Modern Wood Shake and Wood Shingle Roofing

Modern Wood Shake and Wood Shingle Roofing

The term “wood shingles” is often used interchangeably with “wood shakes” but generally “shakes” for roofing are of a thicker cut than the wood “shingle” with its butt end that tapers down to a fine edge.

By any name, wood roofing brings with it a host of maintenance, performance, and durability issues. Fortunately, DECRA Metal Roofing Shake XD(R) and Shake roofing profiles eliminate these concerns, especially for homes where steep slopes and complex hipped roofs rely on the texture and robust dimensions of wood shakes to enhance classical architectural themes.

Let’s take a look at why so many homeowners and businesses turn to DECRA Metal Roofing to replicate traditional wood roofing without compromising beauty for durability.

Common Problems With Conventional Wood Shake and Shingle Roofs

  • Even the best cedar shingles weather quickly to a dull gray. Without repeated protective coatings they soon lose the original natural patina and texture that made them so appealing when new.

  • Wood shakes need special fire-resistant chemical treatments to achieve the minimum standard for fire ratings. If untreated they can’t be rated for fire-resistance at all.

  • Wood shake roofs in fire-prone areas may be very expensive, if not impossible, to insure.

  • Wood shakes and shingles aren’t warrantied against wind at all.

  • Curling, splitting, and loosening around the fasteners occurs after brief exposure to the elements due to the high expansion and contraction properties of wood in varying temperatures and seasonal weather extremes.

  • In shady areas, wood shakes and shingles are prone to moss overgrowth and algae, fungus, and lichens. Expensive repeated chemical treatments are required to control overgrowth on the roof. 

  • Wood shakes do very little to enhance energy efficiency. Wood can’t reflect solar energy up and away from the home nearly as well as a metal roof and contributes poorly as an insulator for an energy-efficient tight building envelope.

  • Wood shingles need a 1/4 to 3/8 inch gap and wood shakes require a 3/8 to 5/8 inch wide gap between them to allow for expansion and contraction movement in wet/dry cycles. If this gap, or “keyway”, isn’t precisely implemented during installation, roof failure can occur.

  • Curling and splitting occur when wood shakes or shingles are installed over unvented solid plywood decking. The master roofers at Inspectopedia believe this can reduce the wood roof lifespan by as much as half.

Durable and Insurable Wood Roofing Solutions

Roofs of any type older than 15- 20 years, but especially wood shake and shingle roofs with the poorest wind, fire, and impact resistance can be difficult to insure. Some insurers simply refuse to renew homeowner policies on homes and buildings with wood roofs older than 20 years without a thorough roof inspection first. If the roof fails inspection a complete replacement is usually required before the policy can be renewed.

Insurers are trying to limit liability for all types of roof claims for wind or hail or anything other than fire. States like California and Colorado are seeing an increase in wood shake and shingle endorsements on insurance policies.

A wood shake or shingle endorsement is a written document attached to an insurance policy that excludes or restricts coverage of wooden shingle or shake roofs.

The good news is that DECRA Shake XD and DECRA Shake, and all DECRA stone-coated steel roofing profiles are unsurpassed in every roofing material performance category including:

  • Class A fire-resistance rated material

  • Storm, snow, rain, sleet, and ice durability

  • The highest Class 4 hail impact resistance

  • Wind uplift resistance warrantied up to 120 mph and lab tested at twice that speed to provide a 100% safety margin

  • In earthquake and hurricane zones, DECRA adds crucial shear strength to reinforce the roof deck that no other conventional roofing product can provide.

  • Lightweight DECRA Shake and Shake XD can eliminate the need for a complete tear-off of the existing roof.

  • Lifespan is 2-3 times longer than the best conventional roofing materials eliminating the costs of re-roofing every 15- 20 years.

  • Insurance companies love DECRA for the strength, durability, and fire resistance of stone-coated steel. That’s why DECRA roofs qualify for insurance discounts in many states.

At 20 years a DECRA roof is just getting started on a lifetime of protection against anything Mother Nature can dish out. That’s why the DECRA Lifetime Limited Warranty is transferable to a new homeowner for the first 20 years after installation.

Which Wood Shake or Shingle Profile is Right for You?

DECRA Shake XD replicates the rustic detail of genuine hand-split wood shakes and DECRA Shake provides the same robust elegance and distinct shadows and textures of thick-cut cedar shakes. Both eliminate the shortcomings of wood shakes with DECRA’s proprietary acrylic formula bonding and stone-coating manufacturing method, ensuring your roof will look as vibrant in 50 years as it did the day it was installed.

Replicate Any Style Roof With the Durable Beauty of DECRA

Whether you are replicating traditional wood shakes, classic clay tile, or conventional architectural shingles DECRA has the durable stone-coated steel roofing products you need to create elegant, sustainable, and durable roofs that last a lifetime. Contact a DECRA advisor today to learn more and to receive a free sample. 

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