Southern AB: 403-247-4253

Southern BC: 1-844-947-4253

Why do cedar and pine shake roofs need maintenance?

Medium resaws are the most popular cedar shake in Calgary. The shakes dry out and check (crack), exposing the inter-ply felt between courses. Over a period of time the felt will deteriorate and expose the sheathing. If left unattended, this can cause interior water penetration and leaking.

Over the years, cedar has built up natural enzymes that fight rot, however left alone or unmaintained over a period of time, a cedar shake will start to rot. Another problem is ridge cap staples become loose and need refastening. Flashing intersections need re-sealing and a general checkup will assure maximum longevity.

How often should a cedar and pine shake roof be looked at?

Shake Experts Inc strongly believes 5-year maintenance intervals will decrease costs and maximize conditions for the roofing system to function at peak efficiency.

How long will my cedar or pine shake roof last?

There are a few variables involved, such as weather, type of cedar, pitch of the roof, and the quality of the installation. On average, through regular maintenance, a cedar and pine shake roof may last 50 years. Without maintenance, it will take approximately 15-20 years before water begins to penetrate the roofing system.

Don't I have a 25-year warranty with my cedar and pine shake roof?

You must actually have the warranty card to have a valid warranty. That is given out at the time of installation or shortly thereafter. If you do have a valid warranty card, it is very likely a pro-rated warranty. It decreases in value 1/25th for every year the roof is on the home. It is also good for product only, and not for labour. It is only good for the original cost of the roof. If you paid $12,000 for your roof in 1990, with $7,000 of product and $5,000 in labour, the value of your year 2000 warranty claim would be worth approximately $4200. Some warranty! You will still have to pay the difference for the inflated price of cedar, compared to 1990 prices, never mind the price of installation!

Is there something I can do to help the roof last longer?

Keep tree branches away from the roof. Keep valleys and gutters clear and free flowing, and of course provide regular maintenance.

Is cedar better than pine?

Cedar has built up natural enzymes over time that help it fight the fungus that destroys wood cells in other woods. Cedar is most commonly re-sawn so the natural grains and oils of the wood are exposed to the elements, which helps longevity. Untreated pine is taper sawn and is proven susceptible to the wood-destroying fungus. In short, if left alone with no maintenance, cedar will last longer than untreated pine.

If you add new shakes, how long will it take for the new shakes to fade and match the original shade of the roof?

Depending on the season it should take new cedar and pine shake roofs about 6- 9 months to fade to about 90% of the original shade of grey. If you use a treated pine shake for maintenance on an originally-installed untreated pine shake roof, the color blend will not be exact. The north slope of the roof will take much longer than the south to fade. After 2 years, most of the shakes will match to within 70-80% of original untreated shake color.

How does your warranty work?

Depending on which maintenance option is chosen, we will extend either a 2-5 year warranty that covers the entire roof area, not just the areas we repaired.

What can you offer me that would make your company different?

Our warranty is exclusive. We are also a proud member of BBB and AARA. We have countless references, all available upon request. We are also the only company in Calgary specializing in wood roof inspections, maintenance and repairs.

Why should I fix my shake roof versus just installing a new roof?

There are several reasons to maintain a roof instead of installing a new one. The 3 main reasons are:

  1. If we assume 30% of the roof is deemed to be deficient, then 70% of the shakes are deemed to still be in good condition. Why dispose of perfectly good shakes in our landfills? Why remove an entire roof when not all the shakes are at the end of their lifespan? Does this make financial sense?
  2. A new shake roof can cost $14,000. If you spend $2,000 to fix a shake roof at year 5, then another $2,500 for maintenance 5 years later, another $2,500 at year 15, and another $3000 at year 20, that is about $10,000 spread over 20 years compared to $14,000 spent today. The new roof will still have to be maintained every 5 years, driving these costs even higher. The maintenance route will also have a warranty attached that covers the entire roof for 20 years. A new roof should also have maintenance, so there will still be maintenance costs every 5 years.
  3. Ask yourself this question: “do I plan on selling my house within the next 10 years?” If the answer is “yes” or even “maybe”, consider in most cases all the money you put into your roof you will not receive back through a sale. You might be better off maintaining the roof and putting the extra money back into your pocket.

My friend says that tearing the felt during repairs or maintenance may actually make the condition of my roof worse. Is that true?

When a new shake roof gets installed, there is a 15 lb - 18” roofing felt installed. As the shakes are laid over top of the felt, two fasteners are installed in every shake, which penetrate the felt membrane. When shakes are removed during the maintenance process, a shake that is deemed deficient is lifted up and removed. The same holes that were made during the original installation will then be covered by the new shake, ensuring a completely leak-proof system. Shake Experts has performed successful maintenance on thousands of roofs over the years, and we’ve also offered thousands of warranties to ensure leaks are something we fix, not create.

Why not change my wood roof to an asphalt roof that comes with a lifetime warranty?

If you actually read the “lifetime limited warranty” you will realize their warranty is very limited at best.


With proper maintenance, a wood shake roof can actually outlast cheaper roof types, which can turn the higher cost of wood shakes into a cost-savings benefit.

When you get roof maintenance every five years, it keeps your maintenance costs down and warranties your entire roof against leaks for 5 years. If repeated, this can cover your roof for decades. If there is an established percentage of shakes that are deemed deficient and should be replaced – let’s say 10% – that leaves 90% of the shakes in good condition. Why remove a roof covering when 90% of the roof is in good condition?

Wood shakes are much more energy efficient than asphalt shingles. This energy efficiency can save the homeowner money on heating and air conditioning bills.

Wood shakes are very durable. Unlike other materials they are not prone to cracking due to hail or punctures. An asphalt roof on the same street may have to be replaced due to hail strikes where a shake roof may have no damage. Wood shakes can also withstand high winds much better than asphalt shingles.

Wood shakes are undeniably unique in their appearance. The unique look of wood is one of its most desired benefits.

How long do treated shakes last?

Treated shakes do not rot. There are roofs in the Calgary area where the shakes are 25+ years old. A wood roof should last up to 40 years.

How do your warranties work?

Shake Experts offers a comprehensive 5-year warranty, which means we’re eliminating most of the deficient shakes on your roof. Our warranty covers the entire roof area against leakage or full shake separation, and the warranty is included in the price of the roof.

If your question has not been answered here, feel free to contact us today.

Fun Facts

Since 1999, we have installed over 3.2 million shakes for maintenance only. Laid end to end, that would stretch 1951 kilometers – about the distance from Winnipeg to Kamloops, BC!

Contact

Hours Of Operation

Monday 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Tuesday 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Wednesday 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Thursday 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Friday 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

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Shake Experts' Service Area

Alberta:

  • Calgary

  • Priddis

  • Chestermere

  • Okotoks

  • Millarville

  • Strathmore

  • High River

  • Crossfield

  • Stavely

  • Turner Valley

  • Black Diamond

  • Lethbridge

  • Coaldale

  • Medicine Hat

  • Bragg Creek

  • Canmore

  • Red Deer

  • Cochrane

  • Airdrie

  • Olds

  • Banff

B.C.:

  • Kelowna

  • Penticton

  • Vernon

  • Golden

  • Cranbrook

  • Creston

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