Are wood shake roofs good?

wood shingle roof

Natural looking, durable protection

Different areas and regions of the country have common architectural styles, including the roofing material.  The far east coast, like Maine and New Hampshire, the wood shingle roof is commonplace. However, more people in other areas of the country are realizing the natural beauty of this roofing material. Even more, they are realizing that this beautiful material also provides a unique design in part of Texas because it isn’t as commonplace! 

Back in the 1970s, in Texas, homeowners’ associations across the state decreed that every house was to have a wood shingle roof. This is where aesthetics triumphed over good sense and safety. Then sparks meeting a wood shingle roof became too commonplace. With over $10 million dollars of fire damaged and destroyed homes in a 2 year span, the state government saw fit to step in and in 1979, the end to deed restrictions requiring wood shingles for roof on every home came to an end. 

There is no doubt that building codes are established with the intention to protect homes and reduce strain on the government budget from fire protection and service. So, how is it that wood shingles installation legal now in Texas? What changed to allow the aesthetics of wood shingle roofing to rule again? 

To counter the legal ban of wood shingle roofing, the manufacturers of wood shingle roof material upped their game with  applying better fire retardant chemicals. Apparently, they have been successful in convincing the insurance industry and the state of Texas they are now were applied to help reduce fire risk of wood shingles houses now. 

What is the difference between wood shingles and wood shakes?

When it comes to wood shingles vs wood shakes, is there that much difference? Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are manufactured different, so yes, there is a good amount of difference. Take a look: 

  • Appearance – Cedar wood shingle roof material is uniformly smooth. Cedar shakes are rugged, thicker, and no two pieces are the same.  
  • Durability – Cedar shakes being thicker make them more durable, thus they last longer than cedar shingles. Because they are rougher and thicker, they don’t lay flat when installed. When installed, an experienced roofer will install felt paper in between the rows of shakes to provide protection from rain being blown under them. 
  • Variations – Cedar wood shingle roof material is available in different grades with Grade 1 being the premium, Grade 2 is primarily used for re-roofing, and Grade 3 is the lower end. Cedar shakes are only a high-quality wood product that comes in three types: 
  • Tapersawn 
  • Medium-split and Resawn
  • Heavy split and Resawn 

Are wood shingles expensive?

The 18-inch wood shingle roofing material is known as “perfection” in the roofing industry, while the 24-inch is known as “royal”. Wood shingle roofing material range in pricing from $6.50 per square foot  to $10.50 per square foot installed. Wood shakes are more expensive with pricing ranging between $7.50 per square foot to $12.50 per square foot installed.  When you compare either of these to asphalt shingle roofing, wood shingle roof or wood shake roofing is the more expensive of the three. 

How long do wood shingle roofs last?

The lifespan of asphalt and wood shingle roofing can be tricky based on a few different factors. The quality of the material, the quality of the installation, and the diligence taken for maintenance like cleaning and tree limb. A chemically treated wood shingle roof or wood shake roof material can give you up to thirty years life expectancy. 

How do you maintain a wood shake roof?

It is pretty much basic homeowner smarts!  Keep overhanging tree branches trimmed back so they don’t drop leaves and pine needles on the roof.  Keep the gutter system and the keyways cleaned on a regular basis, and make sure the attic has  adequate and proper year-round ventilation.  

Close up of wood shingle roofing

Can you walk on wood shake roof?

A cedar shake roof of high-quality material is flexible, resilient, and tough, but it isn’t made to bear a lot of foot traffic. Too much walking on this roofing material will damage it, causing it to crack and/or split. If there is a reason you must walk on the roof, never attempt while it is wet, then wear roof cleats. These cleats will make indentation, but the natural properties will rebound and look normal again. 

Knowing what you know now about wood shingle roof material, are you asking yourself why anyone would want this type of roofing?  A few reasons are: 

  • The Aesthetics – nothing looks better than a natural woof roof on some architectural styles. 
  • The Longevity – while tricky, when you have the high quality material installed by the experienced roofing contractor, you’ll get the same 20 years or longer lifespan.
  • The Durability – When wood shingle roof material is treated properly, it is insect resistant. 
  • Impact and Wind Resistance – Can withstand winds up to 245 mph. 
  • The ROI – Wood shingle roof will increase your property value and curb appeal. 

Want wood shingle roofing in Georgetown, TX? Call (512) 677-6817 today.