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 the longevity of wood shingles

The Longevity of Wood Shingles

Wood shingle roof longevity is one of the many reasons homeowners are choosing this unique and remarkable roofing material. What is the life expectancy of a wood roof? It depends on the material. The lifespan of a cedar shake roof is different than that of teak or wallaba. However, the wood shake roof's lifespan is almost always longer than that of asphalt and other more common roofing materials. Here’s a look at all the details behind the life expectancy of cedar shake siding, as well asteak and wallaba options.

How Long Do Custom Shingles Last on a Roof?

While the price of custom wood shingles may initially exceed that of alternatives, it’s important to remember what you’re getting in longevity, too. At Custom Shingles, we offer three main types of wood shingles: cedar, teak and wallaba. The lifespan of each material far surpasses that of more traditional roofing materials, which means you get more value in addition to the unique and attractive appearance from choosing custom wood shingles.

In neutral climates, you can reasonably expect the following lifespans out of custom wood shingles:

  • Cedar: 30 to 50 years or more

  • Wallaba: 35 to 60 years or more

  • Teak: 50 to 80 years or more

Alternatively, the asphalt shingles you’re more likely to see atop residential homes and businesses will likely last only 15 to 20 years.

How Long Will a Cedar Shingle Roof Last?

Wood shingling can adorn the top and sides of your home for longer than 30 years — but only with the proper care and installation routine. Custom Shingles is here to guide you through the design process and test out which custom shingles would look best on your home, as well as to professionally, cleanly and smoothly proceed with the installation.

Many cottage owners and wood cabin enthusiasts will appreciate the aesthetic appeal and functionality of cedar shingles. Because shingles are built to overlap with up to one inch in thickness per tile, they help retain the warmer temperature inside while keeping out the unwanted cold weather. Whether you're looking to attend to the roof on your cottage behind your house or your destination cabin in the woods, you'll want to pay attention to particular areas to ensure a long life expectancy.

Cedar shingles are resistant to insects and bugs, so you won't have to worry about any insects rotting the wood. However, you'll still need to properly maintain your shingles when exposed to wet conditions such as rain and snow to keep them performing well. You can apply a topical treatment to prolong the life of shingles that are in contact with substantial amounts of moisture.

How Long Will a Cedar Shake Roof Last?

Cedar shake roofs and sidings match exceptionally well with rustic-looking homes, and they can coordinate well with their surrounding scenic landscapes. Traditional homes, as well as vacation and resort houses, look beautiful when sporting cedar shakes, thanks to their natural appearance. But to keep your roof looking beautiful and your home a sight to be seen, routine maintenance is necessary for prolonging the life of your cedar shakes.

The standard lifespan of cedar shake roof installations is between 40 and 50 years. The better condition you keep them in, however, the longer life expectancy you will see. Things like clogged gutters, damaged rooftops and rotting cedar can affect the performance and protection of your shakes.

Some cleaning methods and tips can help you keep your cedar shakes in good, lasting condition. The first step is to check for any rotting — and to be preventative. Coat your roof's shakes with a staining wood preservative every five years to reduce the ability of rain, snow, mold and other water elements from killing off the natural beauty of the cedar.

More than anything, however, you'll need to make sure your wood shakes are installed by a professional. While it might seem like a fun do-it-yourself job, you pose the risk of unintentional damage to yourself and your home — and you could leave gaps for weather and nature elements to affect your roof's security and performance. Our professionals at Custom Shingles will install the best-looking and best-performing shakes to your roof that will enhance the overall appearance of your home and keep you protected inside.

Getting the Most out of Your Custom Wood Shingles

As mentioned above, you’ll get more extended performance out of your cedar rooftop if you take better care of it. In most cases, maintenance of your wood-shingled roof should be relatively simple and straightforward. The two tasks that should be focused on, whether you have shakes or shingles, are trimming away trees and cleaning out gutters.

You don’t want falling debris to potentially damage or dislodge your wood shingles — so ensure trees around your roof are regularly trimmed. Yes, wood shingles are strong and durable, and it would take a rather large branch to do severe damage. However, large branches can be an issue with damaged trees during storms or other natural events. Wood shakes and shingles are some of the most durable defensive roofing options against extreme winds, but there is always the potential for heavy trees, branches and leaves to accumulate, collect and weaken your roof's integrity.

How does cleaning out gutters affect your wood shingles? You want them to be able to breathe, and clogged drains lead to buildup along the edges of your roof. This buildup prevents airflow from reaching in between your roof slabs. Allowing air to reach your shingles and shakes will decrease the amount of moisture they could absorb, keeping your roof looking clean and performing well.

Make Replacements as Needed

When you consider the lifespan of a roof which can stretch out to 80 years or more, it’s important to make individual shingle replacements as needed along the way. For example, a major storm or involuntary neglect might destroy a shingle or a portion of your roof, leading to the entire roof needing to be replaced. In these cases, you’ll find that shingle replacements are relatively fast and easy, and the new shingles will blend in naturally with your older, existing shingles.

The cost of a partial roof replacement with custom cedar shakes or shingles is also relatively inexpensive when compared to other materials. When you combine the longer lifespan of wood shingles with the low cost of replacing individual pieces, you begin to see just how much value custom wood coverings deliver.

Longevity Plus Other Benefits

The value of wood shingles isn’t solely tied to longevity. Customizing these parts of your roof or siding delivers a series of benefits and savings you won’t enjoy with other roofing materials, including:

  • Resale value: A custom wood shingle roof creates a dramatic and unique look that prospective buyers won't be able to forget. Adding these appealing shingles can transform an ordinary house into an extraordinary asset that's far more valuable on the open market.

  • Insulation: Wood shingles provide natural insulation which you won’t get with asphalt or other common roofing materials. The added insulation helps lower heating and cooling costs, which is especially helpful in older homes that tend to be drafty.

  • Accuracy: For older homes, an asphalt roof or similar material won’t provide the historical accuracy the structure deserves. If you have a home that’s 100 years or older, a custom wood shingle roof can make visitors feel like they’re steppingback in time. This era-appropriate look is also helpful in connection with increasing resale value.

Patented Tools, Beautiful Results

At Custom Shingles, we help homeowners achieve the beautiful look of custom wood shingle and cedar shake roofs. Back in 1982, we built our own steaming and bending equipment for a cottage-style restoration job — the results were extraordinary. We received a patent for our equipment, and we’ve been creating similarly outstanding results ever since. If you’re interested in getting the incredible look of custom wood shingles for your home, get in touch with us today.

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