Asphalt shingles are classic and timeless; when you hear about roofing, you probably automatically think about asphalt shingles. They’re the grainy, black, and gray shingles that cover many roofs in residential areas. If you’re out in the country, you might think about a metal roof, but that’s about it. Asphalt shingles are so popular, because they’re inexpensive, easy to install, and durable. They just flat out get the job done, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore some of the other options.
Only the best roofing companies offer cedar shake roofing. This is wooden shingling that serves the same function as asphalt shingles. Wooden shakes are made by splitting logs, in this case, they are cedar logs. Because the highest quality wood is used for the roofing, they provide excellent protection from the weather. When untreated, cedar tends to weather down to a lovely gray color that you’ve probably seen before. If you want to preserve it instantly, you can have the roofers coat it so it maintains the cedar color. Whichever you choose, cedar shake will add a very iconic rustic look.
When it comes to the wood as a material, it has some advantages over the asphalt. Cedar shake is made from real cedar trees, which are a natural resource. In one sense, this is the more ecologically friendly choice, since wood is a renewable resource. However, deforestation is causing incredible problems around the world. That’s why it’s important if you choose a wooden roof, to choose sustainably and responsibly sourced cedar for your roof.
Asphalt shingles are the classic shingle. They are made from petroleum, which means they are not made from a renewable resource. However, since they are made from petroleum, they are naturally very resilient and naturally waterproof. They are also incredibly inexpensive. They’re so inexpensive that roofing companies tend to just cut the shingles to fit and discard the extra shingles. If you’re thinking primarily about your wallet, this is the better choice. If you’re also thinking about the environment, consider that millions of pounds of discarded shingles end up in landfills around the world every year. Since they are a petroleum-based product, they will almost never decompose under normal circumstances. That near-complete resistance to decomposition is incredibly valuable when they’re being used as a building tool; your roof won’t weather in the sun and rain. When they’re in a landfill, that resistance to decomposition just contributes to the amount of trash in the world.
When choosing between cedar and asphalt shingles, there really is no wrong choice. Cedar is the classic, rustic look made from the renewable resource. Asphalt is much less expensive, but is made from a non-renewable resource. It really is just a matter of priorities.