Get In Touch Checkmark Icon
cedar roof shingles

6 Tips for Cedar Roofing (Styles, Installations, Accents, & More)

Posted By: M Bilal

Cedar shingle roofing has adorned homes for centuries, offering a timeless aesthetic appeal coupled with practical durability. In this comprehensive guide, we take you into the world of cedar shingle roofing, exploring:

  • What they are
  • Their pros and cons
  • Installation costs
  • Lifespan
  • Maintenance
  • Synthetic alternatives
  • When it’s time for a replacement

What Are Cedar Shingles?

close up cedar roofing

Cedar shingles are thin, tapered pieces of wood typically made from Western Red Cedar, White Cedar, or Yellow Cedar. They are commonly used as roofing material due to their natural beauty, resilience, and insulating properties. Each shingle is hand-split or sawn to create a unique texture and appearance, adding character to any structure.

👍 Pros of Cedar Shingle Roofing:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Cedar shingles exude rustic charm and natural elegance, enhancing the curb appeal of any home.
  • Durability: Cedar is naturally resistant to decay, insects, and rot, making it a durable roofing option.
  • Insulation: Cedar shingles provide excellent insulation, helping to regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy costs.
  • Lightweight: Cedar shingles are lightweight, putting less stress on the structure of the building.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Cedar is a sustainable material, as it is renewable and biodegradable.

👎 Cons of Cedar Shingle Roofing:

  • Cost: Cedar shingles tend to be more expensive upfront compared to other roofing materials.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is required to prolong the lifespan of cedar shingle roofs.
  • Susceptibility to Moisture: Cedar shingles can warp or rot if not properly maintained and protected from moisture.
  • Fire Risk: Cedar shingles are flammable and may not be suitable for areas prone to wildfires without proper treatment.

Different Styles of Cedar Roofing

When it comes to a natural cedar shake roof, you have options! Here are a few of them:

Hand-Split Cedar Shingles:

These shingles are split by hand, resulting in a rustic, irregular texture that adds character to the roof. Hand-split cedar shingles are prized for their authentic look and are often used in historic or traditional homes.

Taper-Sawn Cedar Shingles:

Taper-sawn cedar shingles are cut with a saw, resulting in a smoother, more uniform appearance compared to hand-split shingles. While they may lack the rustic charm of hand-split shingles, taper-sawn shingles offer a clean and modern aesthetic.

Cedar Shake Roofing:

Cedar shakes are thicker than shingles and have a rough, textured surface. They are typically split rather than sawn, giving them a more rugged appearance. Cedar shake roofing is popular in coastal or rustic settings, adding a sense of warmth and authenticity to the home.

Installation Process of Cedar Shingle Roofing: 6 Steps

Installing a new roof can feel like a huge undertaking. Here are the steps you can expect, during your new roof installation.

1) Preparation:

The existing roof is inspected for damage and repaired as needed. Flashing is installed around chimneys, vents, and other protrusions to prevent water infiltration.

2) Underlayment:

A waterproof underlayment, such as felt paper or synthetic membrane, is installed over the roof deck to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture.

3) Starter Course:

A starter course of cedar shingles is installed along the eaves of the roof to provide a secure base for the rest of the shingles.

4) Shingle Installation:

Cedar shingles are installed from the bottom up, with each row overlapping the one below it to shed water effectively. Shingles are nailed in place using corrosion-resistant nails.

5) Hip and Ridge Installation:

Cedar shingles are trimmed and installed along the hips and ridges of the roof to provide a finished appearance and protect against wind uplift.

6) Finish Work:

Any remaining trim or flashing is installed, and the roof is inspected for proper installation and alignment.

Cost of Cedar Shingle Roof Installation

The cost of installing a cedar shingle roof varies depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the roof, labor costs, and the quality of the shingles. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $600 to $900 per square (100 square feet) for cedar shingle roofing installation. While this initial cost may seem high, the long-term benefits of cedar shingles often justify the investment.

Lifespan of Cedar Shingle Roofs

With proper care and maintenance, cedar shingle roofs can last between 20 to 40 years. Factors such as climate, exposure to sunlight, and maintenance practices can influence the lifespan of the roof. Regular inspections and repairs can help extend the longevity of cedar shingle roofs.

Maintenance Tasks for Cedar Shingle Roofs

To maximize the lifespan of cedar shingle roofs, homeowners should perform regular maintenance tasks, including:

  • Inspecting the roof for signs of damage, such as cracked or missing shingles.
  • Cleaning the roof to remove debris, moss, and algae that can trap moisture and promote rot.
  • Treating the roof with a protective sealant or stain to enhance durability and resistance to the elements.
  • Trimming overhanging branches to prevent damage from falling debris and reduce the risk of moss growth.

Synthetic Alternatives to Cedar Shingle Roofing

For homeowners seeking the look of cedar shingles without the maintenance requirements, synthetic alternatives are available. Synthetic cedar shingles are made from materials such as plastic, rubber, or composite materials, offering the appearance of natural cedar with enhanced durability and longevity. While synthetic options may lack the authenticity of natural cedar, they require less maintenance and can be more cost-effective in the long run.

When to Replace Your Cedar Shingle Roof

Despite their durability, cedar shingle roofs will eventually require replacement due to wear and tear. Signs that indicate it’s time to replace your cedar shingle roof include:

  • Widespread damage, such as cracked, warped, or missing shingles.
  • Persistent leaks or water damage inside the home.
  • Excessive moss or algae growth, indicating moisture retention and potential rot.
  • Visible signs of aging, such as faded or discolored shingles.
  • Structural issues, such as sagging or uneven rooflines, indicating underlying damage.

Your Local Roofing Contractor

weathered wooden shingles

Cedar shingle roofing offers a blend of natural beauty and practical durability, making it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a timeless aesthetic and reliable protection for their homes. While cedar shingles require regular maintenance and may come with a higher upfront cost, their longevity and environmental benefits often make them a worthwhile investment.Whether you opt for natural cedar or synthetic alternatives, a cedar shingle roof can enhance the curb appeal and value of your home while providing years of reliable performance. Can’t decide between the two? Contact Springfield Roofing today to learn more details!

Share to...