Natural wood shake roofs offer homeowners many benefits. This roof type is attractive, provides great home insulation, and, when cared for properly, can last several decades. However, before you install a roof of natural wood, you should learn about shake alternative roofing and the many advantages of this roof type.
Shake alternative roof shingles look just like natural wood shakes yet are made from environmentally friendly synthetic materials. This roof material offers all of the advantages of a natural wood roof with few of the disadvantages.
Learn three of the many advantages of shake alternative roof shingles compared to natural wood shakes.
1. Maximum Fire Resistance
Every roof material has a fire-resistance rating. Class A fire ratings are given to only the most fire-resistant roof materials on the market today. Roof materials rated Class B or Class C are somewhat resistant to fires, while unrated roof materials offer little fire protection.
Untreated natural wood shakes are unrated in fire-resistance, which means that they can easily catch fire if an ember lands on them and then spread this fire into your home. In fact, wood shakes are so prone to catching fire that they have been outlawed in some areas of the country prone to wildfires. When pressure treated with fire-resistant chemicals, some wood shakes achieve Class C or B ratings.
Composite, or synthetic, shake shingles, are typically given Class A fire-resistance ratings, which means you can install these shingles without worry that your new roof will be a fire hazard.
2. Little Maintenance
While wood shake roofs can stay in great shape for many decades, keeping a natural wood roof in good condition requires extensive maintenance. Wood roofs are prone to moss growth, fungal attacks, wood rot, and gradual wearing away of the roof surface that occurs through a process called weathering. Some wood species, such as cedar, also become discolored as quickly as one year after installation due to UV ray exposure.
To ward off these roof problems, a natural wood roof needs power washing or manual cleaning on a regular basis to remove surface debris and stains. Wood treatments that contain UV ray inhibitors, water repellants, wood preservatives, and herbicides also need periodic application to protect the roof from the outdoor weather elements and prevent the growth of moss.
Many people with wood shake roofs also apply wood oils or color stains that restore the original wood color after it has dulled over time.
Composite shake shingles are not prone to damage from the outdoor elements as natural wood shakes are, so they require little maintenance. Simply inspect your composite roof on a regular basis to ensure all shingles are still in place and flashings are secure. These shingles are resistant to algae and mold growth and do not change color over time, as natural wood shakes can, so they need no special surface treatments.
3. Insect Resistance
Three types of termites are commonly found in the state of Colorado: eastern subterranean termites, arid-land subterranean termites, and western drywood termites. Termites feast on the cellulose that all woods contain, making most types of wooden shakes prone to attack by termites. In addition, some other insects, such as carpenter ants, also enjoy building their homes in moist wood.
While surface treatments can be applied to wood shakes on a regular basis to reduce the chance of termite and carpenter ant infestations, these treatments do wear off over time and none are completely foolproof.
Composite shake shingles typically contain no wood or wood cellulose, leading to them being completely resistant to infestations by all insects that enjoy eating or burrowing in wood, including termites and carpenter ants.
If you would like a roof that offers all of the benefits of a natural wood shake roof without many of the disadvantages, then consider composite shake shingles instead. Contact the roofing experts at Golden Spike Roofing to schedule shake alternative roofing installation today.