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Pros and Cons of Cedar Shake Shingle Roofs

For many years, cedar shake shingles have been a popular choice for homeowners’ rooftops, offering a timeless charm that is hard to replicate. Their unique aesthetic has made them a favorite among homeowners.

Yet, as with any roofing material, cedar shake shingles have their own set of pros and cons. In this piece, we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of cedar shake shingle roofs to assist you in deciding if this roofing option is the perfect fit for your home.

Unveiling the Benefits of Cedar Shake Shingle Roofs

Visual Appeal

Undeniably, the visual charm of cedar shake shingle roofs is one of their most compelling features. These shingles radiate a warm, rustic, and natural look, transforming your home’s facade and significantly boosting its curb appeal.

The rich, earthy hues and textured surfaces of cedar shingles offer a timeless and inviting quality that can effortlessly blend with diverse architectural styles. Whether your home leans towards traditional, contemporary, or a mix of both, cedar shake shingles are an excellent choice for homeowners seeking to create a visually striking roof that not only complements their property but also sets it apart as a unique architectural statement.

The organic, textured appearance of cedar shake shingles can evoke a sense of warmth and charm that few other roofing materials can match, making them a top choice for those who value the visual impact of their home.

A closeup image of cedar shake shingles


The enduring strength of cedar shake shingle roofs is a testament to the remarkable qualities of this natural roofing material. When properly maintained, cedar shake shingle roofs can prove to be incredibly durable and long-lasting, offering homeowners an investment that stands the test of time.

The inherent durability of cedar wood arises from its natural resistance to decay and insects, which can be attributed to the presence of its protective natural oils and resins. With vigilant and routine maintenance and a schedule of regular inspections, a well-cared-for cedar roof can withstand the elements and endure for several decades.

In fact, it often outlasts the lifespan of conventional asphalt shingle roofs, making it a wise choice for those seeking both aesthetics and longevity in their roofing solution. The ability of cedar shake shingles to age gracefully and maintain their structural integrity over the years is a key reason homeowners turn to this material when considering a roofing solution that combines natural beauty with impressive durability.

Cedar shake shingle roofs offer the peace of mind that comes with knowing your investment will provide enduring protection and aesthetic appeal for generations to come.

A topdown image of a cedar shake roof

Energy Efficiency

Cedar shake shingle roofs offer impressive insulation properties. The natural wood material helps to regulate indoor temperatures, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. This can lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment, which is especially important in extreme weather conditions.


Cedar is a renewable and sustainable roofing material. Unlike asphalt shingles, which require fossil fuels in their manufacturing process, cedar shake shingles have a lower environmental impact. They can be responsibly sourced, and their biodegradability ensures they won’t end up in landfills, contributing to a greener, more eco-friendly roofing option.

Sound Insulation

Cedar shake shingle roofs offer excellent sound insulation properties. This means they can help reduce noise from heavy rain, hail, or other external sources, creating a quieter and more peaceful indoor environment. This can be particularly advantageous for homes located in noisy urban areas or close to busy roadways.


Cedar shake shingles come in various types and designs, allowing homeowners to choose the look that best suits their preferences and complements their home’s architecture. Whether you prefer a natural, weathered appearance or a freshly finished, smooth look, cedar shake shingles can be customized to meet your specific design needs.

Understanding the Drawbacks of Cedar Shake Shingle Roofs


The upfront cost of cedar shake shingle roofs is notably higher than that of many other roofing materials. The expense is attributed to the quality of the wood, the labor-intensive installation process, and the need for regular maintenance.

Homeowners must weigh the initial investment against the long-term benefits of this roofing material.


Cedar shake shingle roofs require more maintenance than some other roofing options. Without regular upkeep, cedar shingles can be susceptible to moss, mold, and mildew growth, which can degrade the wood and reduce its lifespan.

Routine inspections, cleaning, and the application of protective coatings are necessary to keep the roof in optimal condition.

Weathering Vulnerability

While cedar shingles are naturally resistant to decay, they are still vulnerable to weathering. The effects of UV radiation, rain, and wind can cause the shingles to fade and deteriorate over time.

To counter this, homeowners may need to invest in periodic treatments and coatings to protect their roofs from the elements.

Fire Risk

Cedar shake shingle roofs are not as fire-resistant as some other roofing materials. They have a lower fire rating and can be susceptible to sparks from nearby sources, such as chimneys or wildfires.

To mitigate this risk, homeowners often need to apply fire retardant coatings or install additional fire-resistant features.

Reduced Lifespan in Harsh Climates

In areas with extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall or prolonged exposure to high humidity, cedar shake shingle roofs may have a shorter lifespan. The constant expansion and contraction of the wood can lead to shingle splitting and curling.

In such climates, regular maintenance is even more crucial to maximize the roof’s longevity.

Limited Availability

Cedar shake shingles may not be readily available in all regions, which can pose a challenge for homeowners who want this particular roofing material. Additionally, the supply and demand of cedar can affect the price, making it a less stable option in terms of cost.

Concluding Thoughts

Cedar shake shingle roofs offer a beautiful, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient roofing option for homeowners. However, they also come with a higher upfront cost, increased maintenance requirements, and potential vulnerabilities to weathering and fire.

The suitability of cedar shake shingles as a roofing material depends on your aesthetic preferences, your willingness to invest in maintenance, and the climate in which your home is situated.

To make an informed decision, consider consulting with a roofing professional who can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

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