a new home, the project will include constructing the roof decking. On the other hand, if you are replacing an existing roof, the project will include removing old materials and inspecting your roof deck.
To find out what a new wood shake roof will cost for your property, give us a call to schedule a roof inspection. We’ll come to your property, assess your roof, and give you a free, no-obligation estimate.
Advantages Of Wood Shake Roofing
Wood shake roofing offers the following advantages over other materials:
- Aesthetic appeal: The most significant benefit of a cedar shake roof is its curb appeal. Wood shakes match most architectural designs, and they will give your building an authentic appearance. Installing wood shake roofing will also make your home stand out and complement other natural elements in your landscape, including stone, water, and greenery.
- Natural insulation: Wood is an excellent insulator, which means that your shake roof will help retain heat during winter and cool your home during summer. Apart from ensuring a comfortable indoor environment, your wood shake roof will also reduce your heating and cooling costs.
- High impact resistance: Wood shakes are highly resistant to impact from hailstones, airborne tree limbs, or flying debris. Even if an object punctures a wood shake on your roof, the chances are that it will not affect its appearance, provided that the shake doesn’t crack.
- High return on investment: If you want to sell your home, installing a new wood shake roof will increase your resale value and speed up the sale. Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a house with a new wood shake roof, and you can increase your return on the sale.
Disadvantages Of Wood Shake Roofing
Like every other roofing type, wood shake roofing also has some drawbacks:
- Safety: Wood shakes are not fire-resistant, which is a considerable concern for homeowners and insurance companies. However, by regularly treating your roof with a fire retardant, you reduce the risk of your roof catching fire.
- High maintenance requirement: Exposure to the elements can cause wood shakes to become brittle and bleached. Preventing this from happening requires routine cleaning and professional maintenance once a year. Routine maintenance typically includes a power wash and oil treatment.
- Vulnerable to rot and insect damage: Unlike composite roofing materials, wood shakes are highly susceptible to damage from carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and termites. Regular roofing inspections are necessary to identify insects and control them before they can cause damage.
How We Repair Wood Shake Roofs
At Maxx Roof, we can repair any damage to wood shake roofing. Shake damage is the most common issue we encounter, but we can also repair water leaks, decking damage, or loose flashing. The process we follow to repair wooden shakes consists of the following steps:
- Determining the extent of the damage with an initial inspection
- Buying the correct replacement shakes to ensure that they don’t look out of place
- Carefully removing the damaged shakes without gouging the surrounding materials
- Measuring the gaps of the damaged, removed, or missing shakes and cutting new ones
- Installing new shakes using the correct fasteners
- Sealing the new shakes using a caulking compound to ensure that your roof remains watertight
Our team will always provide you with the most cost-effective solution for the long term. For example, if your roof reaches the end of its lifespan and you have to schedule many repairs, a new installation may be the best option to reduce your repair, maintenance, and energy costs.
Popular Wood Shake Roofing Manufacturers
At Maxx Roof, we know that your roof’s condition is integral to indoor comfort, curb appeal, and function. We always aim to provide our customers with the best long-term value, but at competitive prices.
To ensure that we offer the best value for money, we source our wood shakes and other roofing materials from reputable and established manufacturers. Our team will also go the extra mile to install your wood shake roof correctly.
Work With A Top Rated Wood Shake Roofer
If you want to schedule a wood shake roof installation or repair, our team at Maxx Roof LLC is standing by to provide you with exceptional service. Call us today at 720-743-4492 for an estimate.