All You Need to Know about Wood Shakes on Your Roof

May 08, 2018

collection of houses with wood shake roofs

Wood shakes and shingles are rare sites these days, a sort of premium product. It will generally cost a homeowner far much more to purchase and install wood shakes than it would common types of roofing materials such as asphalt shingles. Nevertheless, when shopping around for a new roof, your local roofer may suggest wood shakes and for good reasons

Advantages of Wood Shakes

  • Wood has a traditional, natural, and even classic aesthetic appeal. It also blends effortlessly with the natural surrounding and enhances the structure’s landscaping.
  • Wood shakes provide superior performance in areas that experience high winds or damage from hail.
  • As they are a renewable resource, wood shakes are also an environmentally conscious choice

Disadvantages of Wood Shakes

Wood shakes inevitable bring their own problems to the fold.

  • Wood is way more expensive than asphalt shingles (can cost twice as much)
  • Wood is not as durable a roofing material as asphalt shingles
  • Wood is susceptible to rotting, termite damage, and scum
  • Requires regular, committed maintenance

Selecting the Right Wood

If you decide to go with wood shakes for your roof, be sure to select wood with high durability. Cedar and redwood are excellent candidates for weather-resistant wood. The high level of natural oils in these woods preserve them.  Other types of wood should be factory treated with a preservative. These factory treatments force the preservative deep into the wood with high pressure. Factory-treated wood is normally under warranty.

How to Maintain Your Wood Shakes

Proper and regular maintenance of your wood shakes roof will help increase its lifespan and protect it from rot and weathering effects. Wood shakes and wood shingles will require closer attention than other types of roofing materials.

Below are several maintenance tips to make for a durable wood shakes roof.


The first thing you should do is remove all litter, pine needles, and debris that accumulate over time between the shakes or in the valley of the actual roof structure. It is advisable to do this before the start of the wet season. When debris collects over your wood shakes, they tend to prevent the shedding of water and more damaging, debris retains moisture that allows wood-destroying fungi to grow. Manufacturers will recommend power-washing your roof at least once a year to open pores on the wood before applying a perseverative.

Apply Chemical Solutions

You can apply chemical solutions to the shakes. This slows down the growth of moss, molds, and fungi. Chemical solutions are usually applied by your roofing contractor when they install the new roof. You could also apply it yourself

Trim Overhanging Branches

Make sure to trim low-hanging branches around your roof. This provides adequate circulation and exposure to sunlight that dries up any moisture on the roof.

Ultraviolet Absorbers and Pigments

Pigments and ultraviolet absorbers can reduce the damage caused by sunlight

Applying Replenishing Oil

You can restore the wood’s natural oils while at the same time maintaining its structural integrity by applying replenishing oil. Remember that certain types of oils may act as food for fungi, mildew, and mold so it is advisable that you apply fungicide together with the replenishing oil. You should not use any petroleum-based oil because such oils may make the wood more flammable.

Regular Roof Inspections

You may want to call a technician at least once or twice a year to inspect the condition of your wood shakes. Problems can then be detected early on and proper repairs may be effected as soon as possible. This will ensure your roof remains in the best shape for the longest time possible.

Visit our website at hprtexas.com to fill out a contact form today!

Best Frisco Roofing Contractors

High Performance Restoration LLC
6500 Preston Rd #201
Frisco, TX 75034
(214) 396-7772