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How Long Do Wood Shake Shingles Last?

Roofs made from wood shake shingles have a charming appeal, but they also have a lifespan that is affected by their material and upkeep. If you have or are considering a wood shake roof for your St. Charles, Il home, here are some ways to predict how long it will last and the perfect alternative which other homeowners have found to be a better solution.

The Environment Affects Wood Shake Life

One of the primary things that affect wood shake roof life is something you don’t have much control over, the environment. A high amount of rainfall along with warm temperatures is the worst situation for wood shake shingle roofs, but that isn’t the only environmental factor that can lessen their life.

The sun, rain, and wind will affect the wood shake roof differently. If the roof is repeatedly wetted and then dried, shrinking and swelling can compromise its structure resulting in cracks or splits. In St. Charles, IL we can have bouts of a lot of humidity. If the wood shake shingles are constantly wet, they may be susceptible to moss or fungus damage. Another factor in the life of a wood shake roof is the number of trees that prevent your roof from completely drying between rainfall. Finally, simple exposure to the elements degrades wood over time. This process can be exacerbated by extreme weather conditions or poor maintenance. 

There are Multiple Wood Shake Shingle Materials

Wood shake shingle material also has an effect on lifespan. Cedar and redwood are the most popular materials because of their natural resistance to moisture, fungus, and insects. However, any wood may be treated with preservatives or fire retardant, but it’s still wood – a natural material that has a limited life span.

Another factor in their longevity, or lack thereof, is that shake shingles are typically graded, which means they come in varied qualities. The highest grade wood shake shingles will be made from mostly or all heartwood, which is the core of wood with natural elements that increase longevity. The lowest grade of shakes is typically used for temporary or outdoor structures such as sheds or gazebos. The type of wood and the grade of the shingle can greatly affect how long wood shake shingles will last. If you purchased your St. Charles, IL home with a wood shake roof, you won’t know the quality the previous homeowner invested in.

Wood Shake Shingles Require Upkeep

The way you maintain your wood shake shingles will also impact how long they last. Some people opt to power wash their shingles, but this is primarily for aesthetics. Other reasons to powerwash that do affect the roof’s lifespan are to remove debris and dirt that may promote moss or fungi growth. If the previous homeowner didn’t maintain the roof, the damage may already have been done.

Upkeep that can lengthen the life of your wood shake shingles includes keeping gutters clean and removing overhead vegetation that will prevent the roof from drying.  Finally, wood shake roofs can be treated to kill or prevent mold, moss, and lichens. Leaving a wood shake shingle roof alone for lengthy periods of time can severely shorten the roof’s usable life. 

This begs the question – who has the time or the inclination to maintain their roof? We don’t know a single customer who has ever told us they’re willing to do maintenance on their roof beyond gutter cleaning, and with such great alternatives to wood shake shingles – you don’t have to!

Composite roofs are the perfect alternative to wood shake shingles. The composite material will last longer, requires no maintenance and our customers think they look even better than their original wood shakes!

The Maintenance-Free Alternative to Wood Shake Shingles

Ultimately, wood shake shingles break down over time. A composite roof will be less expensive, require no maintenance, last longer, and will look better on your St. Charles, IL home!   

If you were either considering wood shake shingles let for the first time or looking to replace your existing shake roof, let us show you how you can save money and have a better roof with composite roofing.

Call us today at 847.587.0872 to learn about the best roofing option for your St. Charles, IL home!

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