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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to our frequently asked questions. Based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, The Cedar Roof Company provides cedar wood roof installation, repair, maintenance, cleaning and roof certification throughout Chester, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.

Need further advice from our experts? Check out the Installation and Preservation Q&A Pages. For information and a free estimate, call us today at: (610) 647-3099.

How do shakes and shingles differ? How do I know which I have?

Rustic-looking shakes are created using the hand-split technique. A shake application is a two ply system of wood with a varying head lap on the third course depending on the length of the product and the reveal. The paper adds to this coverage by making every course the required three layer system. If you install a taper sawn shake in a three ply wood application the paper can be omitted if using Waldun Forest Group products.

Shingles are a taper-sawn product that relies on skilled workmen to trim and sort them to the appropriate thickness and grain. When properly installed, cedar shingles are installed so that there are 3 layers of overlapping shingles at any point, which provide a highly weatherproof system, even in extreme weather.

How long will my cedar roof last??

Properly maintained cedar roofs can last 50 years and even longer depending upon the age of the cedar roof at the initial preservation. In Southeastern Pennsylvania the average aesthetic life of a cedar roof is substantially less then the functional life of the roof. Not all sections of a cedar roof weather at the same rate. There are many contributing factors including: length, thickness and exposure of the shake or shingle installed. A homes lot position in regard to the presence of trees and UV exposure, as well as roof pitch, determine wear. All of these conditions dictate the available options. Every cedar roof, like every home, is unique and should be evaluated as such.

What sort of maintenance is required?

Through the interaction of ultraviolet rays and moisture, cedar shakes and shingles can lose virtually all of their natural preservatives in as little as five years. At this time unprotected cedar roofs show early signs of cedar shake and shingle exposure damage including cupping, curling, splitting and checking. On northern-facing sections of roof or where trees are present topical mold or mildew can often be seen.

To prevent this, The Cedar Roof Company recommends a preservation treatment be applied to all new cedar roofs 12 to 18 months after installation and Re-coat every 5 to 6 years thereafter. Even an older, unprotected cedar roof may benefit from this protection. The sooner preservation takes place in the life of your cedar roof the longer you can expect it to last. Properly installed and maintained, a cedar roof can last 50 years and longer and will only require service needed to repair unexpected damage if it is caused by an exterior force.

Along with superior roof protection, homeowners who stay “In-Cycle” also enjoy the benefits of The Cedar Roof Company’s Five-Year Limited Leak & Repair Guarantee. This Guarantee protects our preservation clients by assuring a low fixed repair deductible should repair become necessary.

How much more does cedar cost?

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.

What is so great about cedar, anyways?

Cedar is naturally rot resistant, sustainably harvested, completely renewable and biodegradable. The wood is also lightweight, impact resistant and offers a high R-value, a measure of insulation. 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, thanks to this high R-value.

Cedar is also free from the toxic chemicals used to create asphalt and composite products, 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. All these attributes make it an ideal roofing material for a variety of climate.

How is harvesting trees environmentally friendly?

Every building product we use comes from a natural resource. Among all the building materials available in the U.S. today, however, only wood products come from a renewable resource – North America’s forests. Western Red Cedar is rigorously regulated. British Columbia harvests less than 1 percent of its forests and the Canadian government strictly administers the reforestation of these areas.

Steel, aluminum, plastic and concrete are frequently thought of as wood substitutes, and it is often assumed that using these products will help protect our forests. But we cannot grow more iron ore to make steel, bauxite to make aluminum, petroleum to make plastic, or limestone to make concrete. These materials are mined or extracted from the Earth, never to be replaced. Even recycled wood substitutes contain large percentages of virgin, nonrenewable materials. Every time we use a product that comes from a nonrenewable resource, we are diminishing the Earth’s ability to sustain us. Wood roofing and siding, however, is made from a resource that can be planted, harvested, composted and planted again and again.

I’m thinking about buying/selling a cedar roof home, what do I need to know?

As the Main Line’s foremost authority on cedar shake and shingle roofs, The Cedar Roof Company has been trusted by Realtors, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors to provide a thorough and honest assessment of cedar roofs during many real estate transactions. We now provide our consultation services to home buyers, sellers and real estate professionals needing a written document assessing the condition of a cedar roof. The Cedar Roof Company also takes this assurance a step further with its Transferable Leak & Repair Warranty that can protect homebuyers from unexpected cedar roof repair costs.

The roof looks pretty old, how can I tell if it is still any good?

The Cedar Roof Company provides a no-obligation roof inspection to customers wanting to better understand the condition of their roof. We encourage them to be present during the assessment when our representative can provide insight and discuss any/all pertinent information regarding preservation, repair or replacement. You will learn more about your wood roof by viewing it with a professional than by reading any proposal. No matter what the age/condition of the cedar roof – understanding it is invaluable. The Cedar Roof Company can be trusted to offer an honest evaluation of your roofs condition and help guide you through the available maintenance options. We are not just selling for today, but are trying to provide customers with the information they need to evaluate their situation and make educated decisions.

I have a leak, now what?

Though many homeowners panic when they see evidence of a roof leak The Cedar Company believes that the most important thing they should understand is that there is rarely pressure to make a quick decision. Even an active/visible roof leak can be fixed in order to allow you adequate time to consider your options.

The Cedar Roof Company takes a conservative approach to roof repair since removing a cedar shake or shingle from a roof is an invasive process and the new repairs do not match the rest of the older roof. 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.

All of our Non-Guarantee/Warranty repairs begin with a flat basic service fee. For this, a technician will come to your home for up to one hour to provide an overall roof inspection and analysis, labor and standard repair materials. If the roof repair is more involved, additional rates may apply. Customers already under the protection of our Guarantee/Warranty receive priority scheduling and a reduced repair deductible. Either way, requesting a repair is as easy as filling out our on-line form.

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See How the Colors Compare

Colors depicted for comparison purposes only. Actual preservation color may vary based on the condition of wood roof. Please refer to the Gallery for more representations of colors.