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The Distinction Between Wood Shingles & Shakes

When used in roof covering, wood can be either shakes or shingles. Wood shakes have been used for centuries. TheyTurner Roofing are divided from logs and frequently left as split to retain the textured, rough-hewn impact. A wood shake is quickly recognizable by its thick butt end. With the development of commercial sawmills a wood shake was typically sawn after splitting to accomplish an uniform back side.

These sawmills likewise produced a completely uniform product with an even taper and identical thickness by sawing shakes on both sides. This manufactured product is known as a wood shingle.

California redwood, western red cedar, cypress, spruce and pine are all utilized to make wood shakes and shingles. Cedar is the most popular wood for shakes, southern yellow pine is also popular. Wood shakes and shingles can be pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives.

Kinds of Asphalt Shingling

Asphalt or composition shingles are most commonly built from natural material or fiberglass. Asphalt shingles are built upon a base or mat that was initially made of absorbent cotton rags. Later on, more readily offered wood pulp or paper changed the natural fibers. Asphalt was put onto that base, known as “felt.” In the 1970s fibrous glass was introduced, which did not rot like the natural materials. Today, 95 percent of asphalt shingles include fiberglass felt.


It is difficult to beat the look of a natural wood roof. If you are making over a conventional older home, cedar roof is most likely the traditionally appropriate option. Not that asphalt shingles are an unappealing alternative.

Asphalt shingles been available in a variety of colors and shapes and patterned asphalt roofs can be appealing in their own right. Beyond looking fantastic, wood shingling does not win numerous contrast battles with its asphalt-covered competition. Let’s check out some of the pros and cons up on your roofing system …

Pros and Cons:-


Life span for both asphalt and wood shingles is a difficult matter. Let’s tick off all the elements that can affect the durability of a roof covering: quality of installation, diligence of maintenance, quality of products, age of the house, overhanging trees, climate and foot traffic. Chemically dealt with wood will outlast untreated shakes and shingles and a shake will make it through longer than a shingle. Both asphalt and treated wood shingles can make it through 30 years on a roofing system, offered perfect conditions.


Cedar shingles are resistant to bugs but not large quantities of rain. Cedar shakes in a wet environment are vulnerable to mold and mildew and rot. Sap from overhanging trees will encourage mildew. When rot sets in it has actually most likely affected more than a single shake and the entire roofing system is a candidate for replacement.

Materials & Installation Costs

In the roofing industry, an 18-inch wood shingle is referred to as “Perfection” and 24-inch wide shingles are known as “Royal.” A wood shake is a premium product, costing around $3.50 per square foot versus $2.50 a square foot for wood shingles.

The most expensive option for shingling a roof is wood shakes – between $6.00 to $9.00 per square foot or $600 and $900 per square (100 square feet), installed. Wood shingles are slightly less pricey at $4.00 to $7.00 per square foot or $400 to $700 per square, installed.

Asphalt roofing can cost as little as $2.50 to $4.00 per square foot or $250 to $400 per square, installed.Asphalt has its own weather issues. Algae is most likely to take hold on an asphalt roofing system than cedar shakes. While this will not hinder your roofing system’s security capabilities, it does result in undesirable staining and early replacement on look grounds, especially at resale time. Cleaning either a asphalt or wood shingle roofing system with a solution of water and bleach applied professionally with a powerwasher will range from $25 to $30 per square. And this is a job best delegated proficient professionals as an inadequately dealt with powerwasher can ruin roofing shingles.


Some building codes where fire is a danger limit or ban using wood shingling entirely. Asphalt shingles have a high resistance to flames. Remember that wood shakes and shingles can be pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives.

Wind and Impact Resistance

Cedar shakes and shingles are the clear winner here. Both have proven to be highly impact-resistant and have actually tested to withstand wind speeds of up to 245 miles per hour (which your house will never ever see). Asphalt shingles will, however, blow off a roofing system in high winds. Fallen branches are also far more most likely to damage an asphalt shingle that a wood one.


Cedar is a high maintenance material. For starters, the wood needs to breathe and the roofing system needs to be kept clear of leaves, branches and particles. Rain gutters need to be frequently cleaned up and ventilation kept open for air to flow around the shakes and shingles. Topical treatments can be used as water repellents and ultraviolet inhibitors that can prevent graying of a roofing system. If specific shakes or shingles are required they will match the structure and color of the initial roof– score one point for cedar.

While algae will not hinder the performance of asphalt shingles, mosses that grow on a wet roof can cause the edges to lift or curl leaving them susceptible to a blow-off in storms. Moss can be gotten rid of with a 50:50 mix of laundry-strength liquid chlorine bleach and water soaked with a low-pressure sprayer. The moss will eventually loosen up and can be swept the roofing. It will return, however, if a number of the same steps as keeping a wood roofing dry– trimming tree branches, getting rid of particles and cleaning seamless gutters– are not followed. Replacing private shingles is typically a Do It Yourself job.

ROI, Home Valuations, and Curb Appeal Considerations

In terms of home evaluations, replacing a cedar roofing with asphalt will quickly diminish the worth of your house.– On some historical houses, in addition to homes surrounded by other houses roofed with cedar, such as in historic districts/neighborhoods, this might not even be an option to begin with. However, if you should change a cedar roofing system with something else, then selecting a metal roofing system rather than asphalt will help protect the valuation and curb appeal of your house.


On the cost and maintenance considerations– the “Big Two” for many homeowners– asphalt shingles are the clear option over wood shakes. And in fact, about 70 percent of American roofing systems are covered with asphalt shingles today. On the other hand, those wood shingled-roofs just look so darn excellent, don’t they?