Wood Shakes and Shingles: Useful Information Guide

Roof Online Staff

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Wood shakes and shingles: a new cedar roof
A fairly new cedar shingle roof. Note the copper strips installed to inhibit the growth of algae.
An aged wood shake roof.
An aged wood shake roof.

Pictures of Cedar Shake and Shingle Roofing

1. General: “RICOWI Best Practices Guides for Roofing – Cedar Shingles and Shakes” is available on the website of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. (“RICOWI” stands for the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues).

2. Building Codes: “R905.7 Wood Shingles” and “R905.8 Wood Shakes” from the 2018 International Residential Code. Available on the UpCodes website.

3. Building Codes: “1507.8 Wood Shingles” and “1507.9 Wood Shakes” from the 2018 International Building Code. Available on the UpCodes website.

4. Chemical Compatibility of Cedar: “Compatibility of Materials in Contact” shows which other construction materials should or should not be used with cedar. Available on the website of the Continuous Group.

5. Historic Roofing: If you have a few minutes, take a look at this video where traditional tools are used to produce wood shakes. It’s a pleasure to watch: “Making Roof Shingles With Hand Tools“.

6. Inspection of Wood Shingle and Shake Roofs: “Mastering Roof Inspections: Wood Shakes and Shingles, Part 1” at the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors website is worth taking a look at. This guide has six more parts, which can be accessed from this page.

7. Maintenance and Cleaning:  “Care and Maintenance of Wood Shingle and Shake Roofs” goes into a decent amount of detail. The article can be found on Oregon State University’s Oregon Wood Innovation Center’s site.

8. Technical: Installation Guide: see this roofing manual for access to extensive construction details that show what’s going on (or should be going on) in a wood shake or shingle roof. Provided by the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau.

9. Technical: “Installation, Care, and Maintenance of Wood Shake and Shingle Roofs” is a good technical introduction to wood shakes and shingles. Produced by a team of experts for the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory. 

10. Technical: See this product data sheet for the technical characteristics of cedar shakes and shingles at the website of the Cedar Shake and Shingle BureauThis is only an example and other products and brands may be different.

11. Technical: “The Repair and Replacement of Historic Wooden Shingle Roofs” is an excellent article available on the US National Park Service’s Technical Preservation Services website.

12. Manufacturers: See this list of wood shake and shingle manufacturers.