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.

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