Many of our New Jersey customer ask about the pros and cons of Cedar Roofing for their home. Cedar roofs can be beautiful, but there are a few considerations to be aware of.
In the United States, manufacturers create cedar roofing from the trunks of red cedar trees. From the center, or heart of the tree, to the outer edges, saws cut the trunks into 18 to 24 inch lengths. These sections then undergo lengthwise hand splitting with an axe or cutting with a saw until achieving ½ to ¾ inch thick rectangular shapes. Companies refer to these cedar slabs as shakes or shingles. Shakes are most commonly made from heartwood and have a more ragged, rustic appearance, as at least one side occurs from hand splitting. Sawing may also create tapered shakes, which are thicker on one end.
Sawing creates shingles, which appear smooth on both sides and uniform in length and thickness. Besides used in roofing, shingles also commonly cover exterior and interior walls. Once cut, the wood endures kiln drying, which removes moisture. Some cedar roofing undergoes CCA (chromated copper arsenate) kiln drying, which impregnates a pesticide and antifungal agent into the wood. Companies that manufacture red cedar roofing include:
* Bartica * Landmark
* Certi-Lable™ * Meeker
* DaVinci Roofs capes * Pinnacle
* EcoStar * RuBBer
* Goat Lake * Timberline
Not having fire retardant properties, manufacturers may coat shakes or shingles with flame retardant chemicals. This temporary coating requires replacement every two or three year after roof installation. Consumers also find shakes and shingles impregnated with fire retardant chemicals, which requires less maintenance. Differing chemical treatments used by manufacturers protect the wood from Class A, B or C fires. Some companies treat for a combination or all fire classes.
Left in a natural state, cedar roofing naturally turns a light gray over time. Manufacturers may deter this effect by applying oil, stains or paints and top coatings. For continued protection, homeowners must reapply these products when necessary. Depending on the quality of the wood and the number of conditioning treatments applied, cedar roofing shakes and shingles carry a 10 to 50 year warranty against manufacture defects. These factors along with length, thickness, hand splitting or saw cut also determine the cost of cedar roofing, which may range anywhere from $230.00 to $350.00 or more for a square that covers 100 square feet.
How long a cedar roof lasts depends on the type of installation and subsequent maintenance. Improper installation may create edge curling, requiring shingle replacement. Weather conditions producing considerable moisture through rain and snow may cause mold and mildew growth. If this condition occurs, owners apply bleach or trisodium phosphate with a brush for removal. Rinsing the cleaner only requires the normal water flow from a garden hose. Pressure washers may damage the product.
For more information about installing cedar roofs in New Jersey, call us at 973-599-0811 or visit our New Jersey Roofing Homepage.