If you have always dreamt of owning your own home and want to make it the most perfect home that you can, making sure you have a good roofing material installed is essential. Not only will it make your home presentable but a roof also serves a very important practical benefit. If your roof leaks you are obviously going to have water come into your home. This can cause all sorts of damp and mold problems along with rotten wood. This is why it’s so important that you research all the different type of roofing you can buy. There are many types available such as slate, concrete, metal and shingles. Just one type of shingle roofing material you can buy is cedar.
Wood shingles are also known as shakes and can be made from various types of wood which has been treated. Although most wood shakes are cedar you can also buy ones made from pine, spruce, oak and chestnut. One of the reasons they are popular is that they are very easy to install and look beautiful. Repairing them is also very simple and can last for 50 to 60 years if you treat them well.
Before you make your decision about buying cedar roof shingles, it’s important that you understand that there can be quite a few disadvantages. The main problem is fire safety because they aren’t fire-proof. If you do go ahead and install them, make sure you contact your home insurance company first to see if they would put up your premium because of this. There are cedar roof shingles however that have been pressure treated with fire resistant chemicals in the factory and class B and C fire resistance rating can be achieved. If you live in a part of the world which is prone to fires you should think long and hard about this and ask your local council for advice. In some areas, wood shingles have been banned from new construction homes.
If you get a lot of rain and snow then having a steep pitched roof is much better than a flat one. This is because the rain and snow can easily run off it and prevent any damage to the wood. Flat or low sloping roofs don’t allow this to happened and allow rain and snow to build up, causing extra weight on the roof and more chance of leaks.
If you do decide to buy cedar roof shingles you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $350 per square foot depending on style and fire resistance rating. With cedar shingles you can often place the new shingles over roofing materials which are already installed. Like any other roofing material, make sure that the shakes are installed during good weather and never when it’s raining. Installation should start from the bottom to the top of your roof.
If you live in North America then the type of cedar you will probably buy is red cedar. It’s a lovely looking wood with beautiful color and is very durable. They can be installed on both residential and commercial roofs and work well in many climates.
What is the Difference Between Shakes and Shingles
The main way to distinguish between a shake and a shingle is the appearance. Shingles give a more refined look whilst shakes are much more rugged and rustic. Both shingles and shakes can be used on not only roofs, but also sidewalls and they come in different sizes.
Shingles are sawn from blocks of wood and are tapered with a smooth surface. They are the same thickness all the way through, unless they are custom made. Shingles can either be sawn or sanded and you will get a similar look to shakes which are just a bit more refined.
Shakes on the other hand have been split from the wood and aren’t so uniform in appearance and tend to be thicker and can even be grooved. Once they have been split they can also be sanded to become flatter. These are the type to choose if you want a very country and rustic look to your home. There are two options for choosing shakes, either choose the hand-split type for the most rustic look or you could choose a taper-sawn shake for an appearance a bit more refined like a shingle.
Whenever you buy roofing you will naturally want to buy materials which are long lasting and durable. Red cedar is naturally durable which is why it’s often used for making roofing shingles and shakes. They are also act as a natural insulation for your roof. If insects are a problem where you live, red cedar will also be very resilient to this along with harsh weather conditions. You can also have many finishes applied to red cedar including stain, oil, paint and solid coatings. It’s a good idea to think of what appearance you want before you have them installed because it’s best to be done at the factory. Over time the red cedar shingles or shakes will take on a silvery color. Some people love this whilst others don’t. If you aren’t keen on this silver color you will need to treat your wood every so often.
Another problem that is associated with cedar roofing shingles and shakes is curling. If you buy premium grade you will find that the grain runs perpendicular to the surface preventing them to curl. If you are suffering from a lot of curling and warping then the problem may have more to do with the way the nails have been placed. They might have been hammered in too far away from the edge of the shake or shingle. If this is the case you should make sure that repairs are made immediately otherwise it could damage your roof.
Many homes are plagued with rodents so if this is something you have to deal with, make sure you keep trees from growing too near you roof as rodents often get into your roof via tree branches. Alternatively you can install metal around the base of the tree to prevent rodents from climbing up.
If your roof has been pelted with a lot of rain or snow then mold and mildew may appear. If this happens all you have to do is apply either a regular household bleach with water or trisodium phosphate with a soft brush. Then rinse your roof really well.
Although moss may give you a very rustic look, it’s certainly not something you should encourage because it holds lots of moisture. Either use household bleach or a zinc-based cleaner. When you have applied this you should then remove the moss either by a garden hose or by hand. Again, make sure you rinse the roof thoroughly.
If you need to go up onto your roof to repair it, the act of walking over it can actually cause damage, so be careful. Also avoid using a power washer when washing your roof as it can be too powerful. A hose which you would use to water your garden it not so forceful.
When applying chemicals and cleaning products, be very careful about what you use. Make sure the manufacturer of the shingles or shakes has given you instructions on what products you can use without causing undue damage.
As you can see, there is quite a lot you need to be aware of when buying cedar roofing shingles and shakes. Although they can look stunning and add a lot of character to your home, they also can be a fire hazard which can put your home insurance premium up. Do as much research as you can before making your buying decision.