There's no denying that wood roofs have a unique natural beauty, but they aren't right for every home. If you are considering replacing your current roof, and you think a wood roof could be a good choice, you should check out these three facts that can help you determine if a wood roof really is the right option for you.
Wood Roofs Are Cheap but Durable
Wood roofs are more expensive to install than asphalt roofs. Typically, you can expect to pay only $50 to $150 per roofing square for an asphalt roof, but a wood roof can cost anywhere between $100 and $165 per roofing square. Clay and metal roofs, however, can cost you up to $600 per roofing square, and slate is anywhere between $550 and $1000 per roofing square. Therefore, while it isn't the cheapest option, wood is still one of the least expensive roofing options from which you can choose.
Another advantage of wood roofs is that they are durable and can withstand the elements well. However, they do best on steep roofs, so water and snow can easily slide off the roof. With proper care, a wood roof could last you about 30 to 50 years. Asphalt roofs only last about 15 to 30 years. If you're willing to spend the money up front, expensive options like clay, metal and slate tend to last even longer than wood roofs. Slate can even last up to 100 years, so you'll need to weigh the immediate costs with the overall lifetime costs.
They Require a Lot of Maintenance
If you want your wood roof to last as long as possible, you'll need to provide lots of routine maintenance. Common problems associated with wood roofs include rot, curling and splitting. Certain woods, such as cedar, are resistant to incest and rot, but no wood is completely immune, so you'll need to keep the roof clean of debris and dry. You'll want to choose wood that has been specially treated to withstand moisture and insects.
Another tip for keeping your roof in good condition is to consider your attic ventilation. If your attic doesn't have proper ventilation, it can allow moisture to build. This doesn't only affect your attic, but it also affects the underside of your roof. It may allow moisture to get trapped under the wood shingles, leading to unseen rot.
There Are Different Options Available
When it comes to wood roofs, you have many options to consider. One of the most basic is which type of wood you want. The best types of woods are hardwoods like cedar and redwood because they are more durable. Choosing products that are made from heartwood (the middle of the tree) is also a good idea because heartwood is stronger than sapwood, which is located on the outer portion of the tree.
You can also choose between shakes and shingles. The main difference of the two is how they are cut. Shingles are mechanically cut, which gives them smooth lines. They give your roof a clean-cut look because all the shingles are the same size and perfectly aligned. Shakes are cut by hand. They are rougher, and each shake isn't the exact same size or shape. This creates a more rustic look, and the shakes may not line up perfectly.
Wood roofs are a great option to consider, but only if you have the time and commitment for routine maintenance. Without routine care, your wood roof is just a waste of time and money because it won't last as long as it should. If you're ready to learn more about wood roofs and other roofing options or if you want a quote, contact a roofer in your area today.