Pros and Cons of A Cedar Shake Roof
All roofing materials have pros and cons associated with them, and cedar is no exception. But with cedar roofing, most homeowners find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. One major advantage for many homeowners is the environmental benefits of cedar roofs. Nowadays, people place more of an emphasis on being environmentally friendly. There are many ways of incorporating sustainability into your life, and the type of roof you choose is no exception.
Cedar roofs are, surprisingly, one of the most eco-friendly roof types. Although the trees are cut down to provide the wood for cedar roofs, this roofing method presents several short-term and long-term environmental benefits of cedar roofs. According to the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau, cedar is “green,” a renewable resource. That’s because the group says that new cedar trees are always being planted.
Short-term Environmental Benefits of Cedar Roofs
In the short-term, the cedar used in our roofs comes from a natural resource that is harvested in a sustainable manner. The shingles themselves are made in a way that uses minimal quantities of fossil fuels, compared to other types of roofing. For example, asphalt roof shingle production requires a high amount of oil which, when burned, emits high levels of carbon dioxide and other damaging gases. Additionally, a slate roof will typically weigh up to 3 times as much as a cedar shake roof. The transportation of this extra weight will result in higher carbon emissions, which takes its toll on the environment.
Long-term Environmental Benefits of Cedar Roofs
Over a longer period, the benefits of a cedar shake roof are extensive. For instance, during cold weather a cedar roof will better insulate a home than other types of roofing – requiring less usage of central heating. Likewise, during the summer, a cedar wood roof will cool your house down. Not only does cedar help to lower your energy bills on a monthly basis, it spares the environment of carbon dioxide emissions in the process. Besides energy bills, cedar wood roofs boast a longer lifespan than their asphalt and other roofing counterparts. An asphalt roof will only last, on average, a third of the time of a cedar roof. Furthermore, asphalt roofs do not decompose naturally and take up space in a landfill site, unlike the compost-friendly cedar wood roof.
Cedar Shake Roofs Are Sustainable
Today’s cedar shakes and shingles come from carefully managed forests in the Pacific Northwest, both in the U.S. and British Columbia, where thinning, strategically-planned harvesting and replanting are all part of the cycle of sustainability. 95% of each tree harvested is turned into useful products, while the remaining 5%, mostly branches, biodegrades into compost helpful for future trees.
Cedar Shake Roofs Are Biodegradable
When a cedar roof is ready to be replaced, it’s completely recyclable. Often, it’s chipped into useful garden mulch. Other green roofing products, such as asphalt shingles, have been building up in landfills for decades. According to California’s Integrated Waste Management Board, over 11 million tons of used asphalt shingles end up in U.S. landfills each year. With rainfall, these shingles can leak harmful chemicals into local water supplies.
Cedar Forests Are Oxygen-producing
The trees in a managed cedar forest are not just growing. They’re hard at work absorbing carbon dioxide and producing much-needed oxygen as a part of their normal cycle of photosynthesis. And young trees, such as those in well-managed commercial forests, do this much more efficiently than older trees.
Because of the “loose” structure of cedar cells, cedar is a great natural insulator. A natural cedar roof will help insulate your attic, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Consequently, you’ll need less energy (produced by less-clean processes) to heat and cool your home. And you’ll save money in the process.
Fights climate change
As part of the photosynthesis process, trees take in carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas. The C02 taken in is, in essence, captured and stored inside the wood, cleaning the air we breathe and keeping excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
More Benefits of Cedar Roofs
Besides the great environmental benefits of cedar roofs, there are so many more reasons that a cedar wood roof would be the right choice for you. Every home, just like every household is different. The way you chose to display it to the world is up to you. However, there are a number of reasons that cedar makes a great choice.
American Roof Preserves has been in business for over two decades and is solely dedicated to the trade of cedar roofs. Contact us today at 888-585-5502 to get a Free quote and learn more about the environmental benefits of cedar roofs in the greater Chicago area, Southern Wisconsin, and parts of Indiana.