Cedar shakes are used in our historic area of Palm Springs. Are cedar shingles considered a sustainable roofing system?

Question

Cedar shakes are used in our historic area of Palm Springs. Are cedar shingles considered a sustainable roofing system?

Asked by Reuel Young

For a new home to be compatible with other homes in the neighborhood, shake shingles are the most realistic. Some homes have used composite (plastic) tiles and failed; others have used concrete "shake," which is clumsy. I am also investigating metal tiles that purport to have the shingle look. The western red cedar people tout cedar as the most desirable because it is renewable. Comments?

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David Lavender's picture

Cedar shakes are both renewable and real. The dishonesty of claims about materials runs rampant through the residential building industry. There's no comparison between a real cedar shingle and its fake counterparts.

There are two basic kinds of cedar shingles: machined and split. Machined shingles give a more refined look, split a more rustic look. Your taste governs, but your choice should match the rest of the architecture.

Installation is critical to the long-term maintenance of your investment. Make sure there's air space behind the shingles. As with all materials these days, there's an association that is a good source for detailed information. I would direct you to the webpage of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau for more information.

No one ever regretted using real materials installed by a skilled and experienced tradesperson.