When you hear the word "roofing" you may picture asphalt shingles. Indeed, these are very common roof materials in the modern era. But there is another roofing material that used to be really popular and still works well on some homes: wood shakes. Keep reading to learn what wood shake roofing is, how it is installed, and how it benefits certain homeowners.
How Wood Shakes Are Made
Wood shakes are basically hand-cut pieces of wood. Each shake is a single piece of wood that has been cut from a log or piece of timber. The shakes are usually split from logs using a chisel or ax, so they are relatively thick. Each shake is a slightly different size, which gives a shake roof lots of character.
Wood shakes are often made from cedar. Cedar is easy to split in this manner, and it also weathers well on the roof. Some companies do make shakes from redwood and other highly textured woods, too.
How Wood Shakes Are Installed
Not every roofing company installs wood shake roofing. Doing so does require a different set of skills than installing an asphalt roof. However, there are a good number of roofing companies that offer shake roofs, so you should be able to find one in your area if you ask around.
Before they start putting shakes into place, your roof installer will put down some tough roofing fabric and a waterproof barrier. Then, they will start laying down the shakes. Unlike with asphalt roofing shingles, the installer will start at the edge of the roof near the gutters. They'll work their way up towards the roof peak, overlapping the layers of shakes as they go. Each shake will be attached with several nails.
The Benefits of Wood Shake Roofing
While wood shake roofing is not as long-lived as some other roofing materials, it has some key benefits. It is an eco-friendly roof choice. The shakes can simply break down, like compost, when you're done with them. Wood shakes are also good insulators. They'll keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, many people just enjoy their natural appearance.
Now that you know a little more about wood shake roofing, you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the right choice for your home. Reach out to a roof installation contractor to learn more about wood shake roofing.