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An Overview Of Cedar Shake Shingle Roofing

It’s cliche to say your home is your castle, but cliches usually stem from universal truths.

That said, we’d actually argue your home is even more than your castle. It’s an extension of you–a version of your personality in brick or siding form.

With that being said, you’re searching for the most premium roofing options. After all, how else should you treat your castle, yourself, and your family? You, your home, and everyone within deserve the best; you’ll accept nothing less.

You’re being practical, too.

Yes, you’re willing to spend more upfront for quality, but the whole point is for the investment to pay off. The extra cash you dish out for a premium roof will yield astonishing returns decades from now when the roofing remains aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound.

At Midwest Roof and Solar, cedar shake shingle roofing is the first option that comes to mind when premium roofing is mentioned.

Below, we’ll provide a detailed overview of cedar shake roofing and all it can offer you as a homeowner:

Cedar shake shingle roofing.

An Introduction To Cedar Shake Shingle Roofing

Natural wood will never aesthetically go out of style. The rustic elegance in such materials catches the eye without smacking onlookers in the face. It stands out without being overly loud.

The richness of the textures and the earthy, rugged appeal offer authenticity while staying refined and nuanced.

Primarily, the natural cedar wood aesthetic of a cedar shake roof is why it’s so desired. It’s also why homeowners are willing to pay extra for it.

While asphalt and metal roofs serve their purpose and can be molded into an aesthetically pleasing product, natural wood is on an entirely different level. 

The cedar for these shingles comes from Southwest Canada or the Northwest US. The wood gets cut into two-foot sections. They’re then hand-split or sawed, the latter tapering their thickness.

When handsplit, the cedar looks more rugged. Alternatively, tapersawing the cedar offers a smoother appearance.

Three grades of cedar shake shingles are available:

  1. Common.
  2. Selects.
  3. 100% straight-grains.

Given the premium nature of cedar shake shingles, they’re made to order instead of being stockpiled. In other words, they’ll only be hand-split or tapersawed once you’ve purchased them. Thus, it could take up to two months for you to get your cedar shake shingles for installation.

The Two Primary Thicknesses Of Cedar Shake Shingles

When ordering cedar shake shingles, you can choose from two primary thicknesses: Half-inch and three-quarter-inch segments.

Three-quarter-inch shingles are more durable and cost more than their half-inch counterparts.

Also, various exposure options for cedar shake shingles (e.g.,12-inch and 7.5-inch) offer unique and distinctive aesthetic results.

Exploring The Three Types Of Cedar Shake Shingles

Below, we’ll dive further into the three types of cedar shake shingles we discussed earlier:

Common Cedar Shake Shingles

As their name suggests, ‘commons’ are the most affordable cedar shake shingle upfront. As such, they aren’t as high in quality as the other two options. The material is extracted from anywhere on the cedar tree. Essentially, common cedar shake shingles are the chaff from better cuts.

Due to this lesser quality, common cedar shingles warp and split earlier than the others.

Remember, however, that quality is relative. Common cedar shakes remain a premium product–they simply pale in quality compared to select and 100% straight-grain shingles.

Select Cedar Shake Roofing

Selects are a hybrid. They’re primarily straight grain–80%, in fact. But they’re also 20% common cedar.

These middle–ground options cost more than commons and less than 100% straight grains.

Ensure your contractor meticulously sifts through and handpicks the best-quality selects for your installation project.

100% Straight-Grain Cedar Shake Shingles

Here’s the most premium cedar shake shingle option, exceeding the previous two in quality and aesthetic appeal.

Each 100% straight-grain shingle gets rigorously vetted, ensuring only the highest-tier materials are selected.

By being so specific in selecting your 100% straight grains, your contractor can then lay the shingles flat, ensuring they don’t curl up as time passes.

100% straight-grain cedar shake shingles are the most durable of all the options we’ve discussed, ensuring your roof’s impressively long shelf life.

How Long Will Your Cedar Shake Roof Last?

There’s no hard-fast answer to questions about any roof’s lifespan. Many factors will dictate how long even the highest-quality installation can last.

However, we can provide a well-educated projection on the impressive shelf-life of cedar shake roofs while applying specific stipulations.

When common or select cedar shake roofs are expertly installed and maintained correctly, they will likely last up to 30 years, give or take.

Alternatively, 100% straight-grain cedar shake roofing shingles combined with other optimized roofing components can extend a roof’s lifespan to 50 years.

Local climates will also dictate how long your cedar shake roof will last. Moist conditions tend to vastly shorten the lifespan of cedar shake shingles. Also, aridness and humidity levels often cause cedar shake shingles to not effectively dry. Thus, they’re likelier to age faster.

St. Paul roof with cedar shake shingles after recent roof replacement

Cedar Shake Shingle Roofing Maintenance To Maximize Lifespan

Like many high-quality items, periodic maintenance is necessary for cedar shake shingles. We recommend performing the related tasks twice annually to catch potential issues before they become more dramatic (e.g., noticing cracks that could lead to leaks or structural damage).

Maintenance work includes removing debris from your roof and gutters. When wet debris sits on your cedar shake shingle roof, it could suffer a drastically reduced lifespan. Taking the time to remove it will pay significant dividends.

Warranty Considerations

Generally, the following two warranties apply to investing in a new roof:

  1. Contractor’s quality warranty.
  2. Roofing material manufacturer’s warranty.

Cedar shake shingles are different, though.

Specifically, cedar shake shingles don’t have a manufacturer’s warranty. There’s usually only the contractor’s quality warranty.

Since you’ll only have one warranty to count on (the one rooted in the quality of the contractor’s work), you’ll need to hire someone you trust to get the job done right.

On the above note, Midwest has been installing roofing on homes for 20 years, delivering sterling results to our satisfied clients. Contact us today to learn more about the installation process and potential pricing!

In This Article...

Key Takeaways

Cedar Shake Shingle Roofing in Minneapolis

  • Three grades available: Common, Selects, and 100% Straight-Grain (most premium).
  • Thickness options: Half-inch and three-quarter-inch; latter is more durable.
  • Lifespan projections: 30 years for common/select, 50 years for 100% straight-grain.
  • Local climates impact lifespan; regular maintenance is crucial for longevity.
  • Typically covered by the contractor’s quality warranty, not a manufacturer’s warranty.

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