Cedar roofing is one of the most rich, elegant, natural products available today. Cedar comes in different thicknesses, profiles, and grades. In the Northwest, we have the greatest concentration of cedar roofing in America. Despite that, cedar roofing is one of the most misunderstood products. You might say that we have trouble seeing the forest through the trees! The biggest myth we regularly hear is that some contractors and building owners believe all cedar is similar. We also hear that cedar has fallen out of favor, largely due to the fact that the most commonly used cedar can require substantial maintenance to keep it in good condition.
But there is another, longer-lasting, lower-maintenance side to cedar. There are cedar roofing products with special treatments, premium products that are independently graded, and products that are thicker and more waterproof than others. There are special aspects of application that will also reduce maintenance and extend life. Still, Cedar is among the more expensive products, and it is an art to properly apply this product. However, when it comes to traditional Northwest style and beauty, nothing matches a cedar roof.
Western Red Cedar Shakes
Traditional cedar shake roofs were once the primary roof covering in premium neighborhoods in the Northwest. The rich appearance and natural look have been the staple of quality homes all over the region. New cedar roofs look bright and new, and gracefully “weather out” into more of an aged wood look (although we can provide cedar that will take a long, long time to “weather out”). Cedar shakes can come in a variety of thicknesses and lifespans. Although our clients are continuously surprised to hear it, some cedar shakes last a very long time with minimal maintenance (depending on conditions). Cedar can be some of the most environmentally friendly roofing in both harvesting and recyclability. Some of our best wood shakes come from logs that are littering the forest floor, already dead for many years. This clears the forest floor and allows future generations of forest to be grown.
Alaskan Yellow Shingles
Alaskan Yellow cedar roofs are among the most unique, high quality wood roofs on the market today. They are known for their signature light golden color. They are a unique, premium, rare product. The wood is very, very dense. These roofs are typically applied with a 5” exposure to the sun, and they are 18” long. That means there are over three layers of wood protecting the home. The grain is so dense, that even when the factory saw blades are razor sharp, the wood has a slightly fuzzy appearance up-close, due to the fineness of the wood fibers.
Western Red Cedar Shingles
Cedar shingle roofs are some of the longest-lasting wood roofs, due to the layout of the product. This product typically has a 5” exposure to the sun, and is three layers thick. Most of Portland and Southwest Washington was covered by cedar shingles in the early portion of the last century. This historic roofing has a very long life expectancy, and “breathes” exceptionally well in our climate. These roofs come in different thicknesses, and are a traditional, beautiful look. They are high in product cost, and slow in installation. But cost per service year is good due to the longevity, if the right version of this product is chosen.