Hiring a Bergen County roofing contractor to install cedar shingles is more expensive than with asphalt shingles, but for many homeowners, the natural beauty that these wood shingles provide is worth the added expense. The advantages of cedar, however, go well beyond the aesthetics, and there are a number of aspects that make cedar a very interesting product as a shingle or siding solution.
Although called cedar shingles regardless, not all cedar shingles are actually made from cedar. This isn't a marketing lie but due to the fact that the term cedar actually refers to at least a dozen different trees. Red cedar has traditionally been the most common choice for roof shingles, and white cedar is also prevalent, but some of the trees don't have cedar in their name at all.
Before they were manufactured, cedar shingles were made by hand, which provided them with a rustic, uneven appearance. When a manufacturing process was invented, cedar shingles became smooth and even, which provides a more precise aesthetic. Nevertheless, an uneven cut, called cedar shake, is still available, and there's no need to cut it by hand. The manufacturing process uses a splitter rather than a cutter to make the board.
Trees are a precious resource, so some people think that using cedar shingles is harmful to the environment, but that isn't the case for a number of reasons.
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For starters, the industry is able to grow these trees at a rate that exceeds demand. Cedar shingles are also thermal resistant, which makes them more energy efficient than many roofing alternatives. In addition, when cedar shingles have outlived their usefulness, they're easily recycled as mulch and for other purposes.
The good news is that homeowners with new cedar roofs won't have to worry about turning their shingles into mulch anytime soon. That's because a cedar roof that is well maintained will usually last at least 50 years and can often last 60 or even 70 years. This means that cedar roofs can actually have a lower total cost of ownership than some more popular roofing options, and they usually come with basic warranties that are good for 20 to 25 years.
Another advantage to a cedar roof is how flame retardant they are. This may seem counterintuitive, but the process of impregnating cedar shake and shingles with a flame retardant substance has become quite sophisticated and effective. In fact, cedar shingles are often on the recommended roofing material list in areas that are prone to wildfires.