What is a wood shake roof?

wood shake roof freshly installed

How long does a wood shake roof last?

Depending on where you live, roofing materials on houses will vary what is more common and popular. Homes in large cities, asphalt shingles are the most common and in rural areas, the metal may be the more popular choice.  A style that is growing in popularity is wood shake roof material.

What is a wood shake roof, and What is the difference between wood shingles and wood shakes? Wood shake roofing is a material that comes from wooden logs that have been split on one side and sawn on the other into thin rectangles. Wood shingles, however, are thinner and have sawn on both sides.  

The wood shake roof lifespan typically is thirty to forty years. When a wood shake roof is properly installed with regular inspection and maintenance, the life expectancy can vary based on several factors, primarily the climate and weather, which could give you as little as 20 years before needing replacement. Other factors that can affect the life expectancy of wood shake roofing are:

  • The grade and quality of the wood
  • Roof ventilation
  • Roof pitch
  • Overhanging trees
  • Exposure to shade that allows algae, lichen, and moss growth
  • Proper installation of wood shake roof flashing

Are wood shingles expensive?

Wood shingles average between $7.00 per square foot to $11.00 per square foot, which is between $700 per square to $1100 per square professionally installed. This is only slightly less than wood shake roofing which can be $8.00 per square foot to $13.00 per square foot. Professionally installed, wood shake will cost you between $800 per square to $1300 per square.  In the roofing industry, a square is equal to 100 square feet installed.

So is a wood shake roof or wooden shingle roof expensive When compared to asphalt roofing material, yes both are more expensive.  Asphalt roofing, the most common roofing material, cost as little as $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot or $300 to $600 per square with professional installation

Can you walk on wood shake roof?

A short answer to this is yes. However, even though a wood shake roof can support somebody’s weight, that doesn’t make it safe.  Wood shake roofs are notorious for being slippery, making navigation difficult, especially when wet or when algae, lichen, and moss are on the roof. For whatever reason you may find the need for wood shake roof repair, it is always better to hire a professional roofing contractor that works with wood shakes or wood shingles.

How do I know if my cedar shake roof is bad?

A cedar shake roof has its own visual appeal and is one of the most durable roofing materials you can choose. However, while they are built to have a long lifespan, they will not last forever, but very few things do. So, if you think you cedar shake roof may need replacing, but you aren’t sure, here are some signs that can tell you it is time:  

  • A lot of shakes are missing. One or two isn’t anything to worry about, but if you notice several missing, it is time to have a professional roofing contractor look at your roof.
  • Cedar shake damage. If you are noticing several buckling, curling, and/or splitting, your cedar shake roof needs professional help, most likely replacement.  
  • Water damage inside your house. When you’re seeing leaks and water damage inside your home on the ceiling or the walls, it is time to call a professional roofing contractor.
distant look at a wood shake roof on a blue vinyl house

Wood Shake Roof Pros and Cons

A wood shake roof is timeless, providing a natural and unique appeal as it provides protection too. Sadly, in some ways, because of the more modern materials on the market today, a wood shake roof isn’t as popular. Considering the drawbacks that come with a wood shake roof though, it is hard to argue. However, in all fairness, we offer the following pros and cons of wood shake roofing so you can make an informed decision if you’re considering this timeless addition to your home.

The Pros of a Wood Shake Roof

  • Relatively affordable
  • A Natural Aesthetic

The Cons of a Wood Shake Roof

  • Shorter Lifespan
  • Vulnerability to fire, mold, pests is high
  • Discolors over time
  • Prone to leaks

A wood shake roof is timeless, but it isn’t meant to be on every home on every corner. You want your home to blend with those around it yet stand out and be unique. Depending on where your home is, there may be restrictions to wood shake roofing. Before going into a contract and expense, always check local governing bodies if they approve the material. When you need wood shake roof in Montgomery, AL, call (334) 274-8485 today.