Toronto Wood Shingle Roofs

The most popular type of roof in Toronto undoubtedly is a wood shingle or wood shake roof. Why? For many reasons! Not only does a wood shingle roof have a distinctive appearance which people often find appealing, but using wood shingles or cedar shakes for roofing has a number of advantages beyond basic beauty.

Advantages of a Toronto Wood Shingle Roof:

Distinction. Wood shakes offer a natural look with a lot of character. Because of variations in color, width, thickness, or cut of the wood, no two shake roofs will look the same. Cedar shakes are made by carefully cutting down and splitting pieces of cedar, a soft wood which grows in many regions of the world. In some areas, cedar is a very traditional roofing material, due to the natural abundance of cedar trees, and its rating as the best performing material for making shakes and shingles.

A wood shake roof tends to have a more rustic look, and it can blend in with a wide variety of architectural styles. It can also be environmentally friendly, if the cedar is harvested and processed in a sustainable way, in contrast with roofing materials made from nonrenewable resources like petroleum products.

Insulation. As a soft wood, cedar is also an excellent insulator. A wood roof may help to greatly reduce your heating and cooling costs. The wood is filled with numerous large cells which fill with air, an ideal insulation material. A cedar shake roof can help to keep a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer as a result. The roof can also last for 30 to 40 years, unlike some other roofing materials, which can have much shorter life spans.

Wood offers some energy benefits as well. It helps to insulate the attic, and it allows the house to breathe, circulating air through the small openings under the felt rows on which wooden shingles are laid.

Durability. One big advantage to a Toronto wood shingle roof is durability. Cedar resists insects and UV damage naturally, and it also withstands hail and heavy storms like we often see in Toronto. The shakes should remain flat, with minimal shrinkage and splitting over their lifetime, and if the roof is installed properly, minimal loss of shakes should be experienced in heavy weather. Several manufacturers also treat their cedar shakes with fire-resistant chemicals to make them safer for roofing than ordinary shakes.

Environmentally Pure. One great benefit to installing a new wood shake roof is that it is environmentally pure, typically cut from salvage logs and dead trees left behind from previous logging operations. In addition to the benefit of a natural “recycled” product, this system will allow your home to blend more naturally with the environment.

How Are Wood Shake Roofs Installed?

Shakes are generally attached from the bottom of a roof or wall up, with each succeeding layer being overlaid on the lower layer. In addition to making the finished product more watertight, this technique also conceals the unsightly nails or staples used to attach the shakes. As the fresh wooden shakes age, they will weather into a grayish color, and many darken, as well.

Although a wood shingle roof is extremely rugged, some periodic maintenance (washing away mildew or moss, re-oiling) is required. It is best to have The Cutting Edge periodically evaluate your roof to make sure it lasts well into the future. Additionally, because wood shingles roofs can be tricky to install, make sure you choose an expert in wood shingle installation, such as The Cutting Edge Roofing. We have successfully completed hundreds of residential and commercial roofing projects in Toronto and the GTA. Let us protect your investment!

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