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What Is Cedar Shake Roofing?

Cedar shake roofing is an extremely popular choice for homeowners who want to add beauty and character to their homes. Cedar is an elegant material used on roofs for centuries, yet it still looks modern and stylish today. Whether looking for a one-story ranch house or a multi-level Victorian, cedar shake roofing can be installed almost anywhere. 

This article will explain what homes benefit most from this type of roof, how long they last, how much they cost, whether they come with warranties or maintenance requirements, why they are considered environmentally friendly—and more! So let’s get started.

Cedar Roofing Compared to Other Materials

Cedar shake roofing is a natural product. It’s made with cedar shakes, which are sawn from the logs of the Western Red Cedar tree. Because it’s a renewable resource, you can feel good about choosing this option for your home. The wood looks great on your roof and will last many years!

Benefits of a Cedar Shake Roof Installation

Cedar Shake Roofing is a wise investment that can help you save on heating, cooling, and storm damage costs. It’s also a very attractive addition to your home that can increase its value.

Below are some of the benefits you’ll experience when you have your roof replaced with cedar shake:

  • Reduced energy costs: Due to their insulation qualities, cedar shake roofs reduce the amount of heat loss from homes and apartment buildings during the winter months. This reduction in energy use leads to lower bills for homeowners who use natural gas or electricity for heat.
  • Reduced cooling costs: During the summer, when temperatures rise higher than usual outside, the temperatures inside your home may also reach uncomfortable levels! Unfortunately, no one can do anything about the rising outdoor temperatures—except install a new cedar shake material for their home’s exterior covering! These roofs help protect your home from thermal heat transfer, which helps keep your home cooler through the summer months.

Grades of Cedar Shake Roofing

The grades of cedar shake roofing are based on the thickness of the cedar shake. The thicker the shakes, the higher quality they are. Cedar Shake Roofing comes in three grades:

  • Grade 1: This is one of the lowest qualities of cedar shake roofing because it has a fragile veneer and many splits and cracks. It is not recommended for use as a roofing material due to its delicate nature and inability to withstand high winds or heavy snow loads.
  • Grade 2: This grade is slightly more durable than its inferior counterpart but does not have enough strength to be considered appropriate for residential use due to its thinness. The thinness allows water penetration into your attic space if any damage is done by squirrels or other animals that nest inside your home, like birds or raccoons.
  • Grade 3: This is the best grade of cedar shakes. To be considered part of this grade, the shakes are hand-checked to ensure they are straight-grained. When the shakes have straight grain, they can lay on one another more easily and shed water. It is worth the extra money spent if you are planning on purchasing a shake roof to upgrade to this level of shake.

Can you install cedar shakes on any roof?

You can install cedar shakes on almost any roof in any weather. You can also install them in most climates or even to keep your home cool in summer or warm in winter. Cedar shakes are a fantastic product that will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. They’re incredibly durable and can withstand anything from rainstorms to fierce winds without cracking or peeling away from your home’s structure.

Because cedar shake shingles come in one size only—15 inches wide by 48 inches long—you won’t have to worry about sizing according to your roof’s pitch (slope), which means there’s no such thing as “too steep” when it comes time to choose this type of shingle material. However, if your pitch is over 6:12 (6 inches rise per 12-inch run), you may need professional assistance installing these due to their weight and size requirements; otherwise, they’ll be difficult for a single person with average strength levels alone!

How long will cedar shakes last?

Cedar shakes are durable and long-lasting, but you still have to ensure they’re correctly maintained. If you don’t take care of your cedar shingle roofing material, it could lose its aesthetic appeal and become a safety hazard.

Your cedar shake roof will need repair at some point in its lifespan. For example, the shingles may need to be replaced or repaired if there’s storm damage or fire damage on your home’s exterior. You can also get small cracks in your cedar shingle roof that need repair by sealing them over with sealant so they don’t develop into more significant problems later down the line.

The Cost of Cedar Shake Roofing

As with any other type of roofing, the cost of cedar shake roofing depends on various factors. The most important factors are the size and grade of the shingles and how much work needs to be done during installation.

The average cost for installation ranges from $6.50 per square foot to $13.50 per square foot. However, this can vary depending on where you live, who does your installation (a contractor or DIY), and whether or not you have a metal base sheet underneath your cedar shakes.

Do cedar shake roofs come with a warranty?

Most cedar shake roofing manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their roofs. But what does that mean, exactly? Is your entire roof covered? What won’t they honor?

What is covered by the warranty?

  • Materials—roofing shingles, nails and fasteners, flashings (metal trim that fits between boards), weather stripping, caulk around windows/doors
  • Labor costs associated with replacement or repair due to manufacturing defect

Do cedar shake roofs have to be maintained?

Yes, cedar shake roofing must be maintained. The maintenance requirements for a cedar shake roof are similar to those of other roofing styles. The life expectancy of a cedar shake roof can be significantly extended by regularly cleaning and sealing it and treating it with fire-retardant chemicals.

A thorough cleaning is required every 3-5 years, depending on the amount of debris collected on the surface of your cedar shake shingles over time. Most roofs will require an initial cleaning after installation since they trap dust from construction activities such as sawing wood into shakes or nailing in nails used to secure them to the sheathing beneath them. While most people do not realize this at first because they think their new roof looks great right away, this initial period is prime time for dirt and debris to collect on their brand-new shingle roofs before they get sealed properly. You should use a sealant to prevent this from happening again in future years, but it won’t remove any existing material stuck onto them already. So clean them up thoroughly before applying any sealant product!


You should discuss this topic with a professional if you have concerns about whether cedar shake roofing is suitable for your home. That way, they can help you determine which grade of cedar shake best suits your needs and budget—as well as explain the installation process and advise how often maintenance will need to be performed. Cedar shakes are a massive upgrade to any house you should be proud of once accomplished. 

Allegiant Exteriors offers cedar shake installation and other roofing installation services. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your project. 

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