When it comes to roofs, there are many materials to choose from. The most popular option is asphalt shingles, which come in a variety of colors and designs. Other options include metal roofs such as copper or steel, and stone roofs such as concrete or stone tiles. A final option that has been growing in popularity over the years is wood shake roofs. These beautiful and stylish wood shake roofs will be the topic of discussion today.
Wood Shake vs. Wood Shingle Roofs
To start out, it’s important to know that there are two types of wood roofs – wood shake and wood shingle. Although both come from trees – usually cedar but sometimes also pine, redwood or cypress – they differ in the way they are manufactured and the final look.
Wood shingles are machined sawed, which makes them uniform in thickness and taper. They look like plain, straight, uniform boards when placed on a roof.
On the other hand, wood shake is hand split from a larger piece of wood. It is designed so the butt end (the end that shows on the roof) is thicker than the base. It also does not have the uniformity of wood shingles. Wood shake pieces will vary in size and shape, and they are also highly textured on the surface. This gives it rustic charm.
The picture below shows a roof constructed with wood shake. Notice the variation in size, shape and texture that add to the beauty of the roof.
Wood shake roofs often utilize copper in the design for features such as valleys, flashing, leaders and gutters. These are crucial elements of any roof because they assist in proper drainage and moving water away from the roof.
Copper is chosen because of its durability – these copper features will last a long time before needing repair or replacement. It also blends nicely with the color of the wood and is bacteria-resistant.
In the picture above you can see two of these features:
- Around the base of the chimney you’ll see a copper plate – this is the copper flashing.
- Where the chimney-roof and side roof connect you’ll notice a copper valley. Because of the slope, these areas can be prone to water pooling; however the valley allows water to slide down to the gutter and away from the roof.
In the picture below you can get a better look at the copper valley and see how it functions to bring water from the roof down to the gutter.
Other copper features of a wood shake roof include the copper gutter and the copper leader. These concepts are demonstrated in the picture below. The gutter is copper piece that is attached horizontally to the edge of the roof. The leader is the pipe that leads down from the gutter to the ground. Both are essential for facilitating the correct flow of water away from the roof and home.
Benefits of Wood Shake Roofs
The most obvious benefit of the wood shake roof is its beauty! It is natural looking, blends in with the environment and gives a weathered, rustic look that homeowners love. However, there are a few other benefits of wood shake roofs. This includes:
- Insulation – Wood is a great insulator, which can reduce the cost of heating and cooling. Insulation is measured by something called the r-value. While asphalt shingles have an r-value of 0.44, wood has an r-value of 0.97, making it a better insulator.
- Durability – Wood shake can hold up against strong winds so it is good for areas prone to strong storms.
- Longevity – Wood shake can last a long time – as much as 20 to 40 years.
- Low Maintenance – Once you get a wood shake there is very little upkeep that is necessary.
Wood shake roofs look beautiful up close and from a distance. They are the ultimate roofing choice for homeowners who want to optimize functionality with a beautiful aesthetic that adds to the home’s curb appeal.
Gerety Building & Restoration specializes in the installation of wood shake roofs – in fact, all of the pictures in this article are past projects of ours. To learn more about our services, visit our roofing page, or give us a call at (914) 248-1300 to discuss your next project.