Wood Shake Roof

Wood Shake Roof: Pros and Cons for Your Home

Wood shake roofing has stood the test of time as one of the oldest and most enduring roofing materials. If you’re considering replacing your current roof, this roofing material may be an excellent choice for its unique charm and natural appeal. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of wood shingle roof, giving you a comprehensive understanding of its benefits and drawbacks.

Wood Shake Roofing Pros


1. Aesthetically Pleasing

Wood shake roofs instantly enhance the curb appeal of any home. They add a touch of natural beauty and rustic charm that is hard to replicate with other roofing materials. As wood shakes age, they develop a distinct silver-gray or dark brown color, further enhancing their unique appeal. The manufacturing process of splitting wood gives these roofs an authentic texture that homeowners love.

2. Excellent Wind and Impact Resistance

Wood shingle roofs offer good wind resistance, with the ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 245 mph, depending on the size and cut of the shakes. Additionally, wood is a durable material, providing good impact resistance. Some wood shakes even have a class 4 impact resistance rating, meaning they can withstand the impact of a 2-inch piece of ice.

3. Easy Repair

Repairing a wood shake roof is relatively straightforward. If a shake becomes damaged, it can be easily replaced by removing the affected piece and sliding in a new one. However, it is advisable to hire a professional for all your roofing needs. It’s important to note that it may be challenging to match the color of new shake shingles with the existing roof.

4. Energy Efficient

Wood shake roofs offer high energy savings for homeowners. The natural insulation properties of wood help regulate indoor temperature, keeping homes warm in winter and cool in summer. By reducing the reliance on heating and cooling systems, wood shake roofs can significantly lower energy bills.

5. Eco-Friendly Option

Wood shake roofing is an environmentally friendly choice. As it is made from organic natural materials, wood shakes can be easily disposed of without causing harm to the environment. Additionally, many manufacturers practice responsible sourcing by planting new trees to replace those used in making wood shake shingles.

6. Versatility

Wood shakes are versatile and can be used for various pitched roofs. Whether it’s a residential or commercial building or even an antique structure, wood shakes can be a suitable roofing option. They blend well with different architectural styles, adding character and charm to any property.

Wood Shake Roofing Cons


1. Low Fire Resistance

One of the main drawbacks of wood shake roofs is their low fire resistance. In regions prone to wildfires, many roofing professionals do not recommend wood shake roofing. However, it is possible to increase the fire resistance of wood shakes by using pressure treatments and applying fire retardants.

2. Susceptible to Rotting

Wood shake roofs have the potential to absorb water, which can lead to rotting. While the water absorption can help the shakes expand and prevent leaks, moisture retention on the underside of the shakes can cause warping and rotting over time. Proper maintenance and regular inspections are crucial to detect and address any signs of water damage promptly.

3. Insect Infestation

Wood shake roofs can attract insects, such as wasps, that may build nests within the shakes. These insects chew the wood and create paper-like nests, which can be challenging to remove. Regular pest control measures are necessary to prevent infestations and maintain the integrity of the roof.

4. Prone to Cracking

Over time, wood shakes can deteriorate and develop cracks, making them more susceptible to leaks. Prompt repair and maintenance are essential to address any cracks or damage to ensure the longevity of the roof.

5. Limited Lifespan

Compared to other roofing materials, wood shake roofs have a relatively short lifespan. While proper maintenance can extend their longevity to around 30 years, other materials like slate and metal can last several decades longer. Homeowners should consider the lifespan of wood shake roofing when making a long-term investment decision.

Is Wood Shake Roofing Right for You?

Wood shake roofing may be the right choice for your home if:

  • You appreciate the unique and natural look that wood roofs provide.
  • You prefer a roofing material that is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
  • You are looking for an energy-efficient option that can help reduce your energy bills.

If you are interested in installing a quality wood shake roof, it is recommended to consult with a professional roofing company. They can provide expert guidance and ensure a proper installation that meets your specific needs.

In conclusion, wood shake roofing offers aesthetic appeal, wind and impact resistance, and energy efficiency. However, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks such as low fire resistance, susceptibility to rotting, and the need for regular maintenance. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether wood shake roofing is the right choice for your home. If you still have questions as to whether or not you should replace your roof you might enjoy reading “5 Roofing FAQ“.

For more information about a wood shake roof or to schedule a consultation, contact a reputable roofing company like Wyben Roofing today.

Scroll to Top