The Pros and Cons of Wood Shake Roof

wood shake roof

When it comes to making the decision of what type of roofing materials you want to use on your home or business, you have a wide variety of options. Most people are well-aware of the common options such as asphalt shingles, tiles, and metal roofing, but there is another option that has become reduced in its popularity in recent years. That option is wood shakes.

At HotEdge, our ice dam prevention experts have experience with and knowledge about wood shingles and many other roofing materials. Our team is happy to discuss the benefits of wood shake roofs and how our products can help in preventing ice dams from forming on any type of roofing material, including wood shakes.

What Are Wood Shingles/Shakes?

As you travel throughout your city, you have probably seen homes and businesses with shingles on their roofs. Usually, these shingles are asphalt, and their appearance is very obvious. Other roofing materials, though, can be used, and an eco-friendly option is natural wood shakes.

Wood shakes, or wooden shingles, are made using cypress, redwood, western red cedar, and/or pine trees. They are split from actual wooden logs and shaped into the proper size, depth, and texture for use in roofing. They create their own particular aesthetic as opposed to the various other roof types that you may find out there.

Are They Similar to Asphalt Shingles?

Generally, no. Other than providing great protection for the interior of your home as a solid roofing option, they are not similar to asphalt even though they are both referred to as shingles. They are different in texture, size, and depth, so do not confuse wood shake with asphalt.

Benefits of Wood Shakes As Your Roofing Materials

Wood shingles have been used as a roofing material for hundreds of years because a wood roof is well-known for its protective qualities. Before asphalt, metal, and tile were ever utilized for covering the roof surface, wood was the obvious choice and it continues to be a great option for roofs all over the world.

There are many benefits of using wood shingles for your roof, and these advantages include:

  • They are environmentally friendly since they are made from a renewable resource and do not require fossil fuels in their production
  • They are energy efficient (which could lead to energy savings for you) because they have natural insulating properties
  • As long as the professionals tasked with installing wood shingles have fastened them properly, wood shingles provide more wind resistance than certain other materials.
  • Certain wood types that the shingles are made from such as cedar are also natural pest deterrents, so you will not have to worry about insect infestation
  • When wood shingles are treated properly, they have greater levels of resistance to moisture and are fire-retardant, if chemically treated
  • Cedar wood shingles do not lose their form or structure when presented with high humidity or moisture levels, and they are protected from UV rays and rot
  • Wood shingles provide a particular aesthetic that is quite pleasing, especially compared to many other types of roofing material options

As with other materials for roofs, there are some drawbacks to wood shakes as well.

Disadvantages to Wood Shingles for Your Residential or Commercial Roof

It is important to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of all roof options with your roofing contractors to ensure that you are making the right decision. Here are a few drawbacks to using wood shingles for your roof:

  • Certain woods absorb moisture extremely well and retain that moisture for a long time. This can cause mold and mildew to grow, leading to the potential for water damage and rot throughout the roofing system
  • Wood, by its nature, is flammable, and even wood shakes that have been treated with chemical fire retardants may still pose a fire threat
  • Over time, wood shakes will become discolored or faded, especially with heavy moisture, so if you are looking to maintain a particular color for your roof, wood shakes may not be the best option
  • Cracking can be a problem with wood since that is something that happens naturally over time. While it does add to a certain aesthetic for the wood roof, it can lead to leaking and water damage

As a homeowner or business owner, it is critical that you consider all of your roofing options when you are constructing a new building or are having a roof replacement done. Wood shakes can be a great option for your roof, but it is essential that you understand the pros and cons of the material.

Can I Install an Ice Dam Prevention System on Wood Shingles?

Yes! At HotEdge, we have a few different ice dam prevention products for you to choose from when it comes to your wood shake roofing. If you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfall, you are likely well aware of the issues that ice dams can pose to your roof. Ice dam problems are very common, and ice dam damage can be very expensive to repair once the snow melts.

At HotEdge, we believe that it is important to understand how ice dams form and why prevention is a better option than ice dam removal. If you want to prevent ice dams from forming on your wood shake roofing, here are a few options that can be installed on your roof which can instantly change your perspective about the upcoming winter months:

  • HotShake PRO
  • HotShake PRO2X
  • HotFlashing PRO
  • HotValley PRO

Our team at HotEdge is happy to talk to you about the danger of ice dams on your roof as well as the above options for preventing ice dams.

Contact Our Experts to Learn How to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Wood Shake Roofing

If you are a homeowner or business owner looking for a great product to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, contact HotEdge.

We have products for all types of roofs, including wood shake roofs, and we are excited to get you started with our ice dam prevention systems!


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