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Wood Roofing

If you have a major renovation job planned
for your roof, wood roofing is no doubt one of the types you have considered. After
all, it is one of the most popular roofing materials today. Wood shakes
and shingles provide a warm and elegant look. It is the aesthetic elements of
wood that probably have the most appeal. This decorative, functional, and natural
material is very popular on the West Coast and in the Northwest.

Three factors to consider:

  1. The cost of wood roofing materials and equipment is a little more than for plain-looking alternatives like metal and slate.
  2. The main types of wood roofing are western red cedar, cypress, pine, and redwood.
  3. Wood roofing materials are either cut as shingles, smooth and equal in size, while shakes are rough in texture, being made from split lumber.

Wood does a much better job of
shedding water run-off than you might think and resists heat transmission twice
as well as composition shingles. They do require more maintenance than other
types of roofing, so it is advisable to treat wood shingles and shakes with a
preservative to prevent premature rot or decay in harsher climates. In some
locations, wood shakes and shingles are banned or require the preservative for
fire protection in order to cover codes and insurance
policies
.

Wood roofing looks striking as time
and weather age it in a mottled, variegated way. Despite being natural, this
roofing can last 25 to 50 years if maintained and treated for protection.
Consider wood for your new home build or renovation project. It
will be worth it as homeowners seem unable to resist the look of a natural
material.

If you have a major renovation job planned for your roof, wood roofing is probably one of the types you’re considering. After all, it is one of the most popular roofing materials available today, no doubt due to its warm and elegant look. Here is some more information to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your home.

Costs

The cost of wood roofing depends on the type of wood used, the size of the roof, and the cut of the wood—either shake or shingle. Wood shingles cost, on average, $4-$7 per square foot. Wood shakes cost a bit more at $6-$9 per square foot. It’s best to get a few price quotes from licensed roofers and go from there.

Pros

Wood roofing has a naturally warm look.

It resists heat transmission twice as much as composition shingles.

Wood roofing is generally easy to repair or replace.

Cons

A wood roof can be pricy.

Wood roofing requires more maintenance than other roofing materials.

Wood is prone to rotting, splitting, and mold and mildew.

Durability

If properly installed, treated and maintained, a wood roof can last for an impressive 25-50 years.

Maintenance

Unfortunately, wood roofing requires more maintenance than most other roofing products. This means regularly cleaning debris from both the roof and gutter, treating the roof with a preservative to prevent premature rot or decay, installing zinc or copper strips that can keep mold and mildew from growing, and washing the roof per the advice of your manufacturer.

Common Questions and Answers

What are the different cuts available with wood roofing?

Wood roofing materials are either cut as shingles, smooth and equal in size, or shakes made from split lumber that are rough in texture.

Should a wood roof not be used in an area of high humidity and moisture?

While it may not be the best roofing option for an area with high humidity and moisture, a wood roof can be treated with a fungicide after the first year to keep fungus and mildew from forming.

History

Wood has been a popular roofing material throughout the history of America because of how readily available the material has always been. The shingle industry grew substantially in the 19th century, when steam-powered saws were invented to create more uniform shapes. Wood is now a staple in the roofing industry.

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