Here in the  Midwest many homeowners like the rustic, north woods look.  And for homes, that often means split wood shake roofing.  Once popular in rural areas, this type of roofing has made its way right into the urban communities of the Twin Cities.  We can understand that - it's a natural product that produces a look more in keeping with the nature around us.  But despite its charming appeal, real wood shake roofing has its drawbacks.  We have a better idea for homeowners who want this look - steel roofing.  Shown at right here is one of our projects.

Why We Do Not Recommend Real Wood Shake or Shingle Roofing for Minnesota Homes

While wood shake roofing can last about as long as asphalt roofing when properly maintained, there are a number of reasons that this type of roofing material isn't a good idea for our part of the country (or most any other area, for that matter).
  • The cost is far from economical; asphalt shingle roofing is less expensive to install. Of course, other roof types such as slate and tile can cost twice as much.
  • Depending on the area you live in, your homeowner's insurance company may decline to offer coverage, due to the high flammability.  In fact, we've replaced cedar shake roofing on several homes in our area mainly for that reason
  • Wood shakes are prone to infestation by insects and other pests as well as damage, decay, and rot from moisture.  Mold and algae development are not uncommon. 
  • Over time, those shakes will shrink and crack, making them vulnerable to leakage. 
  • The color you get when your roof is installed won't last; expect it to fade and discolor quickly.  While you might like that aged look, most homeowners don't. 
  • Any type of wood roof is high maintenance.  Frequent cleaning and removal of debris is essential; otherwise moss and lichen will develop, which will cause eventual roof failure.  An inspection at least once a year is recommended. (You can go longer with other types of roofing). 

If you like the look of wood shakes but the drawbacks have you literally drawing back from your choice, talk to us about a better alternative: steel shake roofing.  In our upcoming post we'll discuss how you can have the look of wood in a superior roofing material that requires virtually no maintenance.

Quarve Contracting, Inc. is a licensed Minnesota home remodeling company specializing in the installation of energy-efficient exterior products, including steel roofing