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The Difference Between Wood Shingles & Shakes

When used in roof covering, wood can be either shakes or shingles. Wood shakes have actually been utilized for centuries. They are split from logs and frequently left as split to maintain the textured, rough-hewn effect. A wood shake is immediately recognizable by its thick butt end. With the advent of industrial sawmills a wood shake was often sawn after splitting to accomplish an uniform rear end.Turner Roofing

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

California redwood, western red cedar, cypress, spruce and pine are all utilized to manufacture 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 typically constructed from organic product 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 replaced the natural fibers. Asphalt was poured onto that base, called “felt.” In the 1970s fibrous glass was presented, which did not rot like the natural products. Today, 95 percent of asphalt shingles feature fiberglass felt.

Visual appeals

It is difficult to beat the look of a natural wood roofing system. If you are making over a conventional older house, cedar roof is probably the historically appropriate option. Not that asphalt shingles are an unattractive option.

Asphalt shingles can be found in a wide range of colors and shapes and patterned asphalt roofs can be eye-catching in their own right. Beyond looking fantastic, wood shingling does not win lots of comparison battles with its asphalt-covered competition. Let’s check out some of the pros and cons up on your roof …

Advantages and disadvantages:-


Life span for both asphalt and wood shingles is a tricky matter. Let’s check off all the factors that can affect the longevity of a roof covering: quality of setup, diligence of maintenance, quality of materials, age of your home, overhanging trees, climate and foot traffic. Chemically dealt with wood will last longer than untreated shakes and shingles and a shake will endure longer than a shingle. Both asphalt and treated wood shingles can endure 30 years on a roofing system, given perfect conditions.


Cedar shingles are resistant to bugs however not large amounts of rain. Cedar shakes in a wet environment are susceptible to mold and mildew and rot. Sap from overhanging trees will encourage mildew. When rot sets in it has likely affected more than a single shake and the whole 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 condition issues. Algae is most likely to take hold on an asphalt roofing than cedar shakes. While this will not hamper your roofing’s security abilities, it does result in unsightly staining and premature replacement on appearance grounds, particularly at resale time. Cleaning either a asphalt or wood shingle roofing with a service of water and bleach used professionally with a powerwasher will run from $25 to $30 per square. And this is a task best delegated competent specialists as a poorly handled powerwasher can wreak havoc on roofing system shingles.


Some building regulations where fire is a risk restrict or ban using wood shingling altogether. Asphalt shingles have a high resistance to flames. Keep in mind that wood shakes and shingles can be pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives.

Wind and Effect Resistance

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


Cedar is a high maintenance product. For starters, the wood needs to breathe and the roof must be kept clear of leaves, branches and particles. Seamless gutters must be regularly cleaned and ventilation kept open for air to flow around the shakes and shingles. Topical treatments can be applied as water repellents and ultraviolet inhibitors that can avoid graying of a roof. If specific shakes or shingles are needed they will match the structure and color of the original roof– score one point for cedar.

While algae will not impair the efficiency of asphalt shingles, mosses that grow on a damp roof can trigger the edges to lift or curl leaving them vulnerable 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 ultimately loosen up and can be swept the roofing. It will return, nevertheless, if much of the same procedures as keeping a wood roofing dry– trimming tree branches, getting rid of debris and clearing seamless gutters– are not followed. Changing specific shingles is typically a Do It Yourself job.

ROI, Residential or commercial property Assessments, and Suppress Appeal Considerations

In regards to home assessments, changing a cedar roofing with asphalt will instantly decrease the value of your house.– On some historic houses, in addition to homes surrounded by other homes roofed with cedar, such as in historic districts/neighborhoods, this may not even be a choice to begin with. But, if you need to replace a cedar roofing system with something else, then opting for a metal roofing rather than asphalt will assist protect the evaluation and curb appeal of your home.


On the cost and maintenance factors to consider– the “Big 2” for the majority of 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, do not they?