Wood shingles (also called wood shake, or cedar shake) have been a popular roofing option in Omaha for a long time. Many of Omaha’s most prestigious neighborhoods chose wood shingles as their roofing material of choice. When these neighborhoods were constructed, wood was one of the most durable roofing materials available. The aesthetic then quickly caught on. Consequently, thousands of houses across Omaha now have wood shingles.
While extremely durable, wood shingles can and do break down over time. If you have wood shingles, become familiar with three key early signs of deterioration. You can prevent minor issues from becoming significant problems by replacing wood shingles as needed.
Sign #1 that it’s time to replace your cedar shake: curling or cupping
Wood shingles lie uniformly flat against the roof when they are first installed. Sun exposure and the effects of weather take a toll on the appearance of a wood shake roof over time. A wood shake roof gets its unique appearance from this weathering, so some of it is normal and even desirable. (You might consider replacing wood shingles with a synthetic replacement if you prefer the new, uniform look.)
However, the shingle corners will begin to lift as the wood shingles continue to break down. We call this curling, or cupping. Curled shingles are a good early indicator that your roof could use some maintenance. A curled shingle here or there will not create a problem. However, if too many shingles curl, or even just a few shingles curl a lot, it compromises the integrity of the entire roofing system.
Sign #2 that it’s time to replace your cedar shake: sharp splits
Wood shingles will also start to show cracks over time. As is the case with curling, this is only natural. Some cracks are just superficial, and do not extend all the way through the wood shake shingle. These cracks, sometimes called checks, do not interfere with the performance of the shingle.
Cracks that extend all the way through a shingle are called splits. Split wood shingles are concerning. There are generally two causes of split shingles:
- Aging. If a roof is getting old so that the shingles are starting to split, the split has rounded edges. The inside of the split is the same color as the upper surface of the shingle.
- Impact. If hail strikes a shingle and it splits, the split has sharp edges. When you compare the inside of the split to the shingle’s upper surface, the inside appears more orange.
Your homeowner’s insurance may cover repairs to shingles caused by hail damage.
3. Sign #3 that it’s time to replace your cedar shake: rotting edges
Shade makes it hard for roof moisture to properly evaporate. Eventually, this will cause mold, lichen, and other microorganisms to accumulate around the bottom edges of cedar shakes. Look for signs of rot. You may want to replace the entire roofing structure, even if only a small section of your roof has rot, because rot spreads easily.
We recommend that you have your wood roof inspected annually by an experienced roofing company, as a trained eye can spot these signs easily. Emerald Roofing would be honored to help. Please contact us online or call (402) 330-0999 to schedule a free, no obligation inspection.