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Cedar roofing project completed in Deer Park, IL by the Shake Guys.

Pros and Cons of Cedar Roofing

All roofing materials have pros and cons associated with them, and cedar is no exception.

With cedar roofing, most homeowners find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. However, choosing a cedar roof is an individual decision and the pros and cons of cedar shingles can vary depending on your individual needs.

Some of these needs may be your climate, location, the home surroundings in terms of trees and sun exposure, your desired maintenance commitment, and, of course, your budget.

So, if you’re considering a cedar roof, listen closely.

Cedar Shingles Pros and Cons Overview

This chart gives a basic overview of the pros and cons of cedar shingles and cedar shakes:

Pros of Cedar Roofs Cons of Cedar Roofs
Their exceptional beauty Cost
Durability Regular maintenance required
Resistant to severe storms
Energy efficiency

The Pros of Cedar Roofing

As the chart shows, there are many more pros to cedar roofs than cons. Perhaps the greatest advantage of all is the natural beauty of cedar and the way in which it gracefully ages into a beautiful grayish-silver tone.

In terms of cost savings, cedar wood is long-lasting, making it an ideal roofing material. Cedar lasts at least 10 years longer than common roofing materials, like asphalt. Cedar wood shingles and shakes are also resistant to strong winds and are durable in hurricanes, heavy rains, hail storms, snowstorms, and other types of severe storms.


Shake Guys cedar roofing installation project in Barrington.

Cedar wood roofs are also energy efficient, providing natural insulation up to two times that of asphalt shingles. This allows you to conserve home heating and cooling costs, and significantly save on energy bills.

Not to be overlooked are the benefits of using an eco-friendly roofing material. The Shake Guys are diligent about the environment when we harvest western red cedar to make our cedar shingles and shakes. We replace every tree we harvest with another and our processing techniques are kind to the environment.

The Cons of Cedar Roofing

Cost and maintenance are the only cons to western red cedar shingles and shakes. Compared with other roofing materials, such as the popular asphalt shingles, cedar roofing shingles are more expensive and cost more to install. But when you consider that your home is perhaps the largest investment of your lifetime, it makes sense to top it with a high-quality, long-lasting roofing material. Top-quality roofing, like cedar wood, comes with a higher price. However, over time, the longevity of cedar wood roofing provides a higher return on investment.

When it comes to roof maintenance, just about all roof types need some form of care to ensure their performance. Cedar roofs require regular maintenance to prevent moss, mold and mildew growth. However, there are cedar treatment preservatives that can be added during the crafting process to prevent fungal growth and preserve the wood.

You can also arrange for regular inspections and maintenance with the Shake Guys. Our cedar roof maintenance services give you peace of mind that your cedar roofing system is being cared for properly. Plus, leaving the maintenance to us gives you one less house chore to do!

Cedar Roofing Considerations – A Deeper Look

For a more in-depth look at the top factors to consider as a homeowner when it comes to cedar roofing, we’ll go over what to really expect when it comes to the cost, maintenance, climate, and expertise needed to make cedar roofing worth it for you and your home. Like any aspect of your home and property, you’ll want to make sure you’re roof will have the look and lifespan that suits your style—and lifestyle.

Cedar Roofing Cost


Shake Guys cedar roofing installation project - aerial ridge view

It’s no secret that cedar roofing tends to be in the upper bracket of roofing costs. For that reason, a cedar roof can add not only an attractive and natural look to your home, but a luxurious one as well. However, most homeowners are looking for a reliable and charming-looking roof for their home without having to break their budget.

The cost of a cedar roof varies widely based on the general size and complexity of your roof, the explicit type of cedar materials, additional features such as underlayment or insulation, and more. However, a more general guide to the cost of cedar roofing from 2023 is that cedar shingles cost between $4 to $7.25 per square foot installed.

If you’re interested in this beautiful roofing style, have a wider budget, and are interested in investing in the value of your home, cedar roofing is perhaps the perfect option. Get in touch with roofers near you who can give you an estimate on what to expect from this sought-after roofing material.


Like any type of roofing, the first and most important aspect of cedar roof maintenance is inspection.

Keeping an eye on the state of your roof is the number one way you can catch wear and tear or surface-level damages before they become full-blown issues that result in expensive repairs. If you are uncomfortable getting up on your roof, we suggest finding a roofing contractor you like and can trust for—at the very least—an annual inspection.

It’s also important to clean your cedar roof on a semi-regular basis.

This includes cleaning off debris and keeping an eye out for any mold or moss growth that can degrade the wood and affect the roof’s appearance. We suggest you use a mixture of water and mild detergent or a specialized moss and mold cleaner to gently clean affected areas. Our biggest tip to you: avoid using a pressure washer as this can greatly damage the shingles.

Another consideration when it comes to cedar roof maintenance has to do with the treatments involved in protecting the cedar from the elements, extending its lifespan, and maintaining its appearance. This includes stains, sealants, preservatives, fire retardants, and moss and mildew inhibitors. A cedar roofing requires some form of treatment every so often, so that is a factor you should consider if you are interested in getting a cedar roof.



Closeup cedar roofing project

Cedar roofing is well-suited to a particular range of climates, and it’s important to remember that a cedar roof’s performance can vary depending on the environmental conditions it’s exposed to. Cedar roofing performs best in regions with moderate to cool temperatures and  is well-suited for climates with more mild summers and winters. Note that extreme heat can cause cedar shingles or shakes to dry out and split, while frequent freeze-thaw cycles in very cold climates can be severely damaging.

Also, keep in mind that while cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insects—and is rot-resistant—excessive moisture can be detrimental to its longevity. Check out our blog on cedar shakes and shingles for more info.

Installation Expertise

Cedar roofing is complex enough and generally more expensive than more simple roofing materials. Therefore, it’s crucial to have your cedar roof installed, repaired, maintained, or replaced by a qualified team of professional roofers with years of experience working with different types of cedar roofing.

When it comes to the installation process, structural preparation is key. This includes:

  • Ensure that the roof’s structural decking, typically made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), is in good condition and properly installed.
  • Install roof underlayment, which serves as a moisture barrier between the decking and the cedar shingles or shakes. (This helps prevent leaks and damage due to moisture.)

Making sure that the cedar shakes or shingles are installed correctly along with the roof’s flashing, ventilation, trim, etc… is important just like with other forms of roofing, but also keep in mind the cedar roof grading.

Cedar Roof Grading: During installation, cedar shingles or shakes are graded according to their thickness and quality. Thicker shingles or shakes are often used in more exposed areas, such as the lower roof sections, where they may be subject to greater wear and tear.

Cedar Roofing – An Eco-Friendly Option?


Cedar wood roof installed by the Shake Guys.

In some ways, cedar roofs are far more eco-friendly than other roofing materials. Cedar, typically Western Red Cedar, is a renewable resource. It is often sourced from sustainably managed forests, where new trees are planted to replace those that are harvested. This sustainable harvesting practice is essential to ensure the long-term viability of cedar as a roofing material.

It is also easier to dispose of as they are biodegradable.

However, certain factors such as chemical treatments make them somewhat less impressive when it comes to their biodegradability so get informed on which treatments are best for your roofing needs. And since cedar is not native to all regions, transportation over long distances can increase the carbon footprint of cedar roofing materials.

It is still a great roofing material for the more eco-conscious, and cedar roofing is more environmentally friendly when sourced locally, so take where you are located into account if sustainability is something you value.

Making Your Roofing Decision

Only you can decide whether the advantages of cedar wood roofing outweigh its disadvantages for your home.

Of course, the Shake Guys are at your service to answer any questions you may have or to give you a customized quote for either a cedar shake roof or a cedar shingle roof.

What’s most important is making sure your roof is durable, well-maintained, and, hopefully, nice to look at! So get informed and partner with a roofing company with the expertise and integrity to provide the dream roof for your dream home.

When it’s time to put a new roof on your home, get in touch with the Shake Guys. Your free advice and free estimate await.

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