When people talk about wood roofing, they may be referring to one of two different types of roof materials. The first is wood shingles, which are very similar to asphalt shingles but are made with a layer of wood instead. The second is wood shakes, which are essentially slabs of plain cedar cut from natural logs.
Both wood shingles and wood shakes have their places. If you want a more affordable roof, wood shingles are often the way to go. However, wood shakes have a few distinct advantages over wood shingles which make them a better choice for many homeowners.
Wood Shakes Are All-Natural
People often choose wood roofing, in general, because they want to use more natural materials on their homes. Wood shingles are a lot more natural than most roofing materials, but they do contain some binders and adhesives. Wood shakes, on the other hand, are entirely natural. They are just slabs of wood. You don't have to worry about them polluting anything, either during their production process or when you dispose of them.
Wood Shakes Are Individually Attached
Wood shingles come in sheets like asphalt shingles. Each sheet contains multiple shingles. Wood shakes, on the other hand, are each attached to the roof individually. Every shake is nailed on as a single element. This may not seem like an important difference, but when your roof needs repairs, it is significant. It's easy for a roofer to remove and replace a single wood shake that is cracked or damaged. Removing and replacing a wood shingle requires that the roofer remove neighboring shingles to expose the damaged shingle, which is a lot more work.
Wood Shakes Look More Natural
Wood shingles do look like wood, but they also look like shingles. So, they are not too much of a departure, appearance-wise, from the asphalt shingles that more people use. Cedar shakes, on the other hand, look very different from shingles. They are slabs of wood, chiseled from cedar branches and trunks. The wood grain runs the length of the shakes and is very distinct. If you're choosing a wood roof because you want it to stand out, shakes are the way to go.
Wood shakes are quite different from wood shingles, and in many ways, they are better. Get a few quotes from different roofing companies, such as Select Exteriors, and compare the costs. This will give you even more information to base your decision on when choosing a roofing material.