Blog

11 Dec

Cedar Shake Roof Materials: Providing Many Benefits for Homeowners

Wooden shake or shingle roofs may be more expensive and difficult to install than other types of roof. However, they have remained the top choice for homeowners who want durable roofs that can withstand harsh weather conditions. At the same time, wood roofs provide the aesthetic appeal not found in other roofing materials.

In fact, despite their relatively high cost, wood roofs exude that distinct beauty and natural appearance that have made them the roofing of choice for many architects and building contractors. Wooden roofs are usually made of western red cedar shake roof materials, like those offered by WoodRoof.com, and blend perfectly well with their environment.

Meanwhile, natural cedar shake roofs made from Alaskan yellow cedar—a relative newcomer in the shingles market—is slightly denser than red cedar, and offers better resistance to splitting and cracking. It’s also dimensionally stable and contains natural oils that increase its resistance to decay. If you’re looking for a reliable cedar shake type, Alaskan yellow cedar is one of the best choices.

Posted at the Pacific Northwest Handbooks.org, an article by S.S. Niemiec and T.D. Brown of the Oregon State University (OSU) provides valuable information on the care and maintenance of these wood shingle and shake roofs. According to Niemiec and Brown, a wooden shingle or shake roof has become a premium product that provides great protection for homes in areas that experience strong winds and frequent hail. Although these shake roofs can be vulnerable to rotting, splitting, and warping, such damages can be minimized or avoided through proper care.

Yellow cedar shakes and shingles can be durable, but they require proper maintenance to maximize their service life. By applying the necessary chemical treatments, cleaning solutions, and bleaching formulas, you can enhance and preserve their appearance. There are various products in the market that can serve this purpose.

While cedar shakes or shingles may be more costly, they are environment-friendly as they are bio-degradable. They also provide many benefits to homeowners. These shakes or shingles are lightweight but are wind- and impact-resistant, and they add curb appeal to your property. If you want a more attractive home, cedar roofs can provide the value you want.

(Article Excerpt and Image from “Care and Maintenance of Wood Shingle and Shake Roofs,” Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook)

10 Dec

Why Should You Install Cedar Shingles for Your Roofing and Siding

Global warming is a devastating phenomenon that affects everyone, and it can only worsen if carbon reduction measures are not enforced right away. Responsible homeowners, therefore, make it a point to reduce their carbon footprints. Tom Zeller Jr.’s article for The Huffington Post points out why it seems so difficult to prevent carbon dioxide from entering and damaging the atmosphere:

Carbon dioxide emissions come from lots of sources -- cars and trucks, for example, or residential and commercial buildings. But heavy industry and electricity production, both of which rely to a significant extent on the burning of coal, natural gas or oil to do what they do, make for a highly polluting combination. According to the Energy Information Administration, the world currently spews a little less than 35 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere every year. About a quarter of that comes from burning coal, oil and natural gas for electricity and heat. Another 20 percent arises from large-scale industrial activity, including chemical, metal and mineral processing.

An energy-efficient home upgrade—such as the installation of cedar shingle siding, for instance—is one way of transforming your home into an eco-friendly one. You can start by replacing your old asphalt shingles with those made of cedar. Cedar from sustainable forests is a durable and lightweight green roofing option that also enhances your home’s curb appeal.

Asphalt roofing shingles may be inexpensive, but they may also not be the most energy-efficient materials available. Millions of asphalt shingles end up in landfills each year, while those made from cedar can be recycled or reused. Indeed, installing cedar shingles for your siding and roofing can be the best thing you can do for your home as well as for the environment.

Cedar roofing and siding shingles are resilient to extreme weather conditions, due in large part to their higher thermal resistivity (R-value) as compared to other materials like asphalt, concrete, and steel. Natural oils found in cedar wood also prevent rot, while the placement of cedar roofing encourages better airflow to keep roof mold growth at bay. Cedar shingle roofing and siding can last from 30 to 50 years depending on your area’s weather patterns and the way the products have been installed and maintained.

With cedar roofs, natural aesthetics go hand in hand with performance. If you want the sort of biodegradable and eye-catching roof that can enhance your home’s resale value and rustic appeal, then you certainly can’t go wrong with Western red cedar shingles. Count on a trusted company like WoodRoofing.com to offer high-quality cedar siding and roofing products.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Carbon Capture And Storage: Global Warming Panacea, Or Fossil Fuel Pipe Dream?, The Huffington Post, 08/19/2013)

09 Dec

Homes Look Better and Last Longer with Quality Cedar Shingle Siding

DoItYourself.com discusses the major benefits of durable and lightweight cedar siding, and compares it to other commercially available siding materials. Among other things, the article points out cedar's beauty, excellent insulating property, and durability as the main factors for its continued popularity.

Compared to other types of wood, cedar has excellent resistance to rot, bacteria, fungi and mildew. This makes it a much tougher wood that is less prone to problems. All it requires is a cleaning about twice a year and regular inspection for termites and moisture accumulation. If you provide proper care, your cedar siding will last for many decades. It is a low maintenance siding unlike other types of wood.

Siding protects your home from the elements by serving as the cladding for the exterior wall surface. Since the siding material covers virtually all the home exterior, this is your home’s most visible surface. The entire look of your home, thus, depends to a large extent on the type and quality of any siding material you choose. Western Red Cedar shingle siding, in particular, is known for its natural warmth, beauty, and superior impact-resistant quality, plus the sort of rustic look many homeowners and potential home buyers find appealing.

Few exteriors have the same warmth, beauty and natural appeal of cedar siding. Most homeowners prefer this type of siding because it is very attractive and blends in perfectly with most backgrounds. Cedar has been used in buildings for ages and it is therefore regarded as the traditional siding material of choice. Cedar has a unique grain pattern that gives it a beautiful look and also makes it much more resilient.

While cedar shingles siding offers exceptional weather resistance, it may not last as long as other inorganic siding materials. Cedar siding, thus, requires quality coating to keep insect infestation, rot, and moisture at bay. Homeowners can select between a semi-transparent finish that allows the natural beauty of cedar to show through or a solid-color stain with an opaque finish.

The exquisite appeal of cedar shingle siding makes it the perfect choice for homeowners who prefer a warm, inviting look for their homes. You can also opt for thicker, precision-cut tapersawn shakes with a uniform thickness and look. Count on a trusted name like WoodRoof.com to for a selection of the best cedar siding options in the market.

(Article Excerpt and Image from The Benefits of Cedar Siding Homes, DoItYourself.com)

06 Dec

Western Red Cedar Shake Siding: A Green Siding Material worth Choosing

Households can reduce their environmental footprint—i.e. their negative impact on the environment due to the consumption of natural resources—in various ways. Some switch to energy-efficient appliances, while others retrofit their homes with sustainable materials. While these methods are fine by themselves, a certain neighborhood in Bainbridge Island, Washington has taken steps to create a community with the lowest environmental footprint as possible, as Adele Peters reports for Fast Company:

Each home in the new development, from apartments to single-family homes, can run entirely on solar power. The ultra-efficient buildings are insulated to save energy, and include heat pumps and heat recovery ventilators. Wood siding comes from local, sustainably managed forests.

The idea of using wood siding, instead of PVC or other materials, is understandable because wood is a natural insulating material. In addition, many building contractors prefer to work with wood because it is simpler, more flexible, and easier to repair than other siding materials. Ordinary wooden planks may be adequate for any household’s siding needs, but people should consider using high-quality cedar shakes siding from trusted sources like WoodRoof.com.

Simply put, shakes are much thicker than wood shingles that are used as siding; more thickness means greater resistance to rain, snow, sunlight, and other natural elements. Individually, cedar shakes are visually different from each other; together, they create a rustic, natural-looking aesthetic feel. Retailers that sell cedar shake siding also offer such products in a variety of wood finishes that provide added protection against fire, insects, and mildew, which are purportedly the greatest threats to any wood-based material.

One of the most appealing characteristics of wood shakes is that they are eco-friendly. Compared to manufactured products like PVC, wood shake production consumes less energy and releases fewer pollutants. The latter is particularly important because wood shakes produce fewer toxins than other materials when set on fire. Since wood has practically unlimited applications, old wood shakes can be repurposed as roofing materials, raw materials, or even fuel, thereby further reducing a household’s environmental footprint.

Having said all that, you don’t necessarily have to move to an exemplary community like Bainbridge Island if you want to have a sustainable home. For the best low-carbon cedar shake siding and roofing options, trust only the experts like WoodRoof.com.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Is This The Most Sustainable Neighborhood In The U.S.?, Fast Company, November 13, 2013)

05 Dec

Wooden You Try It: The Many Virtues of a Classic Cedar Shake Roof

Steve Thomas’ article for This Old House magazine takes a look at the different types of roofing materials available today and emphasizes the need to select roofing materials that strike the optimum balance between beauty and durability. “The most important trend to note, however, is that as with home-construction materials in general, there is an increasing move towards engineered roofing materials,” he says. Among other things, Thomas highlights the benefits of wood shake or shingle roofing.

For looks, it is hard to beat a wood shingle roof. Over time it weathers out to a gray or soft silver that seems to root the house to the landscape. Several species are used: Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Eastern White Cedar. Shingles are relatively smooth and cut to a uniform thickness, although they vary in width. Wood shakes are thicker and rougher, being split rather than sawn from the logs. Wood roofs are meant to breathe and should be laid over a substrate that allows air to circulate behind them: skip sheathing — wood strips or battens nailed directly to the roof rafters — is the traditional method of installing a wood shingle roof.

In areas where the risk of wildfire damage is rather low, cedar wood shingles can prove to be an irresistible option. Cedar wood resists rot quite well thanks to its natural oils, which act as preservatives. Interestingly, cedar resists termite infestation up to a certain extent. In any case, property owners would do well to hire professional roofers to install high-quality cedar shake roof, householders should remember to enlist skilled roofers to install the shingles.

Folks worried about having a wooden roof that’s susceptible to fire, curling, and rot shouldn’t worry too much. The shingles can be treated to resist fire and rot, and daily maintenance can preserve the shakes for up to 50 years. Proper fastening can also secure wooden shakes, and protect them from high winds. In many ways, wooden shingles perform just as good as other types of roofing; homeowners only need to ensure that these roofing materials are treated properly beforehand.

When it comes to durable cedar shake roofing, homeowners should turn to no less than a trusted name in the industry such as WoodRoof.com. Folks shouldn’t underestimate the strength of wood, as cedar wooden shingles make for particularly good roofing with the right treatment and proper installation method.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Choosing Roofing Materials, This Old House)

02 Dec

Choose Energy-Efficient & Appealing Cedar Shake Shingles for Your Home

Replacingcedar shingles is a lot more complex than simply stripping off the existing shingles and installing new ones. As American home expert Jeb Breithaupt noted in his column for the Shreveport Times:

Is the roof on your house past its prime? Was it damaged during the hail storms that blew through here a few months ago? If so, you might consider replacing your roof instead of just patching it again and again.

My advice: Buy the highest-quality roof you can afford. And then, turn your attention to color.

In fact, the question I get most often from readers who are thinking about replacing their roofs isn’t about quality. It’s about color.

Considering that your roof is one of the largest parts of your home’s exterior and it’s one of the first things people see when they walk past your house, that’s not a frivolous question.

Replacing cedar shingles is a concern for American and Canadian homeowners who wish to maintain the rustic appeal of their homes. The Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Shield boasts millions of trees of various species, such as balsam and fir; as well as red, white, and yellow cedar. Many logging firms are tasked to cut down trees and plant new ones.


When your house needs to have its cedar shingles replaced, trusted suppliers like WoodRoof.com are worth approaching for quality shingles and other roofing and siding products. Homeowners can consult their contractors or suppliers about the color of the shingles. According to the experts, the color of your shingles will affect your home's energy consumption, which is why considering your area's climate is vital during the shingle selection process.

The color of your roof can affect attic temperatures by as much as 20 to 40 degrees. Light colored shingles reflect sunlight (which helps homes in warmer climates stay cool), whereas dark colored shingles absorb heat (which helps homes in colder climates stay warm). Experts also suggest coordinating the color of your roofing shingles with the colors of the home's other structural elements.

Aside from helping your home retain more heat, dark colored shingles also help snow and ice melt on your roof. Furthermore, when choosing qualitycedar shake shingles, it's important to determine if your choice will enhance or compromise your home's curb appeal. While neutral colors are safe and ensure good resale value, more daring homeowners should consider high contrast colors that highlight specific features of their home's facade.

(Info from Jeb Breithaupt: Don't neglect color when replacing shingles; Shreveport Times)

29 Nov

Attractive Cedar Shingle Siding: Ideal for Renovating Older Homes

Sometimes, a house that has lasted a hundred seasons deserves a new lease of life. As Scott Gibson of Fine Homebuilding states:

As part of a city lead-abatement program, Erik Neave's 1865 Wisconsin house is being re-shingled. New white cedar shingles will cover up a layer of painted shingles, which given the age of the house no doubt are contaminated with lead-based paint.

The facelift will certainly brighten the appearance of the house while entombing the paint, but it's the installation that has Neave concerned. The contractor who successfully bid for the job has installed a layer of 1/4-in. fanfold insulation over the old shingles and is busy stapling up the new ones even as Neave writes to Fine Homebuilding's Breaktime forum for advice.

"I was on my honeymoon when they started and they are about halfway done with the house now," he writes. "I have never installed shingles before but on the things I've seen online, I am a bit concerned about the installation."

Canadians and Americans who possess older homes will no doubt take interest in such projects. On the Canadian side of the border, many historical houses in provinces like British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Alberta have stood since pre-Dominion days, and are made of several materials. However, with Canada’s northern weather conditions taking their toll on even the sturdiest of houses, occupants of historic houses will need to patch up before long, warranting cedarshingle siding replacement with the help of suppliers like WoodRoof.com Cedar Shingles and Shakes.


In approaching the problem, Neave raised concerns about the new shingles covering up fanfold insulation. Another builder suggested stripping off all the old shingles, repainting existing trim, and adding the replacement shingles. If you’ve faced such a problem yourself, you may need to have the contractor install sufficient amounts of 15-lb. or 30-lb. felt.

Traditionalcedar siding shingles are split into red and white cedar, but some suppliers also offer western yellow cedar shingles, as red and white cedar have their unique advantages and disadvantages. When renovating an older home, your preferred contractor should be consulted about the proper grades of the replacement shingles. The same also applies when you need cedar tapersawn shakes.

Restoring an old home’s appearance can be a tedious job, from replicating its original appearance to modernizing the insulation. However, companies like WoodRoof.com Cedar Shingles and Shakes are up to the task of making sure that authenticity sticks.

(Info from What's the Best Way to Install Cedar-Shingle Siding on an Old House?; Fine Homebuilding)

28 Nov

Harvesting Western Red Cedar to Create Lightweight Cedar Shake Siding

According to a recent article which appeared on Architects Journal, Western red cedar is a superb wood product, and can be fashioned into tough trusses and durable cedar shakesiding. However, the quality of the wood is only as good as the lumber mills that harvest and process these trees. In a forum held by the Western Red Cedar Export Association (WRCEA) last year, Patrick Cooper of Canada Wood UK discussed some of the challenges that come with harvesting Western red cedar.

A fully-matured Western red cedar tree, reaching between 40 to 60 meters high, can yield as much as 450 cubic meters of timber. Western red cedar thrives in the northwestern coast of North America, running from the northern edges of California all the way up to British Columbia. A number of these trees have also been recorded around the Idaho Panhandle.

Western red cedar trees thrive in soil with a pH between 5.5 and 8.5. Cooper discussed the considerable effort involved in harvesting Western red cedar trees. Moreover, the lumber industry has to use the correct equipment due to concerns of environmental damage. An excerpt from the Architects Journal article states that:

Felled trees are extracted by truck or by helicopter, to reduce the risk of erosion and loss of habitat....the expense of harvesting makes it especially important that every wood chip is used, with local applications including heating the sawmill.

The acidity of western red (pH’s have been measured as low as 3.5) requires all fixings used to be stainless steel.

The availability of quality cedar wood siding will also depend on the number of trees that can be harvested every year. WRCEA says that less than one percent of the total stock of Western red cedar is harvested every year. Clearcut harvesting has already been phased out in the Western red cedar forests along Canada's west coast in favor of variable retention, which keeps some flora and fauna intact for forest preservation.

While Western red cedar is known for its natural protective oils, Cooper says that the lumber is still treated because untreated lumber will eventually turn gray. After a bit of cutting and coating, big red cedar logs eventually yield plenty of shingle siding and shakes for homes and other structures. Reputable suppliers like WoodRoof.com then sell these products to homeowners, contractors, resellers, and builders.

(Info from The ins and outs of Western Red Cedar; Architects Journal)

27 Nov

Investing the Right Amount of TLC in Your Durable Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake enjoys continued market demand even though more durable and low maintenance roofing materials, such as metal and vinyl, are available. Cedar shake has a unique aesthetic appeal, and its brown shade can enhance the appearance of rustic-style buildings. On the other hand, even the highest quality cedar shake roofing material requires more TLC than other roofing materials.

Shell Busey, in a recent article that was featured on Canada.com, advises caution on the kind of TLC you give your biodegradable cedar shake roof. Roof cleaning products and methods remain largely unregulated, and the use of improper cleaning products and methods could damage your cedar shake roofing. In fact, even the act of pressure washing could inflict irreversible damage.

However, this doesn't rule out the option of power washing, as it's a necessity for every roof. Just have it done by a professional about twice a year. An excerpt from Busey's article states that: “Cedar roofing should be cleaned regularly, spring and fall, with medium pressure or enough to remove debris that accumulated during the previous months, and inspected in preparation for the next season.”

Cedar wood is renowned for its endurance and can survive for centuries. The natural oils found in cedar trees enables it to live for as long as a thousand years. For roof cleaning, however, the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB) recommends topical treatments that come with a material safety data sheet (MSDS) that lists product ingredients and safety precautions, as well as certifications.

Busey goes on to warn readers about the dangers of using certain topical roof treatment products:

Do not use a topical treatment product that claims to be fire-retardant or have a 10-year effectiveness. Also avoid sealants, waterproofers or plasticizers, or products that contain unfortified linseed oil, diesel fuel or crankcase oil. Topical solutions such as latex, butyl or silicon, "seal" or coat the surface of the cedar preventing it from "breathing". Anything used as a topical treatment should be [labeled] as a cedar roof treatment product or have a manufacturer's letter stating that it's appropriate for treating cedar roofs.

For quality wood roofing supplies, home builders, contractors, homeowners, and resellers should get their cedar shingles and shakes from renowned suppliers like WoodRoof.com. High quality cedar shingles and shakes are biodegradable, wind resistant, light weight, impact resistant, and of course, durable.

(Info from Keeping on top of your cedar roofing problems; Canada.com, via The Province)

18 Oct

Grade vs Quality vs Labels

The purpose of this blog post is to help our readers work through the differences between product grades, the potential for differences in quality within these grades and how a fractured industry tries to identify and market these differences with product labels. 

Posted by Lloyd

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