If you want to try a different look when you get a new roof, consider wood shake roofing. Wood shakes are an upgrade from asphalt shingles, and they look good on a variety of homes. They're even suitable for historic homes. You may not know much about wood shake roofs if you've never had one, so here's a look at a few things you might like to know.
Wood Shakes Change Color Over Time
Wood shakes have an attractive color when they're first put on. The shakes are usually made of cedar that has a brownish-red color. However, exposure to the sun and weather causes the shakes to oxidize and turn a gray color after a few years. The gray color is natural, and it happens due to the roof aging.
If you love the original color of new cedar, you may want to stop the oxidation process. This can be done with a wood stain. However, be sure to talk to a wood shake roofing contractor first. Stains can keep the cedar from breathing, and that can shorten the life of your roof. You'll want to hear the pros and cons of staining from a roofer so you make the right decision about how you'll let your roof age.
Cedar Shakes Protect Your Roof With Their Oils
Cedarwood has oils in it that protect the roof from insect damage, moisture, and fungi. That's why cedar is often chosen for roof shakes, fences, and decks. The natural oils help the shakes have a long life, and they reduce the need for repairs.
One thing the oils don't protect against is moss. Moss is harmful to any type of roof, including shakes. You may need to hire a roofer to remove moss if it starts growing on the shakes.
There Are Three Grades Of Cedar Shakes
Wood shake roofing can have different looks depending on if they're hand-split or sawed. Different grades of shakes can look slightly different too. The lowest and least expensive grade is common shakes. These are often cut from leftover tree parts and they may not last as long as higher-quality shakes.
The straight-grain shakes are the most expensive and highest quality. These are able to lay flat on the roof so they are more durable and last longer. Plus, they're taken from large cedar trees that are cut into manageable chunks so the premium wood can be harvested. They have a tapered shape that allows them to hug your roof.
Select-grade wood shake roofing is a mix of common and straight-grain shakes. The roofer can select the combination of shakes needed to give your roof an attractive appearance at a mid-range price.
Choosing the grade for your shakes could be a matter of keeping in your budget. However, if your budget allows it, opting for straight-grain shakes could be the best idea even though they cost more. The higher-grade roofing shakes have a longer life and more attractive appearance.
A company like Rainbow Roof Maintenance can answer your questions about wood shake roofing.