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Dos and Don’ts of Replacing a Cedar Shake Roof With Asphalt Shingles

Posted on April 24, 2023

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Dos and Don’ts of Replacing a Cedar Shake Roof With Asphalt Shingles

Roofs need proper care and attention to keep them looking good and protecting your home. If you’re a homeowner with a cedar shake roof, you may wonder if it’s time to replace it with asphalt shingles, or if better options are available. 

At Excel Renovation, we’re here with the information you need to know regarding your roof replacement project. By the end of this blog post, you’ll learn the following information:

  • What to consider before replacing a cedar shake roof with asphalt shingles
  • Overall expense: What costs more, asphalt shingles or cedar shakes?
  • What is the best alternative to a cedar shake roof?

While others may offer generic advice, we believe in providing tailored recommendations that are specific to your unique needs. 

Let us help you replace your cedar shake roof with a better option!

Can You Replace Cedar Shake Roofs with Shingles? The Dos And Don’ts

If you are tired of the maintenance and expense that comes with a cedar shake roof, you can easily replace it with asphalt shingles. Not only is it possible, but it also comes with a host of benefits! For starters, you get a wide variety of colors and patterns to match your home’s aesthetics. Furthermore, asphalt shingles are far more manageable and affordable than natural cedar shakes, which require high maintenance and are prone to water damage.

But before starting with your re-roofing project, there are some crucial things to keep in mind. 

Let’s look at the necessary things you should consider before replacing a cedar shake roof with asphalt shingles.

#1 Do Choose the Right Roofing Contractor

When it comes to roofing contractors, quality is vital. Choose a reputable, experienced contractor who is an expert in residential roofing and knows all about cedar shakes, asphalt, and other shingles. It’s even better if they are local to your area, as they are more likely to be familiar with your area’s building codes, weather conditions, and homeowners association (HOA) rules.

#2 Do Get a Full Roof Inspection

The first step is to check the underlying structure and materials on your old roof. It’s possible that you also need to repair or replace the underlayment, sheathing, or rafters if they are damaged or very old. This is essential as the lifespan of new asphalt shingles is affected by the condition of the inner layers of your roof.

#3 Do Choose the Right Type of Asphalt Shingles

There are three main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab, architectural (also known as fiberglass or rubberized shingles), and luxury asphalt shingles. 3-Tab shingles are less expensive but have a shorter lifespan, while the other two versions are more durable but expensive. If you want to know what the best alternative to a cedar shake roof is, you might be impressed by synthetic or composite shingles.

#4 Do Consider Composite or Synthetic Shingles

replacing cedar shake roof with asphalt shingles
Image source:fwaveroofing.com

Do you like the look of natural slate or cedar shakes? Luckily, you have the option to enjoy the same level of curb appeal with a less expensive option. The discussion of composite shingles vs. asphalt shingles is also very common these days. That’s because synthetic shingles are becoming more and more popular throughout the country. They’re less expensive than cedar shakes and more durable than asphalt shingles. Think of composite shingles as a modern twist to a classic masterpiece!

#5 Do Remove the Old Cedar Shakes

Many homeowners ask, “Can you install new shingles over the old cedar shakes?” Well, it is possible, but the results will be a disaster. It is not advised to install new shingles over an existing cedar shake roof. Instead, the old roof must be removed to avoid potential issues such as uneven surfaces, insufficient ventilation, and increased weight on the roof.

#6 Do Consider the Environmental Impact of the New Shingles

Cedar shakes are a renewable resource and can be recycled, while asphalt shingles are considered less eco-friendly. Fortunately, you have leading brands like Malarkey, that manufacture asphalt shingles responsibly. Malarkey is a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and their shingles are certified by LEED and GreenCircle. As for synthetic shingles, F-Wave Revia® shingles are also among the most durable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly alternatives to cedar shakes.

Green building products often qualify for tax credits, and it is easy to get a roof insurance claim approved with such high-quality roofing products.

#7 Do Understand the Manufacturer’s Warranties

When replacing your cedar shake roof with asphalt shingles, it’s important to consider the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Most manufacturers offer warranties that cover the cost of the shingles for a certain period of time, typically between 20 to 50 years. However, it’s important to note that these warranties often have specific requirements, such as installing necessary shingle accessories or a complete roofing system, and that the installation is done by a brand-certified contractor.

#8 Do Evaluate the Overall Cost Of Installing New Shingles

What costs more, asphalt shingles or cedar shakes? Regarding the overall roofing cost, composite and luxury asphalt shingles are the most cost-effective alternatives. They generally cost less than cedar shake roofs and can last up to 50 years with minimal upkeep. Homeowners should consider the long-term benefits of these high-quality shingles when making a decision about their roof replacement project.

Along with these important considerations, you should be careful about a few more things. Let’s understand the things that you should not do when replacing your cedar shake roof with new asphalt shingles.

#1 Don’t Choose a Contractor Solely Based on Cost

While it’s important to consider your budget, choosing the cheapest contractor can lead to poor-quality work and future problems. Instead, research local roofing contractors and choose one with a good reputation among homeowners in the area with a history of quality work.

#2 Don’t Reuse Old, Worn-Out Roofing Materials

Reusing old flashing or sheathing boards with lots of holes can lead to future problems with the new roof. It’s important to start with fresh, new materials to ensure that the new roof is built to last. Additionally, reusing old materials will compromise the warranty the manufacturer or contractor offers.

#3 Don’t Overlook the Importance of Understanding Warranties

It’s crucial to take the time to carefully read and understand the warranties offered by the roofing contractor. Make sure to ask for a copy of the warranty and review it thoroughly, paying close attention to what is covered and for how long. If there is anything you don’t understand, ask the contractor to clarify.

If you live in a snowy, rainy, or windy area, it’s best to choose roofing shingles with high wind ratings and excellent waterproofing capabilities. For such climates, the best alternatives to a cedar shake roof are synthetic or composite shingles, architectural shingles, and luxury asphalt shingles. For homeowners in Plymouth, MN, we’re here to help you out.

Discuss Your Re-Roofing Options With Our Experts

At Excel Renovation, our experts have been helping Plymouth homeowners for years! We understand the unique challenges of roofing in this climate, and we’re here to help you select the best replacement for your cedar shake roof. Our professionals are trained and experienced in installing the best-quality shingles from top brands like Malarkey, CertainTeed, and F-Wave. We’ll provide you with a free consultation and estimate, and work with the utmost honesty and care to ensure that your new roof is installed correctly and meets all your needs. Call us at (612) 439-5005 to schedule your free consultation on new roofing shingles.