Roofing 101: Cedar Shake Shingles

The natural beauty and corresponding curb appeal offered by a home with a cedar shake shingle roof is virtually unmatched. But what are the other advantages to this unique roofing approach, and what are the drawbacks? U.S. Exterior by Seidel, one of Chicagoland’s most experienced roofing contractors, goes in-depth to provide answers.

Advantages of Cedar Shake Shingles

As noted in the opening paragraph, cedar shake shingles possess a visual appeal all their own. Their texture, design, and natural composition resonate with most anyone who lays eyes on a cedar shake shingle roof. In fact, one could argue that no other variety of roof maximizes curb appeal and roof-related resale value like this beautiful option. Though many have tried, to date there is no other natural or synthetic roofing material capable of equaling a cedar shake roof’s dimensional appearance, nor the uniqueness inherent to each shingle, which has its own texture, color, and character.

Durability is another advantage offered by a cedar shake shingle roof. Lifespan ranges from 20 years all the way up to 80 years, depending on several factors: shingle quality, climate, installer expertise, and more. Also, recent advancements in “underlayment technology”, a process integral to cedar shake shingles’ longevity, have helped bolster this roof type’s reputation for quality. The most cutting-edge ice and water-preventative underlayment materials can outlive the cedar shingle itself, meaning your home will remain watertight even if one or more cedar shake shingles fails or disintegrates.

Possible Drawbacks

Cedar shake installation is considerably more complex than any other roof installation process, whether you’re considering vinyl, metal, or asphalt. It’s not overstating things to describe cedar shake installation as something of a lost art, a skill that only a few roofing contractors possess. Some of our readers might consider this more of an advantage than a drawback, but that really depends on where you fall with regard to budget, because roofs comprised of cedar shake shingles are roughly 3 – 4 times more expensive than asphalt shingles.

Given its rarified status, the process of finding a roofer that knows how to correctly install cedar shake shingles can be long and arduous. And since these roofs are among the most expensive in the industry, you definitely don’t want to settle for second-best. Also, although their status as a 100% natural product is cause for mass appeal, the downside is that cedar shake shingles are prone to attracting bugs, birds, bees, and other creatures drawn to these shingles’ smell and texture. Not surprisingly, cedar shake shingle roofs also need regular maintenance in order to maintain their unmatched curb appeal. Moreover, it’s believed by many roofing experts that in order to achieve optimum cedar shake shingle preservation, the entire roof should be treated with a sealer every 5 – 10 years. Whether you adhere to this theory, or whether you decide to seal the roof every 15 – 20 years, you’re still looking at a significant expense that comes on top of the initial installation and the required regular maintenance.

Ultimately, it’s up to the homeowner to decide whether the beauty and durability of a cedar shake shingle roof trumps the cost. As a long-time purveyor of professional roofing services in Buffalo Grove, our roofing experts can provide you with all of the data you need to make an informed decision.

U.S. Exterior By Seidel | 741 Hastings Lane | Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

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