Negative Aspects of Wood Shingles
Unless it is properly maintained and repaired, a wood shake roof will not last as long as a roof made from other materials. This increases the lifecycle cost of the roof. Insects, rot, and mold present issues for this type of shingle. From an environmental perspective, wood shakes are not desirable because they cannot be recycled. In addition, wood is not the best material to use for fire safety purposes. The spray or wipe-on fire retardants used on the shakes last for only a few years and provide less protection against fires.
Roofers have a more complicated job when they must install wood shakes as opposed to traditional asphalt shingles. The quality of the wood shakes and experience level of the roofer determine the quality of the installed roof. The best types of wood shakes are made from heartwood of old, large cedar trees. Different shake mills produce different calibers of the product.
Benefits of Wood Shingles
A wood roof provides energy benefits because it has an insulating quality. It also provides the roof with breathability. Shingles are laid on felt rows atop small openings that permit circulation of air. Fire retardant is impregnated on pressure-treated wood shakes, causing these to meet national standards for fire safety. A pressure treated wood shingle lasts longer than one made from another type of wood.
As a counter to not being recyclable, these shingles are manufactured from natural materials, most made from renewable varieties of trees. If the wood is sealed, it is not as prone to weather-related deterioration. This allows the roof to endure sun, rain, snow, and wind for a longer time without needing to be replaced.
Cedar shingles are a popular type of wood shingles and are one of the oldest roofing materials. As they age, their finish takes on a soft silver or gray hue. They withstand strong winds, storms, hurricanes, and impact from debris. A home with a cedar shingle roof has curb appeal, which may cause property value to increase.