Wood shakes offer a natural look with a lot of character. Because of variations like color, width, thickness, or cut of the wood, no two shake roofs will ever be the same. We’ve been installing cedar shake roofs for years in the pacific northwest including Mount Vernon, Everett, and Bellingham. Wood offers some energy benefits, too: it helps to insulate the attic, and it allows the house to breathe, circulating air through the small openings under the felt rows on which wooden shingles are laid. A wood shake roof, however demands proper maintenance and repair, or it will not last as long as other products.
There are pressure-treated shakes that are impregnated with fire retardant and meet national fire safety standards. Made by companies like Chemco, this pressure treating extends the life of wood shingles and provides better fire safety performance.
The best shakes come from the heartwood of large old cedar trees. Care should be taken when selecting shakes as the quality varies greatly from different shake mills.