When it is time to select materials for your home’s roof, you’ll be faced with some decisions to make. One choice has to do with the type of shingles you want to have installed and you may be surprised at the number of options available. Traditional asphalt shingles are most often used due to the relatively low price point and the ease of installation. Asphalt shingles are always a good choice, but may not be the aesthetic you or your homeowner’s association requires. 

Cedar shake shingles are one of the higher-end options, but for those who opt to use them, the benefits often outweigh the cost. And, there is no denying that a cedar shake roof has timeless appeal and gives your home a richness that just can’t be achieved with other traditional roofing options.

What is a Shake?

When speaking of roofs, shakes are simply a hand split, rusticlooking roofing shingle. Each shingle is high-quality and extremely durable and comes in random widths to provide built-in variety during installation.

Shake shingles made from cedar offer several benefits to homeowners. Cedar is a strong, flexible, aromatic wood found primarily in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Once cut into shakes, the fine grain and consistent texture is ideal to use as a roofing material. It is resistant to humidity, responds well to temperature fluctuations, and is extremely longlasting. With proper care and maintenance, cedar shake roofs can last up to 60 years.

Cedar Shake Shingles are a Long-Term Investment

There is no denying that cedar roofing has a higher upfront cost than other kinds of roofing, such as asphalt shingles. However, those who select them as their roofing material of choice realize significant benefits over the life of their home that can add up to measurable savings for the long term. 

Five of the most notable benefits of cedar shake roofing are highlighted below:

    1. Naturally beautiful. The high-end look of cedar shake is best described as being classic and timeless. There are many varieties of color, as well as stains and finishes that can be added to coordinate the color of your shake roof with the aesthetic you are hoping to achieve. Your home’s curb appeal is enhanced considerably by the beauty and charm of natural cedar shakes.
    2. Superior insulation. Simply put, because cedar shakes are thicker than regular asphalt shingles, they provide an effective insulating barrier that can produce measurable energy savings. The Green Building Advisory offers a more technical explanation: “as a measure of insulation, shakes have a 19.2 percent better R-value which will allow your heating and cooling systems to run less… When comparing energy bills of homeowners with cedar vs. asphalt shingles, those with cedar shakes save on average 19 percent annually on heating and cooling of their homes.”
    3. Resilience. Natural cedar shakes perform exceptionally well when subjected to extreme weather, moisture, and even insects. Treated cedar has built-in moisture- and insect resistance, which isn’t easily impacted by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Because of their thickness, cedar shakes are also less vulnerable to heavy winds and debris that can be caused by storms. Fire-resistance can also be a factory-added treatment for cedar shakes.
    4. Quick and Easy Installation.  Cedar shakes can be installed quickly and require no special tools for cutting or fastening. They work on all types of roofs and are ideal for high-pitched roofs. Professional roofers find cedar shakes to be easy to cut, saw and nail. Once in place, they stay securely in place. Even in areas of high humidity, cedar shakes retain their original shape and dimensions. As a low-density material, cedar shakes lay flat and remain straight while holding tightly to their fastenings.
    5. 100% Natural and Sustainable. Cedar shake shingles come from natural sources and are not manufactured, which results in a notably lower carbon footprint. Even damaged or aging shakes that are removed can be repurposed or recycled, which results in far fewer discarded roofing materials in landfills.

Maintenance of Cedar Shake Roofs

There are no roofing materials that are completely maintenance-free and cedar shakes are no exception. Although they are durable, good maintenance practices can help make your roofing investment last even longer. Your roofing professional can provide you with options to lengthen the life of your roof, which may include quality exterior coatings, sealants, fire retardants, or mold and fungus prevention.

Do homes in Northern and Central New Jersey use cedar shakes for roofing? The answer is yes! If you are interested in a naturallooking roof for your home’s exterior, installing a cedar shake roof is a great option. Not only does cedar shake roofing provide a rustic look, but the shakes are extremely durable and can last for a lifetime. 

If you are interested in the many benefits of a cedar shake roof, call the cedar shake roof installation experts at Alte Exteriors, LLC today. We offer roofing consultations to find the best option for you and your home! We proudly serve Hunterdon | Somerset | Morris | Middlesex | Warren | Princeton | Sussex | and Surrounding Counties.