How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last?

Wondering How Long Your Existing Cedar Shake Roof May Last?

Wood shake roofs, typically made from cedar, were long a popular roofing material. Relatively affordable and surprisingly long-lasting, wood shake also offered a rustic and natural appearance many homeowners loved. However, wood shake is now well-known as a fire hazard and is almost universally recommended for replacement. Because of this, if your home has a cedar shake roof, you may be wondering how long you can expect it to last.

At Anchor Roofing, our team specializes in providing the most reliable Omaha roofing solutions for homeowners in our area, including considerations for common threats to roofs. Because of the risks of fire, our team has been hard at work helping replace wood shake roofs for homeowners throughout our area. Let’s take a look at how much longer your cedar or other wood shake roof may last and why you should consider replacing it promptly.

How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last?

A newly installed cedar shake roof will typically last for around 30 years. This is a lifespan that generally outperforms traditional asphalt shingles, and with good maintenance a wood shake roof may even last for longer.

Unfortunately, while these roofs can last many years with effective maintenance, they are also vulnerable to a number of risks that can drastically shorten the lifespan of the roof. This has led to a phasing out for this material, and by the 2010s most roofers would no longer install new wood shake roofs.

What this means for homeowners is that those with a cedar shake roof likely have a roof that is at least 10–20 years old already, depending on when it was last replaced.

The Drawbacks of Cedar Shake Roofing

Once a top choice among homeowners, cedar shake roofing has fallen out of favor for roof replacements. This is because cedar shake roofs present a number of drawbacks and risks.

Perhaps the clearest drawback for roofs made from any type of wood shake is the risk of fire. While wood shakes are treated to make them less vulnerable to fire, there’s only so much fire resistance that may be added. Major wildfires in the West, throughout California, and across the Great Plains have been fueled by homes with wood shake roofs.

When poorly maintained, wood shake can also be subject to moisture issues, rot, mildew, curling, and other forms of decay or damage.

Wood shake roofs also harbor insects, especially silverfish. 

Because of these risks, insurance companies have moved away from covering true wood shake roofs. This can leave homeowners liable for paying for roof repairs out of pocket.

Should I Replace My Cedar Shake Roof?

While it may be true that your existing cedar shake roof will last for several years more, it’s generally a good idea to consider replacing it promptly. In addition to the insurance difficulties noted above, cedar shake roofs are also becoming increasingly difficult to repair. This is because the material is harder to obtain quality material since the cedar is now farmed instead of natural grown cedar.

Replacing a wood shake roof can also result in a number of benefits. For instance, newer roofing materials will offer greater protection from storm damage, moisture issues, and fires, while also providing more energy efficiency. Newer materials can also reduce your insurance premiums.

Contact Anchor Roofing for an Initial Inspection

If your home still features a cedar or other wood shake roof, you may be wondering how much longer it may last. Depending on when it was installed, you may be due for a replacement. Call Anchor Roofing to come and do a free evaluation of your roof. 

At Anchor Roofing, our team has worked with many homeowners throughout the Omaha area to replace their wood shake roofs with more modern materials. For homeowners who love the appearance of wood shake, we even work with a number of synthetic materials that emulate the beautiful natural look without the risk and drawbacks of natural wood. 

Protect your home before the hot and dry weather sets in. Contact Anchor Roofing today for an initial inspection.

Join the growing list of happy Anchor Roofing Customers.