Guide To Cedar Roofing Shingles

If you are an environmentally conscious homeowner looking for a roof that is not only highly durable, long-lasting,and aesthetically pleasing, but is also green, a cedar shingle roof is a great choice. It is an eco-friendly roofing material, that offers excellent protection for your home, along with a distinct natural look, and significant energy savings.

Benefits of Cedar Roofing Shingles

Exceptionally elegant look

If you enjoy the look of natural wood, you will love the look of cedar roofing shingles. Most cedar shingles are manufactured from Western Red Cedar, which grows in the the western part of the United States or western Canada. Cedar roofing shingles are rich in color and can range from a light straw color to a reddish pink. Cedar roof shingles are sawn on both sides for a tailored appearance. They are available in several sizes: 16 inches or Fivex; 18 inches or Perfection; and 24 inches or Royal nominal lengths. While cedar roofing shingles cost more than many other roofing materials, no synthetic material can compare to the natural beauty of cedar roofing shingles.

Durable and long-lasting

Cedar is considered to be the toughest wood in the world. This means that a cedar roofing shingles roof is highly durable, and cedar roofing shingles is the only roofing material that actually adds strength to the structure. Cedar shingles can produce a gain in absolute strength, adding about 4 lbs per sq foot. Additionally, cedar roofing shingles have natural preservatives that resist moisture, decay and insect damage, but they need to be properly maintained to achieve maximum longevity. A well maintained cedar shingles roof will last up to 50 years, which is almost double the service life of asphalt roofing shingles.

Energy savings for your home

The cells in wood allow it to function as a natural insulator. This means that cedar roofing shingles will provide natural insulation for your home, helping you conserve energy. In the summer, a cedar shingle roof can keep your attic 28°F cooler in severe heat. This will translate into over 20% savings on your cooling system! In the winter, cedar roofing shingles will help keep your house naturally warm. Since cedar shingles are heavy, so they actually act as a second insulation layer for your home. These properties are particularly advantageous for homeowners who live in cold climates. Your home will loose a lot less heat through a cedar shingle roof,significantly reducing your heating bills.

Environmental benefits of cedar roofing shingles

Unlike most other roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, metal, concrete and synthetic roofing materials, that require large amounts of energy to manufacture, cedar roofing shingles are produced and processed in a highly energy efficient way, minimizing the material’s carbon footprint from the outset. Cedar roofing shingles do not consume resources, such as petrochemicals, gas, or oil. The Canadian Wood Council reports that “Compared to wood construction, steel and concrete embody and consume 12% and 20% more energy, emit 15% and 29% more greenhouse gases, release 10% and 12% more pollutants into the air and generate 300% and 225% more water pollutants.” Cedar roofing shingles are a renewable, biodegradable, and pollution minimizing roofing material. At the end of their long service life, roofing shingles can be recycled, instead of filling our overflowing landfills.

Main disadvantages: high maintenance and low fire resistance

To maintain their durability, longevity and looks, cedar roofing shingles must be maintained of on a regular basis. Over the years, rain extracts the natural preservatives from the wood and leaves it vulnerable to deterioration. As the preservatives are
depleted, water enters the wood, causing it to expand and contract. This process creates cracks, and allows algae, moss and fungi to grow. As a result, a homeowner needs to check out the roof after it rains and also needs to remove any algae, moss, and fungi, without letting it grow an accumulate on the roof. Necessary maintenance also includes power washing the roof, and subsequently applying cedar sealer.

It is also important to know cedar roofing shingles are not fire resistant. They can be specially in a factory with fire resistant chemicals to achieve a class B or C fire resistance rating.

Check out other roofing materials – metal shingles, asphalt shingles, and synthetic slate shingles.

Guide to Asphalt Roofing Shingles

When looking for an economical roofing material, nothing beats asphalt roofing shingles. This is why 4 out of 5 homes in the US today are roofed with asphalt shingles. Asphalt roofing shingles can compliment a wide variety of home styles, and offer good protection for your home at a fraction of the cost of other roofing materials. However, asphalt roofing shingles do have have their drawbacks in that they are not a green roofing material, and have a fairly short service life when compared to other premium roofing materials.

Benefits of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Versatile style

The beauty of asphalt roofing shingles is that they match almost any type of architectural design, offering homeowners a wide range of colors, shapes, textures and styles. Asphalt shingles are specially manufactured to resemble the look of natural and premium roofing materials such wood, cedar shakes, tile or slate. Asphalt shingles can give your home an elegant and sophisticated look, without making a big dent in your budget.

Ease of installation

A major reason for the widespread popularity of asphalt roofing shingles is the fact that they can be easily installed and no special skills are required for their maintenance. Handy homeowners can often do roofing work themselves using asphalt shingles. Moreover, ease of installation and repair make asphalt shingles the roofing material of choice for many professional roofing contractors as well. Asphalt roofing shingles are also very flexible and sturdy, which means they can be easily installed on a wide variety of roof designs.

Low cost

Since asphalt roofing shingles are manufactures in bulk, they are much cheaper than premium roofing materials. Over 12.5 billion square feet of asphalt shingle products are manufactured annually. This amount is enough to cover more than 5 million homes every year. Homeowners also save money on the installation of asphalt roofing shingles, because easy hassle free installation makes them cheaper to install when compared to other roofing materials. The cost of asphalt roofing shingles starts at around $0.80 per square foot installed.

Low maintenance

When properly installed, asphalt roofing shingles require little regular maintenance. Also, they can be quickly and easily repaired when damaged. Unlike premium roofing materials such as metal or tile, asphalt roofing shingles can often be repaired without requiring the help of a professional roofing contractor, which means you can save money on repairs.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Environmentally hazardous material

Asphalt roofing shingles are manufactured in a way that required the use of a lot of energy as well as petroleum, all of which causes air, water and land pollution, increases green house gas emissions and ultimately contributes global warming. Moreover, it is not possible to recycle asphalt roofing shingles at the end of their service life, which means that they have to end up in our landfills.

Comparatively short service life

While asphalt roofing shingles cost a lot less than premium roofing materials, they also do not last as long. You can expect your asphalt shingles roof to have a service life of about 20 years with regular upkeep. By comparison, more expensive roofing materials such as metal roofing shingles or clay tile last 50 years to a lifetime.

Poor resistance to adverse weather conditions

Asphalt roofing shingles can become damaged by heat,especially if you live in an area with excessively high temperatures. They will also trap hot air inside your roof, which means that you will be paying higher air conditioning bills to cool your home. Asphalt shingles are also susceptible to wind damage, as strong wind can easily lift and tear them off. Lastly, excessive rain and moisture causes asphalt roofing shingles to rot and creates mildew problems that can be a potential health hazard for the inhabitants of the home.

This concludes our overview of asphalt roof shingles. Discover other types of residential roofing materials to discover alternatives to asphalt roofs, such as metal roofing, cedar and synthetic roof shingles.