Cedar shake roofs offer a classically beautiful look and with proper maintenance are very durable with life expectancy of 30 up to 50 years!  They are highly resistant to hail damage as the wood absorbs the impact of the hail more effectively than a lot of other products on the market, and their durability to wind is also outstanding. Wood roofs are reported to be more energy efficient, providing a natural insulation up to two times that of asphalt shingles. 

Calgary’s arid climate can lead to dry out the wood and cause premature damage.  The higher the grade of wood used the better your roof will hold up to Alberta’s Sunny dry climate and reduce splitting and warping as the wood ages.  The building code requires a minimum Number 2 grade for shingles, shakes are required to be Number 1 Grade. 

Treatments are available for your wood roof to improve resistance to decay and fire. Anti-fungal treatments will extend the life of the wood roof and fire retardants should be used to protect against fire.

I would always recommend enlisting a wood roofing specialist to set you up on a regular maintenance program.  They will inspect your roof on a regular schedule and replace any shingles or shakes that present a problem.  This can easily double the life expectancy of your roof as with no maintenance your wood roof life could be reduced to 15-20 years.  

If you love a home with a wood roof don’t let it stop you from moving ahead!  An agent that knows the questions to ask can ensure you have all your bases covered for a long life on one of your homes greatest assets.