Wood shingle roofing (not to be confused with wood Shake) has definite curb appeal. Unfortunately, like any wood material, it is subject to weathering, and untreated wood shingles are a higher fire hazard. Untreated wood is no longer allowed by code. Luckily for those who prefer this look, there are processes available to allow these beautiful, natural and renewable roofing materials to grace your home’s new roof.
Wood shingles are a relatively small and smooth material, whereas wood shake is large and rough-hewn. Wood shingles have both a smooth side and a rough side, but are most often installed with the smooth side up. Traditionally made of Western cedar, since Old Growth forests are rapidly being depleted, modern wood shingles are often made from pine and yellow cedar these days, and are likewise treated for safety.
Since the roof is such an important part of your home, one should make a point of being certain that the wood being used has been treated with fire and rot retardants. Since the roof is made of wood, those treatments should be repeated periodically throughout the life of the roof. This is a maintenance which would not be necessary for a metal, asphalt or quarry shake or shingle, and should be kept in mind as it represents a necessary and ongoing expense.
Wood shingles do require more care, but present such a charming image and feel that many homeowners are willing to accept the additional care in exchange for the beauty they provide. As always, it is wise to consult with a roofing professional, no matter what material you prefer.