Cedar Shakes VS Asphalt Shingles for Calgary Exteriors

Cedar Shakes VS Asphalt Shingles for Calgary Exteriors

Roofing in Calgary

As you can imagine roofing in Calgary is a seasonal job.  It doesn’t really happen all too much in the dead of winter, at least you don’t want it to.  I actually spent a couple of summers when I was younger working as a roofer in Calgary and the summer can be great for being outside and long days putting in lots of hours.

It’s not an easy job by any stretch, tearing off the old roof can be quite labour intensive and you actually need to know what you are doing when putting the new roof on.  There are specific codes you need to follow and keeping the lines straight can be a little tricky.  All in all, though it is a very important job, you need your roof to work, and you need it to work well to keep the weather outside, and the warmth inside.

It’s Not All About the Winter Though

Many times when it comes to exterior renovations most people in this part of the world concentrate on winter, and rightfully so…it gets really cold here.  However, you need to make note of all of the seasons that happen in Calgary.  We do actually get all four seasons and your house needs to be able to work in all four.  We get a lot of rain, hail, leaves, sun and snow and we have to get through it all.

One of the things to consider when planning a new roof is how it will react in the summer months.  For instance, Cedar shakes will keep the attic 15-20 degrees cooler than asphalt shingles.  In July when it is really hot in Calgary this will help with your home efficiency and energy use.  If you are not overusing your air conditioning your cost will be lower.  They will also increase your insulation in the winter giving you the same effect…a more efficient house.

So What is the Difference Between the Two?

Obviously the main difference between the two types of roofing is the material.  Cedar shakes are made out of real wood and shingles are made out of tar, crushed stones and petroleum products.

Shingles are not all bad, they are not as costly as cedar shakes and with the new technology now they can last up to 20-25 years if looked after properly.  Shingles are also fairly easy to put on and come in a wide variety of colours that shakes do not come in.  They also don’t rot or split or generally have to be replaced.  They can withstand all of the weather in Calgary and are great for melting snow in the spring.

Cedar is a really wood product and adds an insulative quality to your roof.  They also smell really nice and look great.  They are more expensive and will require a professional to install them.  They also are very durable and will likely last longer than the shingles.

The other great thing about shakes is that if you need to replace one or two the process is really easy to do.

What the Best Option?

In Calgary, the best roofing option between shingles and shakes would be Cedar Shakes.  It is more expensive in the up front cost but you will save that money on utilities and a longer-lasting roof.  

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