Some folk say there’s nothing quite like a brand new cedar shake roof glowing in the warming sun. In olden days, young muscled men carved the wood planks out with long handled axes that made the forests echo with sound. They split them, following the grain because that was the only way to get clean breaks.
In more recent years, timber yards used mighty machines to process the short planks. Cedar shakes have always been expensive because of the labor involved. And they still have the disadvantages of following the grain. That’s because this structure is inherently weak. And it makes removing old cedar shake roofs cost more money too.
Removing Old Cedar Shake Roofs Costs Money Because of Rotting Timber
Folk generally hang on to their cedar shake roofs as long as they can because timber is expensive. And, let’s face it the distorted planks add a certain character to a home as much as smile wrinkles do to an elder persons face.
However, in the case of the wood the shakes are gradually falling apart along the grain. First, the timber drying out on the upper surface causes them to warp. And then they split into pieces along the grain lines and cause the roof to start leaking.
Customers regularly call us for a price for a new, replacement roof about this time. We make our estimates as detailed as possible. The first line often reads “to removing and disposing of old cedar shakes”.
Then we sit back and wait for them to ask why removing old cedar shake roofs cost so much money. We tell them it’s because the shakes break apart as we remove them, and this can be a dangerous job high up on a semi-rotting roof.
Removing old cedar shakes is therefore more expensive than say stripping off asphalt shingles. We also need a larger disposal bin because there are more small pieces, and therefore air spaces between them. In fact, this part of the job can cost as much as 30% more.
Hanging on to Rotting Cedar Shakes is a False Economy
It may make economic sense to replace an old cedar shake roof as soon as the timbers show signs of disintegrating. The typical warning signs to watch for are splitting, curling, cupping, and rotting edges.
We’ll happily meet you on your site, inspect your cedar shakes, and express an opinion. If we can remove the timber without it breaking up, then the job should cost you less money than delaying. Call Valiant Exteriors on (403)829-1661 for more information.
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