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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Shake roof life expectancies

    Does anyone have a good resource or list of typical life expectancies for various types of wood shake roofs?

    The standard in my area for the shake roofs that were installed in the 80s/90s around here is 15 years if you do nothing.... 20-25 years if you take good care of it.

    A roofing treatment company is stating the life of the roof in the attached pictures is 50 years.... we're at 24 and it's sawdust.

    Apparently, this outfit sells their treatment and shake replacements every few years for a few thousand bucks. Of course sellers love it.... buyers? not so much.

    I'm working on getting a hold of the warranty info... I'm going to guess it's not worth the paper it's written on.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    Around here you'll get about 20 years out of a shake roof. If they're treated every 5 years you'll get about 35 years out of them. Treatments should be done every 3 to 5 years and the average cost is $3,000 to $5,000.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    The trouble with cedar shingles or shakes is that they're not uniform. You can get some hard grain old growth cedar, edge grain to the weather, that will never fail, but the shake beside it can be rotten in 10 years. Sometimes they split up an old log that's been laying in a swamp, already starting to rot, or has wide grain with soft spots. The quality of the wood is worse now than it was in the 70's. I've torn off leaking roofs where 80% of the shakes were just fine, reusable for a shed or a barn. A few bad apples make it leak. I don't trust them after 15 years.

    I've got pictures of treated roofs that look like they've been peppered with buckshot, from the golf shoes they wear. Lots of cracks, everywhere there's footprints.

    Hey Fitz, that ain't no roof, it's a sun shade. Anything with a knot is definitely a low grade sawn shingle. You're supposed to use those for the walls.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    Hey Fitz, that ain't no roof, it's a sun shade. Anything with a knot is definitely a low grade sawn shingle. You're supposed to use those for the walls.
    And you're not supposed to use interlayment....

    Matt,

    I've been tempted to make it my policy to no longer re- inspect shake roofs. I write them up, the roofer "repairs" them, I write them up blah blah blah. It has caused nothing but headaches over the years.
    I always tell my clients that there is pretty much no way I'll bless the roofers repair work, and recommend they get their own roofer in to fix or replace it.

    When is the last time you saw a shake roof installed/ repaired according to the shake/ shingle bureau standards?

    Also, I've never seen a roofers repair warranty worth the paper it was written on.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    Matt,

    Here's the answer from the shake and shingle bureau: Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau

    LONGEVITY

    What is the average life span of a cedar roof?
    The life expectancy of a roof will vary depending on many factors. Some of these factors include the following: age, environment of installation area, quality of wood, quality of installation, care and maintenance performed, foot traffic, and amount of overhanging trees. The CSSB administers a limited product warranty on behalf of its manufacturing members, and the length of the limited warranty is for 20 or 25 years, depending upon the product type. If more specific information about your roof is required, the CSSB suggests that you hire a professional Approved Installer or obtain a roof inspection to provide you with an experienced, local assessment.

    The longevity of a roof depends on many things: the grade and quality of the product used, the quality of the application, climate, salt-water proximity, exposure, and maintenance. The average life span is approximately 30 - 40 years. We recommend investigating the life span of existing cedar roofs in your area.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    Thanks Brandon... that's what I was looking for.

    It's funny.... in years of doing this I've never met any resistance with this issue. Usually, when the shakes are literally falling off the roof everyone has just accepted the fact that the roof is done

    I think these "treatment/partial replacement" companies just play the numbers. Get their $2500 to throw around a couple bundles of shakes and some goo.... For the few that leak they send a crew out to fix the leak and limp it along until the end of the "warranty".

    Luckily, there was a roofing contractor there today on the buyer's behalf so I wasn't on an island alone.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,549

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    How about when the roof looks great? This roof I checked recently just has a couple of bad spots. I recommended repairs where a couple of spots are opening up, bad quality in the wood. The bad shingles will show up in one area sometimes, all coming from the same bundle.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 09-21-2010 at 10:02 AM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    John,

    I'll assume that the question was is for me.

    The issue is that the seller hires the cheapest guy to do shoddy work to "repair" the roof. Usually, half of the roof is repaired, and much of the repair work is not done correctly.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: Shake roof life expectancies

    Several years ago, I inspected a home with a 30 year old shake roof. The owner had sprayed an Olympic stain on the shakes every year and the roof looked great. That was the only time I have seen a roof that old that did not require replacement. Around here, 20 - 25 years.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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