Wood shakes are a roofing material that you don't see quite as often as other options like shingles or metal roofing. They are out there, however, with many roofing companies willing to install them for customers who prefer them. If you like the rustic look of wood, then a wood shake roof might be right for your home. Just make sure you consider the following pros and cons before you have a shake roof installed on your home.
Pro: Wood shakes are natural and eco-friendly.
It's hard to think of a roofing material that is better for the planet than wood. Old, wood shingles can be buried in dirt, and they'll break down pretty quickly without leeching any harsh contaminants into the groundwater. The same can't be said for roofing products made with petroleum. You should, however, make sure you buy your wood shakes from a company that buys substantially sourced wood. Such companies plant more trees for every tree they knock down.
Con: Wood shakes aren't all that wind-resistant.
While wood shakes can survive the average wind storm, they are not heavy or sturdy enough to withstand hurricane-force gusts. This is why you don't typically see them used in hurricane zones. If you live in a really windy area, they're not the best choice for you. And even in an area that sees the average wind, there's a chance you'll need to have your wood shake roof repaired if there's a strong wind storm that rolls through town.
Pro: Wood shakes are low-maintenance.
This one often comes as a surprise. Wood shakes are usually made from cedar. Since cedarwood contains natural oils that allow it to resist rot and termites, the shakes don't typically require any painting or sealing. This makes them a good choice for busy homeowners.
Con: Wood shakes can start to look weathered and worn after a while.
Wood shakes can stay viable for decades, but they can start to look worn and weathered years before they otherwise stop working as a roofing material. Some people enjoy this weathered look, but others do not. If you are not a fan of weathered wood, then a shake roof may not be best for you.
Now that you've considered the information above, you are better prepared to opt for a wood roof, should you decide one is right for your home. Don't hesitate to talk to a roofer—like Rainbow Roof Maintenance— about other concerns you may have.