While cedar roofing was once the most predominantly used roofing material, asphalt shingle is today’s most popular choice for roofing in North America. About 70% of the homes in North America feature asphalt shingles and many homeowners with cedar roofing are choosing to make the switch to asphalt. Let’s take a look at the qualities of asphalt shingles and why you should convert your cedar roofing to asphalt shingles.
Cedar wood was once the most predominantly used material for roofing, but the cedar roofing product used on today’s homes lacks the quality of the past. Why? Because the cedar trees used for older cedar roofs grew in dense forest areas with low light conditions – they would take centuries to grow to full maturity. The duration of growth resulted in high quality wood that was tight ringed with high resin content. Those high quality trees have been harvested, so today’s cedar trees are the products of tree farms that lack these growing conditions. Simply put, we cannot produce the same high quality wood from the past. While still expensive, cedar roofing does not offer the durability of past cedar products.
Cedar roofing is beautiful, right? Well, that beauty will also cost you a pretty penny. Asphalt offers a more economical option for homeowners. While cedar roofing may range in price from $4 to $9 per square foot installed, asphalt shingles are about 35% less in cost.
Cedar wood is porous and absorbs the elements, including moisture. Gutters must be kept free of leaves, twigs and debris so your cedar roof can breathe. In damp climates, cedar wood is at risk of mold and mildew, and eventually wood rot. If your home is set in a treed area, your roof will not see the necessary sunlight to dry out the roof after rain.
Additionally, the sap from trees can cause further issues to a cedar roof. This ongoing mold and mildew can cut the life of your cedar roof by up to half, making an already expensive roofing material even more costly with the need of an early replacement.
Residents in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver area are all too familiar with these types of weather conditions and should look into a more viable option for roofing.
Due to the flammability of cedar roofing, some building codes ban its use. And, while cedar can be pressure treated with flame retardant, it still presents a higher risk of fire as compared to asphalt shingles. This risk of fire is why homeowners’ insurance may cost double for a cedar roof compared to asphalt shingles. The expense of cedar roofing continues to add up.
Long gone are the days of black being the only color choice for asphalt shingles. Today, asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of colors, shapes and patterns. Whether your home is stucco, wood siding or brick, there is an asphalt shingle in the style and color to beautifully complement your home’s exterior.
For more information on asphalt shingle roofing or roofing conversion, you can call TechPro Roofing at 604-371-2505, or contact us here.