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A Comprehensive Guide to Cedar Shingles

Updated on June 5, 2013

For a roofing material that is durable, weather-resistant, and visually attractive, cedar shingles may be the best option. There is much more to know about cedar shingles than many people realize, and so when preparing to implement these kinds of shingles on your home or some other kind of building it is important that some research is done to insure the best possible final product. In addition to there being different ways that cedar shingles can be oriented and installed on a building to give it different visual appearances, there is also a wide range of different variations of cedar shingles. Depending on where the cedar wood was sourced from, what type it is, how it is cut, and the overall dimensions of the shingles are some factors that typically determine a type of cedar shingle. Shingles made from cedar are not to be confused with cedar shakes, since shakes are often hand cut and tend to be significantly thicker than the shingles are. Cedar shakes can be used for a more rustic and loosely arranged appearance, but are generally not as reliable of a roofing material as the shingles are, since cedar shingles are considerably more precise in the way they are produced. Cedar shakes are also going to have a larger exposure, which is a term used to reference the relative height of each row of shingles or shakes above each successive row of shingles. In other words, exposure refers to how much of the shingle's width can be visually seen above the line of each shingle row. Installing cedar shingles to the recommended exposure level of the shingle manufacturer is always important, and failure to do so can sometimes result in an invalidation of a manufacturer's warranty plan. In order to provide additional information to consumers and professionals, some of the different kinds of cedar shingles will now be introduced and briefly discussed.

Cedar Roof Shingles UK

For a wide variety of different types of cedar roof shingles in the UK, there are a number of different sellers and distributors who can provide consumers and contractors with the kinds of high quality cedar roof shingles that are required for the construction of a sturdy and well built cedar roof. Depending on which manufacturer and retail outlet an individual consults with in order to purchase their cedar roof shingles, there is going to be some variability in terms of the pricing and quality of the cedar roofing shingles being acquired. For this reason, it is important for buyers of cedar roof shingles in the UK to understand that there are different types of cedar wood that can be used in the production of cedar roofing shingles, and that certain types of cedar wood are going to be more advantageous for certain climates and conditions.

Western Red Cedar Shingles

Western red cedar shingles are often used in the roofing of both residential and public buildings in the UK and around the world for their exceptional natural durability and attractive reddish coloration. Western red cedar roofing shingles can be purchased from a variety of different sellers and retailers, at varying degrees of thickness and weight of each individual western red cedar shingle. Many times when this type of western red cedar shingle is purchased, it will come standard with a natural finish, or no finish at all. From certain western red cedar shingle distribution and retail outlets there will be an option of what type of finish or paint a customer would prefer to have on their western red cedar shingles, giving these shingles a significant degree of design flexibility, and the ability to have your western red cedar shingles customized in such a way so as to lend a unique look to any public or residential roofing surface.

Western Red Cedar Properties

As a naturally durable and moisture resistant roofing material, western red cedar roofing shingles are often used for the way they combine aesthetic attraction with pure practicality. Whether being used for exterior, or interior construction projects, western red cedar is a material that is also especially resistant to potential damage by insects, as well as resistance to the kinds of general decay that is bound to happen over time with any material left out in the elements. This type of cedar wood is known for having a relatively fine and even grain texture, combined with having a low weight and density, making it an ideal roofing material in a wide variety of construction or roofing projects. Part of the appeal associated with using western red cedar roofing shingles on a home or some other kind of roofing job is the way this material is at once practical and useful, while also retaining a very naturalistic, rustic, almost old-world kind of charm. The naturalistic nature of western red cedar roofing shingles makes them perfect for roofing projects where the goal of the project is to utilize a building material that will allow for the effective blending in of the home or building in question to the natural environment surrounding it. For example, if a home is situated amid a lush forest environment, using western red cedar roofing shingles will give the home a look and feel that suggests that it belongs in this environment. Using this kind of western red cedar roofing material allows for a building to seem much more in tune with the immediate environment, at least in terms of the building's aesthetic value.

Blue Label Cedar Shingles

Blue label cedar roofing shingles are actually available in a wide variety of different product types and brands, contrary to the commonly held belief of some cedar shingle customers that "blue label" somehow refers to one uniform kind of shingle. The reality is that blue label cedar shingles can be purchased not only from a broad range of different brands, but also in a broad range of different levels of quality. One common misconception held by first time or inexperienced buyers of blue label cedar shingles is that these shingles are going to be held to some standard of quality implied by the phrase "blue label." In truth, this misconception is responsible for a lot of consumer dissatisfaction when purchasing blue label cedar shingles, since when buyers learn that the shingles they thought would be top quality are actually of relatively poor quality. This is a method used by some companies; the method of selling low quality cedar shingles and shakes under the guise of being blue label cedar shingles. This leads some consumers into believing that the shingles they are buying are considerably better than they actually are. Because of this, it is important for cedar shingle buyers in the UK, and abroad, to always make sure to learn more about the seller of blue label cedar shingles before actually making a purchase. Learn where they source their cedar wood from, learn how and when they process it, among other important things to know when looking for and purchasing blue label cedar shingles.

Cedar Shingles Roofing

When cedar shingles are used in the roofing of virtually any different type of building, regardless of the specific variation of cedar used in the production of the shingles, this kind of roof is going to be more durable and resistant to weather, water, and general decay than many other roofing materials. Whether its blue label cedar shingles or western red cedar shingles a builder is using for a roofing project, it is highly likely that the decision to utilize cedar roofing shingles is going to insure that a building stays durable and visually attractive for many years into the future.

Treating Cedar Shingles

When cedar roofing shingles need to be maintained and treated to insure their long lasting durability, there are a few popular methods that can be used to insure that treatment is performed properly and to the highest possible standard. The most widely used method of treating cedar shingles is essentially a two step process, involving first cleaning the shingles with a wood cleaner (wood cleaners are typically sold as a concentrate, and so first mixing the cleaner with water to dilute it is usually a step in this process), and then going over all of the shingles with some variation of oil based wood stain. Whether a sprayer is being used to apply the stain, or a brush, or some kind of manual or automated roller, cedar shingles will generally require multiple coats of wood stain to insure that they are effectively treated and protected from the kind of wear that unprotected cedar shingles will tend to experience at much faster rates. When treating cedar roofing shingles with a wood stain, it is important to make sure that the stain has effectively penetrated the entire volume of the cedar shingles to insure that maximum protection is achieved. After the necessary amount of stain coatings have been applied, the next step in the cedar shingle treatment process is going to be removing any excess stain from the outer face of the shingles using a dry paint brush or some other kind of utensil that will effectively remove any excess stain from the cedar roofing shingles. When excess wood stain is allowed to sit and eventually dry on the outer surface of the cedar roofing shingles, this creates an unfavorable condition where the appearance of the wood will become tacky and more dull. In addition, if all of the wood stain is not removed from the outer surface of the shingles, this will create a surface that will hold dirt and allow for the growth of mildew and other unwanted organisms.

Cedar Shingles Nails and Fasteners

When performing the installation of cedar roofing shingles, it is often advised that stainless steel nails and fasteners be used in this process. Typical length of the stainless steel nails will generally be about 1.25" and 2", depending on the specific design qualities of a cedar shingle roofing project. Using double dipped galvanized nails and fasteners is often recommended to insure that a roof composed of cedar shingles will be as durable and long lasting as possible. The fasteners used in a cedar shingle roofing project are critically important to the longevity of a cedar shingle roof, and it is important to note that cheaper fasteners put cedar shingle roof owners at risk of experiencing a premature failure in the structural integrity of their roof. It is true in virtually every case that cheap or low quality fasteners simply will not hold up under different kinds of stresses that will be put on a cedar shingle roof over time. With regard to using cheap or low quality nails, what can often happen in this situation is that the cheap nails will begin to rust over time, and when this happens rust lines can begin to develop on a beautiful cedar shingle roof. When this happens, the visual beauty of the cedar is diminished and its structural integrity will be marginally compromised at the same time.

Installing Cedar Shingles

The installation of cedar shingles is something that takes a bit of expertise and experience if it is going to be done properly, and for this reason professional contractors or installers will often be hired to perform this kind of work. Even though a home or property owner may decide to perform this installation work themselves, it can be a risky decision if they do not have some kind of experience with this sort of work. Since cedar shingle roofing is a significant investment, it makes sense to have professional installers do the work to insure that it is performed to the highest possible standard of quality.

Cedar Shingles Prices

When discussing the pricing of cedar shingles, since there is a high degree of variability in these kinds of products, there is also going to be a lot of variability in pricing as well. Every cedar shingle roofing project is going to involve different design dimensions, and therefore different amounts of cedar shingles to cover the entire roof space in question. Also, cedar shingles come in a variety of different types, with each different type having its own specific price point. For these reasons, researching a cedar shingle roofing project extensively before beginning it can insure that all costs are understood to a reasonable degree by whoever will be investing in the cedar shingle roof.

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