Cedar Shake

Your Professional Wooden Shake and Shingle Contractor

For a lot of homeowners, their roof is not exactly at the top of the list of things to think about when it comes to their home. After all, out of sight, out of mind. But if you consider the fact that the roof is the largest part of your house in terms of area; and that it is your home and family’s first line of shelter: it would be wise if you took time if you’re happy with your roof. We at Semper West Roofing, as your friendly community roofing contractor serving MD, VA, Washington DC, and nearby areas, can help you with everything there is when it comes to your roofing and construction needs. With three decades in the industry under our belts, you can put your mind at ease when we are on the job. Our team of professional roofers have the skill and expertise to provide you with a solution for any roof and construction problem you may have.

Leading roofing manufacturers such as CertainTeed, GAF, and Tamko acknowledge our expertise to the point that they have given us recognition as their partners in the roofing construction business: allowing us to give you extended warranties on projects using their already great products.

Part of the many services we provide for your home at Semper West are cedar and wood shake roofing installation, maintenance, and repair.

Wooden Shakes and Shingles

Wood is one of the oldest construction materials in human history. In different cultures and in different periods of history, wooden roofs have been used on homes because of their availability, strength, and natural beauty. But among all types of wood, the timber of choice for roofs, especially in the United States, is cedar.

Usually made from the Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), cedar shakes are different from shingles in terms of how they are made. Shakes are spilt from the timber along the grain while shingles are sawed. This going with the grain gives shakes more durability as opposed to shingles, whose cut may interfere with the grain, giving them less strength.

For some, the irregular surface of the shake compared to the more even shingle may be a downside. However, many see the shake roof’s uneven texture as something beautiful, giving your home a distinct rustic character.

Cedar Roofing Pros and Cons


While they are now available in a myriad of colors, cedar’s natural grayish appearance can look good on a house. As it ages, a well-maintained cedar roof becomes even more beautiful as it starts to turn silvery.


At the get-go, cedar shakes are more costly than other roofing materials such as asphalt shingles and TPO. This is why it’s important that you have the services of a professional roofing contractor such as us at Semper West to install your cedar roof properly and maximize its service life.


Cedar shake roofs are great insulators. They can keep heat in when it’s cold, and keep your home cool on warm days. They also protect your home from harmful ultraviolet rays which they absorb.


Cedar shakes are extremely resilient against extreme weather. A correctly installed cedar roof can withstand even the strongest of storms. They also hold well against forces that may otherwise puncture a roof, such as hailstones and other debris.

Environmental Impact

While cedar is admittedly a slow-growing tree, most companies in the United States replace the lumber that they harvest by planting seedlings in their place. With proper management, cedar is slowly becoming a renewable source of materials. Old wooden roofs can also be reused for their timber and fiber, to be reused into other products.

Service Life

Among roofing materials, properly installed and maintained cedar roofs have an above-average lifespan of 30 years, maybe even more. This makes them a great roofing option for the return of investment that they provide; not to mention the peace of mind they give you, knowing that you have a strong and stable roof above your heads.


Because of their porous texture, the main enemy of cedar and wooden roofs is water. If they become waterlogged, a wooden roof can prematurely decay and become damaged. They can also become places for insects, plants, mold, and mildew to grow, damaging them even more. Having them maintained regularly can prolong their life. Also, a good roofing company can set you up with pre-treated wooden shakes that can prolong their life by preventing anything from getting into them.

Let Semper West Be Your Cedar Roofing and Construction Partner!

If you live in the MD, VA, and Washington DC areas, we at Semper West can help you decide if having a cedar shake roof is a viable option for your home. You can arrange to have one of our professionals drop by to pay you a visit and provide you with an honest assessment of your home and its needs.