At first, wood might not sound like the best material from which to make a roof. Most wood attracts insects, rots, and is susceptible to fires. Cedar, however, is not your average wood. It actually has some unique properties that make it an excellent roofing material.
Cedar is unappealing to insects.
Termites won't come near cedar. It contains potent oils that they just don't like. Cedar oil is so repelling to insects that it is actually extracted and marketed as a natural insect repellant. Other insects like wood bees, flies, and ants will also stay away from a cedar roof.
Cedar absorbs shock well and does not crack easily.
Some types of wood split when struck by a heavy object like a tree branch or a piece of hail. They would not be good roofing materials for this reason. Even some common roofing materials, such as slate and clay tiles, can crack under these conditions. Cedar, however, does a great job of absorbing shock and is resistant to splitting. This means you're less likely to have to replace cedar shakes after a big storm. It also means that when a branch or hail does hit your roof, the noise won't be so pronounced – the cedar will absorb and distribute the sound vibrations.
Today's cedar shakes are fire-resistant.
So many people steer clear of cedar roofing because they're afraid it might catch fire, but this is a rather unwarranted concern. Today's cedar shakes are sold with fire ratings. Those with a rating of A are highly fire-resistant. They've been pressure treated to ensure they're unlikely to catch on fire if a fire breaks out elsewhere in the home. Some insurance companies have not caught onto this fact and will still raise your rates if you have a cedar roof put on your home. However, you can always just switch to another insurance company that is better informed.
Cedar is an eco-friendly choice.
So many roofing materials end up sitting in landfills and leeching waste into the soil and water. Asphalt shingles and concrete tiles are among these. Cedar, however, is a natural material. When the cedar shakes are removed from your home, they break down naturally. The trees they are made from are a renewable resource – more can always be planted. Since cedar is a good insulator, cedar roofing also helps keep energy use down, which is great for the environment. Contact a roofer, like GBS Enterprises Roofing, to get more information.