title image

Cedar Shake Roof Repair

Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake roofs are crafted by splitting logs, giving a rustic and earthy feel to your home. You’ll find houses with cedar shake roofs mainly in North America as a by-product of the colonial era. But many are still installed today, too.

Similar to other types of roofing, cedar shakes often require a fair deal of upkeep and repair. Their life expectancy is approximately 30 years, but it’s always a good idea to plan ahead. If you’re in the market for cedar shake roof repair, read further for some advice courtesy of our experts here at Dominion Roofing.

Cedar Shakes: An Overview

Cedar shakes are closely related to shingles in the way they overlap each other when installed. These roofs each have a unique personality due to the fact that no two shakes look the same. Each may differ in colour or size, but as long as they can fit together, they will look great. 

Initially, crafters used a tool called a froe or a hatchet to split the logs, which helped give them their rugged aesthetic. These days, more machinery is involved in the process, but many cedar shakes are still made by hand.

Because of this process, shakes are far thicker than shingles. This thickness is necessary for the shake to maintain its sturdiness with any amount of divots or imperfections caused in the manufacturing process.

You’ll find cedar shakes on colonial-style houses or those inspired by them. Additionally, they fit well with any rustic or “fairytale” home, as well as log cabins. Overall, they’re an excellent choice for both fashion and function.

Common Causes of Damage to Cedar Shakes

Unfortunately, the damage will occur no matter what type of roofing you choose. Cedar shakes are no exception to this. There’s a multitude of things that may cause damage to your shakes; identifying what the damage is will help influence your ability to repair it. Some of the more prominent causes of damage include: 

  • Trees & Bushes: Overgrown tree branches and bushes can cause a few hazards to cedar shakes. Falling debris can cause a whole slew of issues when left unkempt, and larger tree branches may crack or split your shakes.
  • Roof Debris: Any debris left on your roof will gather weight; at a certain point, the top can no longer hold it, and the shakes crack. Additionally, branches and natural debris can accumulate moisture and weaken the strength of the shakes themselves.
  • Improper Pitch: Your roof’s pitch refers to the angle at which it slopes. The pitch is determined by how many inches the slope rises per horizontal foot. An improper pitch will mean either too many or too little materials were used to get the job done, which runs the risk of overexposure to weather conditions.
  • Overexposure: The weather can cause various issues for your cedar shakes, depending on the type of weather your area experiences most frequently. In areas where snow and hail are common, overexposure can potentially split your shakes. Rain and sunlight can discolour or even expedite the rotting process. Excess dampening can even cause mould to grow, which weakens the wood’s structural integrity and can cause health issues for those who live under it.
  • Curled Shakes: Sunlight and rain can sometimes cause shakes and shingles to curl. This is natural and will happen over time; a few shakes curling is nothing to worry about. However, if you see that multiple shakes are curling, it can indicate that it’s time to repair or replace them. The average cedar shake roof lifespan is 30 years.
  • Missing Ridge: The ridge caps are the pieces of your shakes that top the peak of your roof. Because of the way shakes are overlaid during installation if your ridge cap shows serious signs of wear, the rest is soon to follow.
  • Moss Growth: Moss will grow more on the side of your roof that lacks sunlight. Although it can add to the charm of your cedar shake roof, moss will continue to grow until it pushes your shakes apart. The removal process will depend on how far along the moss has grown.

Repairing Cedar Shake Roofs

Depending on the issue, it may be time to repair or replace your shakes. For issues with individual shakes, you’ll want to perform consistent upkeep by replacing damaged, severely curled, or rotted shakes. The repair won’t work in these cases. Areas that are ripe for restoration include damaged vents, valleys, and flashings. If you think it’s time to repair or replace your cedar shake roof, contact the experts at Dominion Roofing.

Perhaps the most common issue that requires repair is a leak. For cedar shakes, using a metal shim and installing it where cracks overlap or where rot has developed can help. For more specific steps for fixing a leaky roof, click here

Regardless of how serious a leak is, you run the risk of water damage to your home; never overlook a leak, no matter how small.

Hiring a professional team to maintain your cedar shake roof means that every part will be inspected and maintained. This includes shakes, membranes, valleys, ridges, and many more! If you need a trusted roofing expert for cedar shake roof repairs, contact Dominion Roofing today!

Benefits of Regular Maintenance on Your Cedar Shake Roof

Keeping tabs on the state of your roof has various benefits. Cedar shake roof maintenance can increase its lifespan past the 30-year mark. 

One of the biggest obstacles in the face of your roof’s life expectancy is pests. As appealing as cedar shake roofs are to humans, they are to pests as well. A few different types of pests may take an interest in your roof, from carpenter bees to woodpeckers. Bees may require an exterminator, while a bag of mothballs can deter birds. 

Good upkeep habits can prevent pests from causing irreparable damage to your roof. Additionally, maintaining the well-being of your shakes can increase your home’s resale value and limit the future damage that can be done.


“If you’re going for a more luxurious look, try installing a cedar shake roof.”

FAQs for Cedar Shake Roof Repair

Will termites infest my cedar shake roof due to it being made from cedar wood?

Yes. Cedar contains allelochemicals, which is a natural repellent to certain insects. They are less likely to eat cedar than other types of lighter wood. However, termites will still attack cedar if that’s the only option they have. The allelochemicals are found in the core of the wood, so the outer layers are still appetizing to them.

Can I use a pressure washer to clean my cedar shake roof?

No. Using a pressure washer can vastly expedite the ageing process on your shakes. Also, extra exposure to moisture can cause rot or the loss of its structural integrity. Cedar is water-resistant, but pushing that boundary isn’t a good idea.

Do I have to apply treatments on my cedar shake roof?

You don’t have to apply any treatments, but doing so will increase the strength and life expectancy of your roof. If you do choose to treat, make sure you’ve completely removed any debris before applying.


    No Comments

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Burlington | Brampton | Etobicoke | Markham | Mississauga | North York | Oakville | Richmond Hill | Scarborough | Vaughan