Natural Cedar Shake Roofing Materials Vs Composite Materials

Category: Blog Post

Buying a new roof isn’t an everyday task. Many people get lost in the process and are unaware of the options. For some time, natural cedar wood was a popular choice for homeowners in the U.S. because of its rustic, appealing look.

Nowadays, there are alternatives to cedar shake, such as composite. What are some of the biggest differences between the two options, and which one should you choose?

Let’s go over the pros and cons of cedar shake.

Pros of Cedar Shake Roofs


Real cedar shakes are known for their durability. They have a high density and thickness, making them resistant to extreme weather conditions. They also can last longer than many of your typical asphalt shingles.


That rustic look will certainly add beauty to your home, and overtime age into different tones depending on the color you started with.

Cons of Cedar Shake Roofs

High Maintenance

Due to wood being an organic material, it is prone to decay and rot, especially in cold weather conditions. Because of this, regular inspection and maintenance is required.

Difficult Installation Process

If you do choose cedar, you’ll want to be sure that you hire an experienced contractor. Many roofing contractors focus on asphalt shingles, metal, or synthetic roofing material. Real wood is heavier than other alternatives and requires expert installation to ensure proper water run off and prevent your roof from leaking in the future.

Fire + Insurance

Wood is a flammable material and causes concern for fires, especially if you live in an area with a history of wildfires. Due to the risks that come with a natural cedar roof, many insurance companies will hike the rates for coverage or not provide coverage at all, like in California. Be sure to refer to insurance company rules and/or building department regulations.

A Better Alternative

EcoStar offers superior options for alternatives to natural cedar. Their roofing tile designs are made using real cedar shakes as a template to create an intricate texture that appears authentic. They are manufactured from up to 80% post-industrial recycled materials.

Synthetic shake tiles are manufactured with color throughout so the color you put on your roof remains for the life of the product. Because they don’t contain organic material, you won’t have to worry about decaying or rotting. They are low maintenance and easier to clean.

Composite cedar roofing shingles are lightweight and the installation is easier than natural cedar. You get the look of real cedar shake without the concerns – an option that lasts longer and is easier to care for.

EcoStar Wants to Help You!

We want to hear about your roofing project. Contact EcoStar today to see if we’re the right fit for you.

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