A long, long time ago, wooden roofing materials were the primary choice of homeowners. Try to look through pictures of houses during the Colonial era, and you will notice the widespread usage of wood shake roofs.

This goes to show that wood is an established and premium material. Here at Skyluxe Roofing & Sheet Metal, we believe that wood shake roofs satisfy homeowners in Toronto ON who want these qualities in a roof:

  • Natural beauty – Wood shake roofs are known for their natural appeal. They blend with nature and match stone cladding.
  • Excellent insulation – The right roofing materials help lower your home’s heating and cooling expenses. Summers can be hot and humid. With a wood shake roof, you don’t need to double your air conditioner usage.
  • Pest resistance – Cedar for wood shake roofing resists pests. Termites prefer not to ingest cedar because of its toxic resins.

Despite these benefits, one would still ask, “How long does wood shake roof last?” We’re going to answer this question in today’s post. We’ll also be discussing the following topics:

  • Factors that shorten its lifespan
  • Ways to maintain a wood shake roof
  • The best way to ensure a longer roof lifespan

How Long Does Wood Shake Roof Last?

How long should a cedar shake roof last? Wood shake roofs are expected to last for 30 to 40 years. As a new homeowner, you’d be delighted to know that you won’t have to replace a wood shake roof sooner.

view of big house with wooden roof

Live in a house with a wood shake roof and enjoy an average roofing lifespan of 30-40 years.

But do remember that regardless of your roofing type, maintenance is essential. Regular roof maintenance extends its lifespan and preserves its beauty.

Elements That Affect the Life Expectancy of a Wood Shake Roof

While wood shake roofs last up to 40 years, do remember that its actual lifespan changes depending on many factors. Nachi.org specifies the following elements (below). We’ll explain each one:

1. The amount of foot traffic

Do you walk on your roof to conduct a do-it-yourself repair? If you’re not aware of it, constant foot traffic damages your roof. Your boots can leave debris on the roofing surface. Your weight causes the wood to split and crack, allowing water to enter when it rains. Experts recommend that you entrust repairs to licensed roofing contractors like us.

2. How the roof was installed

If you want to know how long does wood shake roof last, also find out the quality of installation. Did the roofing contractor follow the manufacturer’s specifications?

Roofers should be 100% sure of wood shake installation procedures. For one, they need to arrange the shakes in a way that they remain watertight. Adequate airflow must be established between the roofing deck and wood shakes. These are just two of the many aspects to pay attention to.

3. Tree branches overhanging your roof

trees surrounding log cabin house

Overhanging tree branches – they’re the enemy of any roofing material. Have dead branches trimmed by tree experts.

It’s a good thing to live in a house surrounded by greenery. Otherwise, you’d have a warmer environment! But if you care about your shake roof, do think about the dangers of overhanging tree branches. Branches can break during heavy snowfall or a storm. Huge branches create a hole in your roof.

4. Wood shake roof quality

Make sure that you hire a roofing contractor that installs high-quality wood shake roofs. That way, you can benefit from your roof for many more years to come. Cedar shakes are available in two primary grades namely, premium grade and #1 grade. If you want the highest quality, go for #1 grade blue label.

Remember that not all wood shakes are alike. The quality always impacts shake shingle roof life expectancy.

5. Heat and humidity

Do you know that high temperatures damage any roofing material over time? The heat from the sun causes wood to expand and nails to pop up. While we cannot stop the sun from shining, we can prolong roofing lifespan by ensuring adequate ventilation. Vents allow hot air to get out of your house and prevent roofing damage.

Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance Tips to Prolong Its Lifespan

We’re done discussing how long does wood shake roof last. Now, let’s move on to maintenance. You should realize by now that maintenance plays a vital role in making roof shakes last long.

Many homeowners concern themselves about cedar shake roof maintenance cost. The truth is, wood shake roofs are high-maintenance roofing systems. But still, many homeowners still prefer these roofs — thanks to their timeless beauty.

Below is a list of practical roof maintenance steps:

1. Apply chemical treatments to preserve the wood material.

obvious fading of wood shakes

Don’t wait for your wood shake roof to take on this faded appearance before you apply a preservative.

Professional treatments such as wood preservatives are essential to prolonging the life of cedar shakes. Remember not to delay cedar roof treatments. Applying wood treatment to aged wood shakes won’t be that effective.

Watch out for signs of weathering. Note for a change in color. Weathered cedar roofs look faded. Ideally, you should start applying chemical preservatives within one year of your roof’s installation period. You can ask about cedar shake roof preservative sealer.

2. Keep debris off your roof.

Don’t let anything that’s not supposed to be on your roof remain there. Many homeowners neglect cleaning. You’re not even required to do it yourself. You can always call up a roofing contractor to clean your roof for you.

A typical roof cleaning checklist (regardless of the material) should include the following tasks: Removing leaves from the gutters, brushing off dirt from the roofing surface, and spray washing the roof to eliminate mold.

3. Get biannual roofing inspections.

Hire a licensed roofing contractor from Toronto ON to inspect your cedar roof. Twice a year is an ideal frequency for roofing inspections. Thorough professional checks detect damage — both hidden and in plain sight.

A roofer will go up your roof and look for signs of damage. Typical wood damage signs include cupping or swelling, curling, splitting, and color fading. Your roofer will then make suggestions on the needed repairs.

If you notice increasing energy bills or physical changes in your cedar shake roof, report them to your local roofer.

The Best Way to Make a Wood Shake Roof Last Longer

We can go on and on to talk about how long does wood shake roof last and more maintenance strategies. But heed this piece of advice: Hire a roofing contractor that’s skilled in wood shake roof installation.

roofer working on wooden roof rafters

Choose Skyluxe Roofing & Sheet Metal for a quality wood shake roof installation.

Not all roofing contractors you meet guarantee quality workmanship and top materials. Go local. Ask them to show you proof of their licensure and insurance. Let them explain the process of installing a cedar shake roof. Most importantly, never attempt to do a DIY roofing job.

Skyluxe Roofing & Sheet Metal Installs Wood Shake Roofing

Did you enjoy our guide that answers “how long does wood shake roof last”? We hope that you gained valuable information, enough to make you decide whether to pursue a wood shake roof.

If you ever think of getting one for your Toronto ON home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Here at Skyluxe Roofing & Sheet Metal, we specialize in cedar shakes and shingles installation. You’ll rest easy knowing that we strictly follow guidelines from the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau Roof Manual.

Start your roofing project with us. Get in touch today at 647.952.2843!