Skip to content Skip to footer

Wood shingle roofs are a popular roofing option for homeowners who want a natural and rustic look for their homes. Made from thin, flat pieces of wood that are sawn or split from a larger piece, wood shingle roofs offer a unique aesthetic quality.

But what exactly is a wood shingle roof? Simply put, it is a roof made from wooden shingles, also known as wood shakes. These shingles are typically made from cedar, redwood, or pine, and are carefully crafted to create a durable and attractive roofing material.

Wood shingle roofs have been used for centuries, and have become popular for their insulation properties, eco-friendliness, and aesthetic appeal. Whether you are building a new home or considering replacing your roof, a wood shingle roof is a great option to consider.

Benefits of Wood Shingle Roofs

When it comes to choosing a new roof for your home, there are a variety of materials available. One option that has gained popularity in recent years is the wood shingle roof. While it may not be the most common choice, there are a number of benefits to consider.


One of the most notable benefits of a wood shingle roof is its natural beauty. Wood shingles provide a warm, rustic look that can enhance the curb appeal of any home. Additionally, wood shingles are available in a variety of styles and colors, allowing homeowners to customize their roof to their preferences.


Another advantage of wood shingle roofs is their insulating properties. Wood is a natural insulator, meaning that it can help to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This can lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment.


While it may be surprising, wood shingle roofs can actually be quite durable. Properly installed and maintained, a wood shingle roof can last for several decades. Additionally, wood shingles are able to withstand strong winds and heavy rain, making them a great choice for homeowners living in areas with severe weather.


Finally, wood shingle roofs are an environmentally friendly option. Because wood is a renewable resource, using it for roofing can help to reduce our reliance on nonrenewable materials. Additionally, wood shingles can be recycled at the end of their life, further reducing their environmental impact.

Types of Wood Used for Shingle Roofs

When it comes to wood shingle roofs, the type of wood used can significantly impact the overall quality and durability of the roof. Here are three popular types of wood used for shingle roofs:

Wood Type Characteristics
Cedar Cedar is a popular choice for wood shingle roofs due to its natural resistance to rot and insects. It is also known for its distinctive color and texture, which can add visual appeal to a roof.
Redwood Like cedar, redwood is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage. It is also a popular choice for its rich color and durability.
Pine Pine shingles are more affordable than cedar or redwood and can still provide a durable and attractive option for wood shingle roofs. However, they do require more maintenance and are less resistant to decay and insect damage.

Other Wood Types Used for Shingle Roofs

While cedar, redwood, and pine are the most commonly used wood types for shingle roofs, there are several other options available, including:

  • Cypress
  • Spruce
  • Oak
  • Fir

When choosing a wood type for your wood shingle roof, it is important to consider factors such as climate, maintenance requirements, and visual appeal.

Installation Process of Wood Shingle Roofs

The installation process of a wood shingle roof is a detailed and critical process that requires experience and expertise. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing a wood shingle roof:

Step 1: Prepare the Roof

The first step is to ensure that the roof is cleared of any debris, dirt, or other materials that may have accumulated on it. The roof must be clean and free of any obstacles such as satellite dishes, solar panels, or chimney caps that may interfere with the installation.

Step 2: Add Underlayment

After cleaning the roof, the next step is to add underlayment. This is a layer of water-resistant material that is installed on the roof deck to provide extra protection against water intrusion. The underlayment also helps to create a flat surface for installing the shingles.

Step 3: Install Starter Shingles

The starter shingles are the first layer of shingles that are installed at the eaves of the roof. They are important because they provide extra protection against water infiltration and they help to keep the shingles in place. Starter shingles are typically made of the same material as the rest of the shingles.

Step 4: Lay the Shingles

Once the starter shingles are in place, the next step is to lay the wood shingles. Each shingle must be carefully placed so that it overlaps with the previous shingle and is properly aligned. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, which may vary depending on the type of wood shingle being used.

Step 5: Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is critical for a wood shingle roof. Adequate ventilation allows heat and moisture to escape from the roof, which helps to prevent damage to the shingles. Ventilation also helps to regulate the temperature in the attic, which can prolong the life of the roof. There are several different types of vents that can be used, such as ridge vents, soffit vents, and gable vents.

Overall, installing a wood shingle roof requires careful planning, attention to detail, and expertise. It’s important to work with a professional who has experience in wood shingle roofing to ensure that the installation is done correctly.

Maintenance and Care for Wood Shingle Roofs

Proper maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity and durability of your wood shingle roof. Here are some tips to keep your roof in top condition:

  • Regular inspections: Inspect your roof at least once a year, or after severe weather events, to spot any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  • Preventing moss and algae growth: Keep your roof free of debris and trim any overhanging tree branches to limit shade and allow for better ventilation. Apply a moss and algae preventative treatment to keep these organisms from taking hold.
  • Treating wood rot: Any signs of wood rot, such as soft or spongy spots on the shingles, must be addressed immediately. Replace any damaged shingles to prevent further damage to the roof.
  • Regular cleaning: Use a soft-bristled brush or low-pressure power washer to clean your roof periodically, but avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the shingles or degrade the wood.


Regular inspections are crucial for identifying potential issues before they turn into major problems. Here are the key steps for inspecting your wood shingle roof:

Step What to look for
1. Check for missing or damaged shingles Missing or damaged shingles can expose the roof to water infiltration and compromise its integrity.
2. Inspect flashing around chimneys and vents Flashing is the material that seals the joints where the roof meets other structures. Make sure it is intact and free of cracks or gaps.
3. Look for signs of water damage Water damage can appear as discoloration, swelling, or sagging of the shingles, or as water stains on the ceiling inside the house.


Keeping your wood shingle roof clean is important for preventing the growth of moss, algae, and other organisms that can damage the shingles. Here are some tips for cleaning your roof:

  1. Use a soft-bristled brush or low-pressure power washer to remove debris and build-up.
  2. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the shingles or degrade the wood.
  3. Clean the gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage and prevent water backup.

By following these maintenance and care tips, you can ensure that your wood shingle roof stays in great condition for many years to come.

Longevity of Wood Shingle Roofs

The lifespan and durability of a wood shingle roof can vary depending on several factors. With proper maintenance and care, a wood shingle roof can last between 30 to 50 years.

However, the longevity of a wood shingle roof can be influenced by the climate and weather patterns of the installation location. Areas with frequent rain, snow, or high humidity levels can cause the shingles to absorb excess moisture and reduce their lifespan. Additionally, exposure to direct sunlight can cause the shingles to dry out and become brittle over time.

Proper installation and maintenance can also impact the lifespan of a wood shingle roof. A quality installation that includes proper ventilation and flashing can prevent issues such as wood rot or warping.

Regular inspections and maintenance procedures, such as removing debris and preventing moss or algae growth, can also prolong the lifespan of a wood shingle roof.

It is important to note that the longevity of a wood shingle roof can also vary depending on the quality and type of wood used for the shingles. High-quality materials such as cedar or redwood are more durable and have a longer lifespan than cheaper alternatives.

Cost Considerations for Wood Shingle Roofs

When considering a wood shingle roof, cost is a major factor that should be taken into account. The cost of a wood shingle roof can vary depending on several factors, including the type of wood used, the complexity of the installation, and the size of the roof.

On average, wood shingle roofs are more expensive than traditional asphalt roofs. However, they are often more durable and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. This makes them a worthwhile investment for homeowners who are looking for a long-term roofing solution.

Cost Factors Expected Range
Material costs $400 – $900 per square foot
Installation expenses $200 – $500 per square foot
Long-term savings Potential energy savings and increased home value

While the initial cost of a wood shingle roof may be higher, it is important to consider the long-term savings that can result from lower energy bills and increased home value. In addition, the unique aesthetic appeal of wood shingle roofs can add to the overall curb appeal of a home, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners.

Environmental Impact of Wood Shingle Roofs

As an eco-friendly roofing option, wood shingle roofs offer several benefits that make them a popular choice for homeowners concerned about sustainability. In addition to being made from renewable resources, they also have a lower carbon footprint compared to many other roofing materials.

However, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of the wood itself. Some types of wood used in shingle roofs can be sourced unsustainably, leading to deforestation and habitat destruction. To ensure a more sustainable approach, it’s recommended to choose wood shingles made from sustainably sourced lumber.

Benefits Considerations
  • Renewable resource
  • Lower carbon footprint
  • Recyclable
  • Possible unsustainable sourcing
  • May require treatment with chemicals
  • Not as durable as some other materials

Overall, the environmental impact of wood shingle roofs can be positive when sourced responsibly and cared for properly over time.

Comparison with Other Roofing Materials

Wood shingle roofs offer a unique look and a range of benefits that set them apart from other roofing materials. Here are some key comparisons:

Roofing Material Pros Cons
Asphalt Shingles
  • Lower cost
  • Easy to install
  • Widely available
  • Shorter lifespan
  • Less insulation
  • Not as eco-friendly
Metal Roofs
  • Durable
  • Good insulation
  • Can be made from recycled materials
  • Can be expensive
  • Susceptible to rust
  • May be noisy during rain or hail
Clay Tiles
  • Durable
  • Fire resistant
  • Excellent insulation
  • Heavy and may require additional support
  • Fragile and prone to breaking
  • Can be expensive

Compared to these materials, wood shingle roofs offer a natural and rustic look that can complement a variety of architectural styles. They also provide good insulation and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. However, they may be more expensive than asphalt shingles and require more maintenance than metal roofs or clay tiles.

Maintenance FAQ – Common Questions and Answers

Wood shingle roofs are beautiful, sustainable, and durable, but they do require proper maintenance to maintain their longevity. Here are some common questions and answers about maintaining wood shingle roofs.

How often should I inspect my wood shingle roof?

You should inspect your wood shingle roof at least once a year, ideally in the spring or fall. This will help you spot any potential issues before they become major problems.

How can I tell if my wood shingles are damaged?

Look for signs of cracking, splitting, or warping in the shingles. You may also notice missing or loose shingles, which can leave your roof vulnerable to leaks and water damage.

Can I power wash my wood shingle roof?

No, power washing can damage your wood shingles and strip away their protective layer. Instead, use a gentle cleaning solution applied with a soft-bristle brush or low-pressure sprayer.

How can I prevent moss and algae from growing on my wood shingle roof?

Moss and algae thrive in damp, shady areas. To prevent growth, trim back any overhanging trees or branches and ensure proper ventilation in your attic to reduce moisture buildup.

When should I schedule a professional inspection for my wood shingle roof?

If you notice any signs of damage or wear on your roof, you should schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible. Additionally, if your roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, a thorough inspection can help you determine whether it’s time for replacement.

Can I repair individual wood shingles, or do I need to replace the entire roof?

In many cases, individual shingles can be replaced without the need for a full roof replacement. However, it’s important to have a professional assess the damage and determine the best course of action.


Overall, wood shingle roofs offer a plethora of benefits that make them an attractive option for homeowners. Not only do they enhance the aesthetic appeal of a home, but they also provide excellent insulation and durability in many climates.

However, it is important to consider the cost implications, as wood shingle roofs can be more expensive than some other roofing materials. Additionally, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that the roof stays in good condition and lasts as long as possible.

Despite these considerations, the unique charm and sustainability of wood shingle roofs make them a worthwhile investment for many homeowners. With proper care and attention, they can provide excellent protection and add value to a property for many years to come.

+ posts

Leave a comment


Skip to content