Arizona Roofing System Inc

Are Wood Shakes and Shingles a Feasible Roofing Option?

Before we even ask the pivotal question, whether wood shingles and shakes are a viable roofing option, let us differentiate them. While both are manufactured from the same types of trees – cypress, redwood and pines, the latter is usually split from logs before being reshaped for commercial use. Shakes tend to have thicker butt ends. One or both surfaces could be split to achieve a textured effect. Both sides of the shingles will be sawn. They also tend to have similar thickness.

Why wood shakes and shingles are feasible

  • They are an organic option
  • These 2 materials are ‘green roofing materials’.
  • Long lifespan

Wood shakes and shingles could have a lifespan of at least 3 decades. They naturally resist thermal shock, something that breaks down synthetic roofing materials.

Energy efficiency

The materials are very energy efficient. Their R-value is actually better than that of other roofing materials like steel, concrete and aluminum.

What is the cost of using wood shakes and shingles for roofing?

When compared to asphalt, it is more expensive to install the latter [wood shakes and shingles]. However, the money that you will ultimately save from energy costs is quite substantial.


Wood shakes and shingles will still serve you well, even when left untreated. However, if you live in a very hot and humid area, your roof has a low pitch, or you have trees around your home, treatment is necessary to allow for a long lifespan.


Do not allow debris to accumulate on your wood shakes and shingles. The debris could retain moisture or cause the formation of moss and fungus. It could also prevent proper drainage of rain water. Your roof could also start leaking.

You need to regularly clean the roof using a jet of water with high-pressure or a brush. The cleaning should be gently done so that the shingles are not damaged. Ensure that foreign matter is removed from the spaces between the shingles.

When should you replace your wood shingles and shakes?

After 3 decades of weathering and other different elements, your wood shakes and shingles will need replacement. The following are indicators of replacement:

  • Graying color (indicator of micro-fungal growth)
  • Missing shingles
  • Rot or warping
  • Water leakage – your roof’s underlayment could be faulty
  • Regulation

There are areas where wood shakes and shingles are not allowed by certain regulations, due to the areas’ harsh climate and wildfires. Check with your state’s regulatory bodies before going for these shingles.

Recycled rubber

In the event that you still want to maintain the look of the wood shakes and shingles but your area’s regulation will not allow you, you could go for recycled rubber. The rubber does look like natural shingles and shakes but is more resistant to elements and harsh climate.

All in All

If you want to give your home a natural look, wood shakes and shingles could be your best option. They have a long lifespan, they are ‘green’ and they are energy efficient. All you need to ensure is that the roof is installed by one of the best roofing contractors in Mesa, AZ, Arizona Roofing Systems.