Cedar Shingle Roofing

Cedar Shingle Advantages and Disadvantages

By Mark J. Donovan

Cedar shingles provide a rich and natural look, and are highly durable, making them ideal for any roof or home. Cedar roofing shingles or shakes are cut from either northwestern red cedar or eastern white cedar lumber. With cedar shingles they are sawn on two sides, whereas with cedar shakes they are hand-split and resawn on one side or taper sawn. Cedar shakes are most commonly used for roofing, whereas cedar shingles are used for both roofing and house siding. Cedar shingles and shakes come in a variety of grades and lengths and have warranties between 20 and 25 years, however they can last much longer if regularly maintained.

Cedar shingles have been used for centuries due to their resistance to the natural elements including weather and ultraviolet light exposure. Cedar roofing shingles also have excellent thermal insulating properties and are renewable green building products, thus they improve the energy efficiency of your home while at the same time making it greener.

Cedar shingles also have natural preservatives which make them resistant to decay and insect infestation. In addition, due to the natural tight grained particles in cedar, cedar roofing shingles are very stable and thus resistant to warping, cupping, and shrinking. In moister climates, e.g. along seacoasts, redwood cedar turns black. Consequently, many homeowners of beach homes, particularly along the New England coast, use white cedar shingles to prevent their roofs and homes from having a dark or black appearance.

The natural oils in cedar shingles is what makes them so resistant to weather, ultraviolet light, and insects. However, over time the sun can dry out the shingles making them vulnerable to decay and damage.

Cedar roof shingles

Consequently, to maximize the lifespan of cedar shingles a protective finish should be applied to them periodically. Typical cedar roof shingle finishes include stains, oils, and paints. For best roofing installation results, it’s preferable to buy cedar shingles with a finish already applied to them. This way the entire shingle, all six sides of it, are coated in the finish, thus sealing it entirely from the natural elements.

Cedar roofing shingles can also be restored to extend their life. With restoration, the shingles need to be thoroughly cleaned prior to applying a penetrating finishing oil or stain. With white cedar shingles bleaching oil works best to extend their lifespan. Every five to seven years an application of bleaching oil should be applied to them to extend their life and increase their durability.

Today there are synthetic cedar shingles on the market that do not require maintenance and have longer warranties. They are also available in many different colors and are more economical than natural cedar shingles. But this said, they still don’t beat the look and elegance that natural cedar shingles offer. So if you want to add an unmatched style to your home take a look into using real cedar shingles.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet

For more help on Shingling Your Home’s Roof, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won’t end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing Cost Estimator

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