If you plan to replace your old roof soon, then you are likely considering your new roof material options. If you love the appearance of wood shake or shingle roofs, yet know very little about this roof type, then you may have some wooden roof questions you need the answers to before you can make your final roof material decision.
Read on to learn four facts about attractive wooden roofs that can help you decide if a wooden roof is a good option for your home and family.
Wood Shakes and Shingles Differ in Appearance
Many homeowners do not understand the difference between wood shakes and shingles or think that these two terms are used interchangeably to describe the same type of wooden roofing. The truth is that wood shakes and shingles are created differently, and these two types of wooden roofing differ greatly in appearance.
Wood shingles are machine cut out of large blocks of wood. This cutting process results in shingles that have a smooth surface, are uniform in shape and size, and are relatively thin with tapered edges.
Wood shakes are hand split out of lumber logs and then shaped into blocks of relatively uniform size using special hand tools. Special care is taken to cut along the wood grain when creating wood shakes. Wood shakes also have a textured surface, are thicker than wood shingles, and can have tapered or flat edges.
If you would like your roof to have a more classic, rustic appearance, then wood shakes are a better option for you, while wood shingles are best if you would like a roof with a more modern appearance.
Wooden Roofs Are Very Durable
One wooden roof misconception is that these roofs are prone to rot and decay, leading them to not maintain their integrity for very long after they are installed. However, wooden roofs are actually durable and can stay in great shape for up to 40 years or longer when they are properly maintained.
When you want a wooden roof that stays in great shape for as long as possible, first choose the right wood species. Western red cedar, coastal redwood, cypress, and eastern red cedar are all rot-resistant woods. In addition, some wood species contain natural components called extractives that are natural insect repellents, making these woods resistant to insect infestation.
Special preservatives can be added to other wood species to help them resist rot and decay for much longer than they would without these additives.
Wood Roof Maintenance Is Surprisingly Simple
While wood roofs do require some maintenance to help them stay in good shape, they require less maintenance than many homeowners expect. Since wooden roofs can be prone to moss and algae growth, just as many other roof materials are, you should take steps to keep wooden roofs free from debris that can hold onto moisture that moss and algae need to thrive.
In addition, a wooden roof should be professionally deep cleaned about once every two years, and a new coat of wood preservative should be applied to your roof about once every five years to ward off wood rot.
Wooden Roofs Offer Superior Insulation
Many homeowners do not realize just how important it is to have a roof that insulates their home well. However, the right roof can block the sun’s heat to keep your home much cooler in the summer and help retain heat in the winter to keep home cooling and heating costs down.
Wooden roofs provide great home insulation when compared to many other roof types. While the thermal insulation property of a wooden roof can vary depending on the exact roof design, the average cedar shake roof can offer up to five times the thermal insulation value of many other roof materials.
If you plan to replace your home roof soon and are considering having an attractive wooden roof installed, then keep these four surprising wooden roof facts in mind as you make your final roof replacement decisions.