Wood Shake Roof Maintenance FAQ

How long do wood shake/cedar shake roofs last?

Most high grade cedar shake roofs will last 20+ years with proper wood shake roof maintenance done every 2-4 years in Kansas. Depending on sun exposure (usually Southern exposure is the hardest on your wood roof) and year to year weather conditions your maintenance plan will vary.

What would be considered proper maintenance for a wood shake roof?

Wood shake shingles need to be inspected every 2 years or so after they have been on your house for 10 – 12 years. The wood shingles (especially on the southern slopes) will begin to show signs of deterioration from sun and rain. The wood will gray and even curl as a natural aging process, but thin spots called burn outs start to develop. You may be able to see the felt paper through these burn outs which will eventually lead to holes in the felt and a leak.



An experienced wood shake repair professional can swap out these worn shingles for new ones restoring the weatherproofing ability of your roof. Your roof should be thoroughly inspected and all burn outs and problem split over split shingles replaced. You may have wood ridge cap coming off as well. These should be either refastened or replaced. Once you have done a maintenance repair, you shouldn’t have to worry about doing another for 2 – 3 years. One of the drawbacks of wood shakes is that even though you replace worn shingles today there are many more on their way to needing replacement.


How much does a wood shake repair job cost?

The cost of the repair will vary with how bad your roof has gotten over the years. Shaded wood shake roofs tend to wear less than wood roofs that are fully exposed to the sun’s rays. The typical Shawnee, Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe, Mission or Leawood home in Johnson County Kansas can expect to need 3-5 bundles of new wood shakes replaced or 100-200 shingles. Depending on the danger/difficulty factor (how steep and high) of your roof will determine how much you will be charged per bundle. If your first maintenance repair is done correctly then the next ones will be less expensive.

What can I do to prevent these burn outs and splits to prevent the need for maintenance repairs?

Unfortunately there isn’t a thing you can do to stop the deterioration happening everyday on your wood shake roof. Wood exposed to sun and water is going to wear away with time.  Our extreme summers and winters here in Kansas and Missouri wreak havoc on wood roofs. Regular wood shake roof maintenance is the key to extending the useful life and preventing leaks.

What are the other problems with cedar wood shake roofs?

As a former owner of a wood shake roof and experienced wood shake repair specialist, here are a few issues with them.

  • They attract silverfish which eventually end up in your house.
  • If the silverfish weren’t bad enough, the silverfish attract spiders which end up in your house
  • They dry out and become a fire hazard. Some insurance companies are denying insurance coverage for wood shake roofs.
  • They are expensive to replace because a former wood roof has to have new decking installed. Wood shakes are installed over spaced decking. Asphalt, tile or metal replacement roofs need to be installed on solid decking



How do I know I’m getting my money’s worth on a wood shake maintenance repair?

We will take pictures of your roof and prepare a roof condition report to show you the damaged areas. When we’re finished repairing your cedar shakes we will show you repair pictures if you can’t see it from the ground. Reputable contractors will give you at least a 1 year warranty on their roof repair work.

Our trained repair specialists at Safe Harbor Roofing are proud of their track record for fixing wood shake roofs right the first time. Our goal is to be your “go to roofing company” in the Shawnee, Kansas and Kansas City Metro area. We love referrals!

Call us today for a no obligation inspection and roof condition report.


Safe Harbor Roofing, LLC  (913) 553-3620       Email