Mike Malone is the Installation Manger of The Cedar Roof Company, having been a valuable member of the team since 1999. His duties include scheduling and overseeing the crews, as well as ordering materials. Mike enjoys assisting customers with their cedar roof questions and concerns and so, many times, he is the one you are likely to meet during a consultation for a real estate certification, roof inspection, installation or repair. He is also available to answer your questions through our on-line form, so, please, feel free to submit your question below and he will be happy to add to the list. Thank you!
There are so many choices of shakes, shingles and exposure, how do I choose? What factors are most important in my decision?
If the home has an existing cedar roof it is probably installed on lathing strips. The spacing of these strips narrows the field of choices. Once the spacing is determined, the selection can be based on what aesthetic best suits you as a homeowner and what it is you want to invest in the project.
Shingles differ from shakes in thickness and texture. The Royal, Perfection and Fivex are thinner than Shakes and have a sleeker finished look. The Tapersawn and Hand Split have a minimum thickness of ½”. The Hand Split also has a rough sawn face providing a textured appearance. When properly installed and maintained both shakes and shingles offer long lasting beauty.
Some shingle products are more popular in specific regions of the country, or on homes designs inspired by these areas. The Royal shingle is a popular choice of Chester County, Pennsylvania while the Perfection Shingle is most common to Northeastern New York and the New England states.
Why should I spend the extra money on cedar rather than a traditional asphalt shingle roof?
Cedar is a beautiful and durable roofing product produced by nature and used as a building material for centuries. When properly installed, a cedar roof is an investment that offers superior insulation, protection and appeal. Yes it’s true an asphalt composite shingle roof is less expensive to install in most cases. Cedar, however, will save you money over the life of your roof.
- Shakes and shingles have a 19.2 percent better R-value, a measure of insulation. This will allow your heating and cooling systems to run less and translate into annual savings that will more than compensate for the up-front investment. If you compare energy bills, homeowners with cedar vs asphalt shingles save on average 19 percent on heating and cooling of their home on an annual basis.
- Cedar has a better rating on wind resistance and impact as well.
- Cedar is also free from the toxic chemicals used to create asphalt and composite products
- It is sustainably harvested, renewable and compostable. You can feel good knowing that your decision to choose cedar helps protect the planet as well as your home.
- Finally, a cedar roof sets your home apart from 99 percent of homes in the United States. Cedar shakes and shingles are in use on the world’s most beautiful properties.
The real question is, why would you choose anything less?
I’ve had a bad experience with my current cedar roof, why should I replace it with the same product rather than switching?
A new cedar roof will always look great. As I often say, “The product speaks for itself,” but the customer doesn’t always get what they pay for; sometimes they receive a product inferior to the cost. You may have been one of these customers. An evaluation of the faulty roof will need to be performed to realize the issues at hand. It is embarrassing in some cases to have to tell the homeowner they unfortunately got a poor quality job. This is usually a result of poor quality cedar and a poor install. The client is entitled to have their roofing installed properly by the guidelines set forth by the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB), whose manual is available online free of charge at www.cedarbureau.org/installation-and-maintenance.
The Cedar Roof Company is an approved installer with the CSSB and use the installation techniques recommended by the CSSB, as well as above-grade finishing details that include Water and Ice Shield, venting, wrapping and the use of stainless steel fasteners. We only use premium grade shakes and #1 grade shingles from Waldun Forest Group that carry the “Certi Label” designation. Because of these standards, our work is back by our own Warranty, that of the CSSB and by Waldun – three layers of protection.
Care and maintenance is also a huge factor in the longevity of a cedar roof. Failure to properly preserve it can lead to cupping, curling, cracking and splitting of the shakes/shingles which result from the effects of UV damage and moisture – a wood roof’s biggest enemies. Applying our wood preservative 12 to 18 months after installation and staying in a 5 or 6 recoat cycle will have lasting benefits beyond your expectations. With a good quality product and installation coupled with The CRC preservative program, a cedar roof can last indefinitely and provide superior insulation, protection and appeal.
How do I know if it’s time to replace my roof?
Many times, even a roof which has lost its visual appeal is still functional. Instead, most cedar roofs are replaced because they have lost their aesthetic value and not because of their functionality. Cupping and curling are two major issues in older, primarily unprotected or poorly install cedar roofs.
Cupping and curling are caused by numerous factors, including UV damage and moisture, and are typically more prevalent on the southern facing roof facets. Direct sunlight is the biggest enemy of all roofing materials. This damage is also caused by poor quality cedar, poor quality installation and a lack of ventilation in your roof structure. Once the cedar has curled there is nothing that can be done to reverse it.
At this point, we may recommend the roof be cleaned and preserved. This will block out the harmful UV rays and repel moisture. Once protected, the cedar will not expand and contract as much, limiting the amount of ongoing degradation. This damage though can eventually lead to tangible concerns. Many leaks can be repaired with minimal time and materials, allowing you time to consider your options which may include preservation, renailing and full or partial replacement.
Why are the three estimates I received for my new roof so drastically different, why is your proposal more?
This is very common concern among homeowners I speak with. Most roofing contractors are not proficient with the nuances of cedar shakes and shingles. Unlike these jacks-of-all-trades, there is one thing each of our jobs has in common: they are ALL cedar!
A brand new cedar roof represents itself well. The look of new wood vs the old is astonishing and it’s not until well after the job is complete that most of the possible problems could arise. Many homeowners believe they got a great roof simply because the aesthetic of a new cedar shake or shingle roof leads them believe this to be true, however, improper an installation equals a shortened life span. In this case, the homeowner did not get what they paid for and that is inexcusable. Due diligence on the contractor’s part goes a long way in determining the longevity of a cedar roof.
The Cedar Roof Company has been dedicated to providing homeowners with quality service since 1993. We are an approved installer with the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Our skilled technicians have been working with cedar for many years and we have one of the lowest employee turnover rates in the industry.
We only use premium grade shakes and #1 grade shingles from Waldun Forest Group that carry the “Certi Label” designation. We are also an approved installer with the CSSB and use the installation techniques recommended by the CSSB as well as above grade finishing details that include Water and Ice Shield, venting, wrapping and the use of stainless steel fasteners. Our work is back by our own Warranty, that of the CSSB and by Waldun – three layers of protection. Few, if any, other roofing companies can offer you that degree of assurance. The Cedar Roof Company can also provide Preservation, Real Estate Consultations and Repair Service, should you ever need it. Simply put, we are THE cedar experts.
How do I know if a contractor is qualified, knowledgeable and experienced with cedar roofing so that I will be assured a quality job?
To be sure the contractor is qualified, ask if they are certified with the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau and have them provide the certificate they have been issued for the current year. Following the local building codes is a requirement but a quality roofing contractor will meet and exceed these parameters.
The grade of the cedar is also crucial to a roof’s quality. Always specify “Certi-Label” premium grade shakes and #1 grade shingles. These are the highest quality available. The mill that harvests the trees and cuts them into the finished product is another major factor in the quality of a roof installation.
Always get a detailed warranty from the installer that backs up their workmanship. Anything less than ten years is insufficient. Finally, have the contractor supply you with completed job addresses that are current as well as a few from the past so you can see how the roofs are weathering.
Who will be working on my roof? How does CRC ensure its craftsmen are qualified?
The installers working for your contractor are the final step in the process; quality control is the responsibility of the company hired. Unlike most roofing companies, The Cedar Roof Company has very little employee turnover. All of our skilled craftsmen have been with the company for many years and are focused on installing cedar roofs 99 percent of the time.
How do I know if the wood they are using carries the Certi-Label designation and if the mill is reputable?
Each bundle of shakes/shingles used on your home will have a label attached. At the very top in blue ink it will read: Certi-Split, Certi-Sawn or Certi-Grade. The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau name and address and phone number will also be present.
What is the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau?
The CSSB has been a recognized authority on cedar roofing since 1915. This organization has set the standards for shake and shingle production and installation guidelines. When installing a new roof be sure to use a Bureau certified mill and roofing contractor. The product that carries a CSSB label must conform to the uniform building code. These mills must have a third party inspection agency and a quality auditor. An accredited contractor must submit references to the Bureau of cedar jobs completed in which they do a rigorous follow up to ensure quality installation and professional business practice.
Is there any “Good” cedar left?
This is a question we face on an almost daily basis. There is 700,000,000m2 of old growth forests on the west coast of British Colombia. The government tightly manages the lumber industry to assure sustainability of the resource. We have partnered with The Waldun Group Cedar Mills which produces its shakes and shingles from this region from the highest quality lumber. It is widely recognized for its excellence. Locally, the cupola on Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA was restored using Waldun shakes, selected because of their unsurpassed quality.
Can Cedar Roofs be installed with a nail gun?
A nail gun can be used to install all wood roof “systems”. The pressure of the air compressor should be regulated to ensure proper installation. The head of the nail should be driven flush with the surface of the shake or shingle being used.
Why are so many nails used per piece, isn’t it bad to put more holes in the wood?
Each shake/shingle is installed with two nails per piece. Additional nails penetrate the wood from the overlapping courses and together help to hold it securely in place.
What type of fastener should be used?
The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau recommends that roofs and side walls be installed using nails as opposed to staples. They also recommend a stainless steel fastener because of them being the least corrosive. NEVER use an electro galvanized fastener with cedar shakes or shingles. This type of fastener is not compatible with cedar products and will deteriorate quickly allowing for pieces of wood to slide out of their setting.
Is it natural for the shingles to fall from my roof from time to time?
The simple answer is NO. This may be a sign of electro galvanized fasteners. These nails were common for cedar shake and shingle installation from 1999 to 2006. They are not compatible with the cedar and will rust where they make contact with the wood. In most cases the roof can be refastened with stainless steel nails avoiding premature replacement.
Is venting my Cedar roof necessary?
All roofing products regardless of composition require proper ventilation. This will help disperse the accumulated hot air that builds up in the attic space. The roofing material will have a longer life span as a result. In the colder months, ventilation helps combat ice damming which is a common problem in our region.
How do I know if my roof was improperly installed by another contractor? If not, can it be corrected?
If you have an issue with an improperly installed roof the largest telltale sign is leaking which can be repaired. The next thing to look for is excessive cupping and curling of the shakes/shingles and loose or falling shakes/shingles. An evaluation of the roof will need to be performed to realize the issues at hand. Depending on the defect of the installation determines the course of action. In some cases the roof may be a candidate for renailing but in others; the roof may require full replacement or continued repairs throughout its life.
How do you estimate a roof without going on it?
We use Eagleview Technologies to generate our estimates. This technology produces reports on the dimensions of your homes’ roof. These reports are certified accurate and are used by insurance companies in cases of recoverable loss. They are a comprehensive description of every roof facet. This includes the roof pitch, square footage, lengths of eaves, valleys and hips and ridges. All this information is necessary to give a detailed proposal for a roof replacement.
What is the average installation time for composite shake roofing?
Removal and replacement of roofs has many different variables that determine length of time to complete a project. Whether replacing cedar with like materials or transitioning to a composite, the size and scope vary on each home. Generally speaking, a reroof project when cedar is existing will require more time than an existing asphalt shingle. (Asphalt shingles in today’s market are also known as composites.)
Installing a cedar roof is similar to assembling a several-thousand piece jigsaw puzzle that takes a lot of time and effort to construct; cedar shakes and shingles come in different widths that have to be properly placed to offset keyways from the below and above courses. Composite roofing materials usually install much more quickly due to the fact that all pieces are the same width. Once you get each course started the remaining shingles fall in line.
Other variables will include the sub roofing. If the current roof is installed on lathing strips a solid sheathed surface is required for a composite. The addition of the plywood will take more time and add significant cost to a reroofing job. Architectural style of the home will also determine the length of time to complete an install. A gable roof takes less time than a hip roof.
So when inquiring on the length of time to complete a project a definitive answer cannot be given. An average home with limited scope is approximately two weeks or longer. Oh, and don’t forget about Mother Nature. Roofing is a weather dependent business. Rain and snow will impede progress but The Cedar Roof Company will do everything possible to make the process clean and quick.