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Types of Wood for Roofing: Choosing the Right Material for Your Home

Types of Wood for Roofing


As a homeowner, choosing the right roofing material for your home can be a daunting task. With so many options available in the market, it’s essential to consider various factors, including durability, resistance to weather, and overall lifespan. One popular choice among homeowners is a wooden roof, which is not only visually appealing but also provides several benefits. In this article, we will discuss the different types of wood for roofing, their properties, and factors to consider when choosing a wooden roof.

Types of Wood Roof

Wooden roofs have been a popular choice for centuries, and for good reason. Wood roofs add warmth and character to any home, making them a timeless option. Here are some of the most common types of wood used for roofing:

  • Cedar

Cedar is one of the most popular choices for wooden roofs due to its durability and resistance to rot. Cedar roofs can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance and care, making them a long-term investment for homeowners. Additionally, cedar is naturally resistant to insects, making it an ideal choice for homes located in areas prone to termite infestations.

  • Redwood

Redwood is another popular choice for wooden roofs, known for its strength and durability. It has a natural resistance to rot, insects, and decay, making it an ideal choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting roofing material. Additionally, redwood is known for its distinct reddish-brown color, which adds a unique look to any home.

  • Pine

Pine is a cost-effective option for homeowners looking for a wooden roof. It is easy to work with and install, making it a popular choice for roofing contractors. Pine is also durable, but it requires regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay. With proper care, a pine roof can last up to 25 years.

  • Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is lumber that has been treated with chemicals to make it resistant to damage. It’s commonly used for outdoor projects but should be handled with care due to potentially harmful chemicals.

  • Red Cedar

Red Cedar is a type of softwood tree native to North America. It is prized for its attractive reddish-brown color, fine texture, and natural resistance to decay and insect infestation. Red Cedar is commonly used for outdoor projects such as fences, decks, and siding, as well as for indoor applications such as closets, chests, and furniture. It’s also a popular material for making cedarwood essential oil, which is used in aromatherapy and as a natural insect repellent. Red Cedar is a durable and versatile wood that is well-suited for a wide range of applications.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wooden Roof

Choosing the right wooden roof for your home depends on various factors, including:

  1. Durability

The durability of a wooden roof depends on the type of wood used and how well it’s maintained. Cedar and redwood are known for their durability, while pine requires regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay.

  1. Resistance to Weather

Wooden roofs can be resistant to weather, but some types of wood are more resistant than others. Cedar is known for its resistance to rot, insects, and decay, making it an ideal choice for homes located in areas with high humidity and rainfall.

  1. Lifespan

The lifespan of a wooden roof depends on the type of wood used and how well it’s maintained. Cedar and redwood can last up to 50 years, while pine has a lifespan of up to 25 years.

  1. Cost

The cost of a wooden roof depends on the type of wood used and the size of the roof. Cedar and redwood are more expensive than pine, but they offer better durability and resistance to weather.

  1. Maintenance

Wooden roofs require regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay. Cedar and redwood require less maintenance than pine, making them a better long-term investment for homeowners.

Choosing a Wooden Roof: What to Keep in Mind

When choosing a wooden roof, keep the following in mind:

  1. Hire a Professional Roofing Contractor

Installing a wooden roof requires expertise and experience. It’s essential to hire a professional roofing contractor to ensure the roof is installed correctly and meets all safety regulations.

  1. Consider the Deck

The deck is the foundation of the roof and plays a crucial role in its durability of the roof. It’s essential to choose a deck made of high-quality materials to ensure the wooden roof lasts longer.

  1. Check Local Building Codes

Before installing a wooden roof, check local building codes to ensure the type of wood and installation method meet the requirements. Some areas may have restrictions on certain types of wood or require specific installation methods.

  1. Consider Climate and Weather

Climate and weather conditions can have a significant impact on the lifespan and durability of a wooden roof. Consider the amount of rainfall, humidity, and temperature fluctuations in your area when choosing a wooden roof.

  1. Regular Maintenance is Essential

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of a wooden roof. This includes cleaning the roof to remove debris and leaves, checking for signs of damage or decay, and repairing any issues promptly.

In conclusion, a wooden roof can add a unique and timeless look to any home. When choosing a wooden roof, consider the type of wood, durability, resistance to weather, lifespan, cost, and maintenance requirements. Hiring a professional roofing contractor, considering the deck, checking local building codes, and considering climate and weather conditions are also crucial factors to keep in mind. With proper care and maintenance, a wooden roof can last for many years and provide a beautiful and durable roofing option for any homeowner.

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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