Have you ever wondered why the wood shakes used for roofing always seem to be made specifically from cedar? Perhaps you've pondered how wood, a material that is usually known for being prone to rot and for attracting insects, could be a viable roofing material at all.
The answer to these quandaries lies in one simple fact: cedar has unique properties that make it an excellent choice – a better choice than other woods – as a roofing material. Here's a rundown of those qualities:
Natural Insect Resistance
A termite infestation on a roof would be really tough to deal with, as would having to spray your roof with insecticides. Luckily, cedar is naturally unappealing to termites, so they won't bug a roof made from cedar shakes. Cedar contains an oil that repels not only termites, but also other pesky insects like wood bees and ants.
Your roof is certainly exposed to a lot of moisture, and most woods would eventually rot away if exposed to that level of moisture. Cedar, however, is different. It is incredibly rot-resistant, so those shakes will stay in good shape through the wind, rain, and snow.
Taking the proper precautions to prevent moisture buildup on the roof, such as removing wet leaves from the roof and ensuring your gutters are in good shape, is still advised with a cedar roof, since these measures protect the underlayment of the roof, not just the shingles. However, you have to be far less vigilant with these measures with cedar than you would be with a roof made from any other wood.
Some home structures are not designed to support heavy roofs, making options like tile and clay roofs impossibilities. Some heavy woods might also exceed the weight limits these homes could support, not to mention, they'd be more difficult to install because of their weight. Cedar's light weight means most any home can support cedar shakes, and that they're easy to apply.
Straight, Uniform Grain
In order to form shakes, wood must be carefully cut into thin, uniform slabs. This is not possible with all woods. Some have curly grains or a lot of knots that would make it nearly impossible to form uniform shakes from them. Cedar, however, is known for its straight, low-knot grain, which makes it easy to form into shakes. The ease of the shake formation keeps costs down.
If you're looking for a durable, low-maintenance, attractive roofing material, cedar shakes deserve to be at the top of your list of choices. contact a company such as Sky City Roofing to learn more.