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How Long Does a Cedar Roof Last?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019


A good cedar roof will last at least 40 years, but some have lasted for nearly 100 years thanks to routine maintenance, protection from the weather and proper installation. How long your particular roof will last depends on its installation, care and the weather of where you live.

If you have a neighbor with a cedar roof, ask them how long they’ve had it and what their maintenance schedule is. These can give you major insights into how your local area’s weather impacts a cedar roof. Some of the other issues that may cause your roof to age prematurely include:

  • Overhanging trees that drop branches and sap onto the roof

  • Long exposure to sunlight

  • Exposure to saltwater and other abrasive materials

  • Using shingles or shakes made of poor-quality materials

  • Improper repairs that remove ventilation or use the wrong nails

The good news is that almost all of these issues can be repaired if needed. You can also avoid them by scheduling preventative maintenance with coatings that can protect your roof against UV damage, moisture and other hazards.

Shakes or Shingles?

How long does a cedar shake roof last? Is there a difference between how long shakes and shingles last? A cedar roof can be made of shakes or shingles – and typically shakes will last longer than shingles. Cedar shingle roofing is made with a thinner cut of cedar that will look more like the typical synthetic shingle. These wood blocks are cut on both sides and give your roof a flat look and feel.

Shakes also provide a more wood-like look for your roof, and their thicker construction can enhance the natural insulation property of the wood. Shakes are only cut on the underside of the wood, so they won’t lay as flat. Shakes require more insulation to make up for the uneven application. Since you won’t be able to see this insulation after installation – because it will be under two layers of shakes – you should always work with professionals who can complete the work correctly.

Maintenance Is Essential

Your roof needs to be treated so it can last for the long haul. Without protection, you could be facing costly repairs or replacements much sooner than expected. Cedar Roof Coatings recommends treating your roof one year after it’s installed. The sooner you start the treatment regimen, the more protection your roof has. UV damage can start accumulating in the first year, so a coating will give your roof the protection that the environment is already stripping away.

Contact Us

Treating your roof every 5 years is a great maintenance plan to start. And our expert staff can assist you with the right planning and maintenance schedule with a free inspection. Get the protection you need at a price you can afford with Cedar Roof Coatings.


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