The vast majority of American homes are topped with asphalt. Asphalt shingles, that is. However, just because every other roof in your neighborhood uses asphalt shingles, that doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. Shake off the shackles of conformity! Why not use wood shakes instead? With their natural and unique look, wood shakes might be the perfect complement to your home. However, before you rip down your old roof and start installing wooden shingles, be sure to learn about the pros and cons of wood shakes . . .
Pros and Cons of Wood Shakes
PRO: Wood shakes are distinctive and beautiful.
If you prefer a natural, rustic, woodsy look for your home, wood shakes will fit right in. Because you’re working with real wood, there will be variations in the color and grain, making every wood shake roof uniquely gorgeous.
CON: Wooden shakes require a lot of maintenance.
Working with wood, it should come as no surprise that moisture and insects will be a concern. If you don’t take proper care of your roof, you may have to deal with mold or rot. You will also need to inspect your wood shake roof annually, to assess its condition and make repairs as needed. To extend its life, consider applying a preservative or finish.
PRO: Wood shakes last longer than asphalt roofs.
With proper installation and care, wood shake roofs should last between 30 and 60 years. Their lifespan is about 5-10 years longer than asphalt shingles. Wood is durable and resistant to extreme weather including hail, snow, and severe storms as well.
CON: Wood shakes are difficult to install and repair.
Wood shakes must be installed by an experienced professional due to their tricky installation. Because of this, as you might have guessed, the installation cost will rise. Repairs are not simple, and because your shingles will shift in color over time, replacement shingles won’t match the originals.
PRO: Wood shakes are an environmentally-friendly choice.
Wood is a natural and renewable resource, and because the material is biodegradable, you won’t have to worry about your wooden shakes sitting in a landfill, years from now, with all of those synthetic shingles.
CON: Wood shakes can be a fire hazard.
Most wooden shake roofs use a wipe or spray-on fire retardant, which offers some protection against fire. However, a wooden shake roof will never be as fire-safe as other roofing materials like slate or ceramic tile. Additionally, you will have to reapply the fire retardant every few years. To combat this problem, look for pressure-treated shakes that meet national fire safety standards.
PRO: Wood shakes are unique.
In most neighborhoods, a home with wooden shakes will stand out. Additionally, because of the variations in the type of wood chosen, the color, and the grain, even if your neighbor’s home is topped with wood shakes, it won’t look quite like your own wood shake roof.
CON: Wood shakes are expensive.
Wood shakes can be quite pricey. In addition to the cost of the materials, you’ll have to pay extra for installation and repairs as well. However, they do cost less than slate shingles.
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So what do you think? Wooden shake roofs are undoubtedly beautiful, but are you willing to deal with the high costs and maintenance? This list of pros and cons should help you make up your mind. Good luck!
If you’re remodeling your house or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home (or roof!) of your dreams.