Well repaired shakes roof

Maintaining Your Shake Roof

There are a lot of factors that you should consider when you own a large asset, especially a roof. Here are some tips on how to maintain it.

 

Restore It or Replace It?

Maintaining Your Shake Roof in a “Throw Away - Buy New” World

There was a time not long ago when, if something needed a repair, you fixed it. These days we live in a disposable society with planned expiry dates and easy replacement. Retailers encourage us to “throw away and buy new” as fast as we can order it, regardless of necessity. The kicker is, at the same time we’re all being confronted with the consequences of this wastefulness.


Some things to consider when you own any large asset, including a shake roof:


Q: Is the Asset Near or Beyond its Expected Life?

What factors determine the expected life span of the asset, and are they established industry standards. Is the authority making that call qualified to do so, and do they have any interest in the decision? The purchase of a new roof (and possibly a less expensive type) does not guarantee against the need for repairs or maintenance again in a few years. Be sure to review pro-rated material warranties and limited workmanship guarantees. Accompanied by proper maintenance, a shake roof’s lifespan can reach 40 to 50 years.


Q: Do the Asset’s Reliability, and the Consequences of Failure, Pose an Unacceptable Risk?

In the case of a roof, the possibility of leaks can be a major concern if they lead to costly interior repairs. Possibly even health concerns if it results in mold or mildew. In most cases a leak does not automatically mean removal and replacement. In almost ALL cases, once the problem is identified a leak can be repaired and remain problem-free for the remaining lifespan.


Q: Does the Cost to Maintain or Repair the Asset During Its Lifespan Exceed the Replacement Cost?

In most instances, preventative maintenance on a shake roof will not exceed the cost of a new roof. Smaller costs spread out over many years vs paying for a new roof all at once can be easier for homeowners to absorb. Also, when a new roof is installed most homes' value does NOT increase.


Q: Is the Existing Asset Technologically Obsolete? Are Spare Parts Expensive or Hard to Get? Are the Skill Requirements to Properly Repair and Maintain the Asset Hard to Find?

While this is a key factor to consider with any asset these days, it is definitely not the case regarding shake roofs. Wood is a renewable resource, and our shakes and shingles are produced by mills in Western Canada. Our company has been in the industry for over 20 years, and our Crew Supervisors are experienced, long term employees.


Q: How Would You Rate the Asset’s Performance so Far? Have You Been Satisfied until Now, and How Do You Feel about Your Options Going Forward?

Tearing off an older shake roof, when only a small percentage of the shakes are deemed deficient, seems a crying shame to us. Putting aside the beauty of shakes, and the double-ply protection of the installation, it is simply a waste in our opinion. It adds unnecessarily to our landfills, while at the same time increases the demand for shorter-lived roofing products.

 

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