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The Real Truth About Wood Shake Roofs | Roofing Boise

The Real Truth About Wood Shake Roofs

Wood burns easier and more quickly than cement or asphalt. Despite this known fact, many homeowners continue to use woodshake for their roofs. These types of roofs are considered a premium product that adds natural beauty to the home and blends well with its natural surroundings. However, the dangers far out-weigh any aesthetic comforts woodshake roofing provides. 

Fire Hazard

The most apparent danger with wood shake roofing is the fire hazard. As wood ages, the drier it becomes, making it more susceptible to fire. This is especially true with the homes located in foothills or wooded areas. The embers from a fire or lighting strike can easily ignite a woodshake roof quicker than a roof made of the traditional asphalt shingle.

Upkeep and Maintenance

The weathering effect can cause multiple problems for wood shake roofs. For example, as wood gets wet it expands. As it drys out it can shrink and crack. As the years pass, these continual effects can cause structural damage to the shingles. Also, debris can get lodged in between the shingles. Some of this could be leaves and miscellaneous wind-blown debris. As these items accumulate on the roof, the they can impede the shedding of water. As a result, wood-destroying fungi can grow, or the wood can begin to rot.


Insurance companies often encourage homeowners to replace wood shake shingles by offering discounts. If the homeowner rejects the offer, the insurer can charge a steep premium in order to maintain coverage. Or, in extreme situations, decline or cancel the insurance coverage. This reason, alone, should be enough to persuade a current, or future, woodshake shingle homeowner to review the type of roofing for the home.

While the beauty of a new woodshake shingle roof cannot be denied, the inherent hazards should also not be denied or ignored. These types of roofs are temporary, require continual upkeep, are prone to fire, and are more expensive to insure. 

Many established communities in the Treasure Valley have wood shake roofing still on their homes.  We highly suggest, especially in areas of higher fire hazard, to replace any wood shake roofing as soon as possible.

Spring is the perfect time for replacement!

Please call us with any questions or concerns about your woodshake roof or to schedule a free estimate! 208-576-2500