Cedar Shake

How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last? (2023 Roof Replacement Guide)

Cedar shake shingles have been popular among homeowners for centuries and are known for their beautiful aged appearance and high durability. Aside from having a unique appeal, cedar shake shingles are recognized as one of the longest-lasting roofing solutions.

In addition, these shingles were carefully crafted to be sound and hail resistant, as well as heat-retaining. Serving as an alternative approach to traditional roofing, your contractor must have experience maintaining and installing cedar shake roofs.

Altogether, it isn’t always obvious identifying signs that it’s time to get your cedar shake shingles repaired or replaced. So, we put together a list of what to look out for and what to expect when you’re considering repairing vs. replacing your roof.

cedar shake roof

How Long Do Cedar Shake Roofs Last?

Cedar shake roofs are known to last for quite some time. Aside from metal and slate, cedar shakes are one of the longest-lasting roofing materials you can get. Cedar shake roofs can last upwards of 30 to 50 years, depending on the climate and how well maintained they are.

Just like any roof, performing regular maintenance and repairs can help maintain or even improve your roof’s longevity—thus why it’s imperative to do so. Maintaining a cedar shake roof is relatively simple. A few things homeowners can do to keep a mindful eye on their cedar shake roof include:

  • Regular visual inspections and cleaning. Don’t just “set it and forget it.”
  • Removing debris from the roof and gutters.
  • Trim overhanging branches.
  • Checking for cracked or rotting shingles and replacing them right away.
  • Professional soft or power wash every few years.
  • Re-apply protective treatments every 1-5 years to protect against insects, rot, and fire.
  • Pest control. Small rodents such as rats or squirrels can get into your roof through the smallest cracks under shingles. Make sure to replace any shingles that look loose or out of place to prevent this from happening.

How Much Does a Cedar Shake Roof Cost?

Cedar shake roofs are a higher-end roofing material in both quality and cost. However, thanks to their durability and long lifespan, the return on investment for a cedar shake roof is also high.

The national average cost for a roofing square (100 sq. ft.) of cedar shakes is between $600 and $700. With the average residential roof in the U.S. being 1,700 square feet, you can estimate that the average cedar roof would cost around $18,000 to $25,000. But this is on the low end. Home Advisor estimates the cost of a 3,000 square foot home (often including a garage) costs upwards of $40,000+. 

These prices can vary greatly depending on the quality of the shingles, the accessibility of the roof, and the amount of time it takes to install. Labor costs can run up your total pretty quickly as well. So these are all key factors to consider when choosing to replace your cedar shake roof.

aged cedar shake roof

Do I Need to Repair or Replace My Cedar Roof?

Whether you have an existing cedar shake roof that needs repair (or replacement) or you’re looking to update your existing roof with something more premium like a cedar shake roof—there are many things to consider and look for before making that decision.

Suppose you have a cedar shake roof, and it’s reached or past its intended lifespan. In that case, you should get a professional roof inspection to determine its condition and pinpoint any issues that need attention. Like we stated, regular maintenance is vital to upholding your roof’s integrity, and making minor repairs is part of that.

If your inspection reveals a few spots needing repair, that could be a simple plan of action. Just because your roof is older doesn’t mean it needs to be entirely replaced. However, some normal wear and tear and any old storm damage can be cause for replacement.

So, it’s essential to know the signs of roof damage and whether to repair or replace it.

When To Get Your Roof Repaired:

Typically, you’ll get your cedar roof shingles repaired when minor issues occur. Making minor repairs can save you a ton of time and money if you catch them early. They can buy you a lot of time if the repair is small and fixes any potential issues without damaging the rest of your roof. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to call your local roofing contractor:

  • You’ve noticed missing, broken, or loose shingles
  • Small leaks have been identified
  • There are small cracks or warps in the roofing material
  • Loads of moss is covering your shingles, creating moisture and mold

When To Get Your Roof Replaced:

While repairing your roof can be more convenient, sometimes it’s less of a hassle if you take care of your roofing issues by replacing your roof completely. Whether your roof is just ready for a replacement or you’re looking to invest in a more durable roof, here’s what to look for:

  • Your cedar roof is showing heavy wear in multiple areas
  • There are areas where roofing material is split or missing.
  • Repairs are extensive and costly
  • Your neighbors are getting their roofs replaced.

How to Get the Most Life Out of Your Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake shingles are constructed strategically in a way that requires professional expertise, whether it’s for the installation process or regular maintenance. The best way to get the most life out of your cedar shake roof is to hire a quality professional who will ensure the installation is done properly. Luckily, we are fully equipped with a team of specialized contractors that can resolve your roof issues in no time. Contact us today for a free roof inspection!

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