Cedar shake roofs are long-lasting and great-looking alternatives to traditional asphalt shingles. Cedar roofs are known for their toughness and their unique style which can set a house apart from its surroudings. However, cedar shakes don't last forever. You should pay attention to some of the most common signs you need a new cedar shake roof so you don't end up with a bad roof causing you further problems.
Signs Your Cedar Shake Roof Needs Replacement
One of the most frequent problems caused by old or damaged cedar shake roofs is leaking. Leaks and water damage are definite signs that you need a new roof. However, catching these leaks early - before they cause too much damage - can be tricky.
If you have an aging cedar shake roof, make sure to check for leaks regularly after heavy rains or severe storms. Look for discoloration on your ceiling or walls, or go up into your attic and look for water on the inside of the roof or discolored plywood. These can all be signs of water intrusion.
Curling or Cupping
As cedar shakes age, they tend to warp and distort. While some warping is normal and natural, too much distortion can cause the roof to leak or shingles to suffer damage. One of the most common ways shingles warp is curling or cupping.
Curling and cupping happen over time as cedar shakes or shingles are subjected to UV radiation, rain, heat, and other natural forces. Over time, the expansion and contraction of the shingles can lead to cupping and curling. However, excessive cupping and curling - for instance, which exposes the underlayment beneath the shakes - is a sign that your roof needs repair or replacement.
You should also note that new cedar shingles or shakes will cup or curl slightly, but extreme cupping or curling is a sign of a bad installation. This is why it's vital you only work with roofers who have experience installing and maintaining cedar roofs.
Along with cupping and curling, age and elemental exposure can also cause cedar shakes and shingles to split. Splits can happen very gradually or they can be sudden events. In any case, split shingles are often a sign you need to replace your roof or at least consider repairs.
If you do notice any split shingles on your roof, pay attention to how the split looks compared to the rest of the shingle. A split that is a noticeably brighter color than the shingle's exterior is usually a sign of storm or debris damage. In these cases it's worth checking your homeowner's insurance policy to see if your roof work might be covered.
Rot, Moss, or Algae
Unlike asphalt shingles, cedar shakes are made of organic material. Over time water and sun exposure can cause cedar shakes to soften and start to break down just like any other wood. Rot, moss, mold and algae are very common problems with cedar shakes, especially when they're installed in shady or cool locations with lots of rain or water exposure.
To check for rot or growth on your shingles, look for the following signs or symptoms:
- Frayed or split bottom edges.
- Fuzzy or furry textures on the edges or between the cracks of the shakes.
- Streaky or discolored appearances on the shakes or on the walls of the house below them.
Missing or Damaged Shingles
A final sign your cedar shake roof might need replacement is if shingles are missing entirely or if pieces of them are missing or damaged. While cedar shake roofs are extremely durable, they still can't stand up to missing shakes and excessive damage. If you're seeing leaks or other problems inside your house, check to make sure none of your shakes are missing.
Want to learn more about replacing or repairing your cedar shake roof? Contact us today for an estimate and answers to all your questions.
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