Comparing the Merits of Asphalt Shingles and Cedar Shingles

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Installing Asphalt Shingles or Cedar Shingles

Multiple Colour Choices of Asphalt ShinglesIn the majority of cases, new home builders will install roofs with asphalt shingles; these types of shingles are reasonably priced and somewhat easy to install, thereby allowing builders to finish this part of the construction process in a manner that is cost-effective and time-efficient.  From the homeowner’s perspective, asphalt shingles will more than adequately deliver the performance that they want in a roof in terms of effectiveness and endurance.  All of this makes the installation of asphalt shingles a win-win situation for the builder and the buyer.

This mindset tends to be perpetuated when asphalt shingles need to be replaced, as they probably will after a good number of years; whenever that roof replacement is done, it is highly likely that the homeowners will opt to swap the old asphalt shingles for new ones.  But this does not have to be the case; in the same vein that homeowners have options when replacing their carpeting, bathroom fixtures, or garage door, they can select from different types of roofing materials.  One such option that may garner some homeowner attention is wood shingles, or more precisely, cedar shingles.

There are several factors to be weighed when deciding between asphalt and cedar roofs, on both the pro and con sides of the ledger:

  • Pro – Asphalt Shingles
    • Most affordable option – initial installation
    • Relatively easy to install and repair/replace
    • Available in a selection of styles and colours
    • Require less maintenance in contrast to cedar
    • Offer greater protection, specific to fire resistance
  • Con – Asphalt Shingles
    • Susceptible to weather damage (wind, ice, hail)
    • Vulnerable to age-related damage or deterioration
    • Have the shortest lifecycle on average of all materials
    • Non-recyclable – disposal in landfills is the principal option
  • Pro – Cedar Shingles
    • Cost-effective long-term – lifespan is 10+ years longer
    • Maintains dimensional stability under all weather extremes
    • Natural insulator – more energy efficient/lowers energy costs
    • Less susceptible to storm/weather damage (hail, winds, UV rays)
    • More environmentally-friendly – made from a renewable resource
    • Can offer greater curb appeal; can potentially increase resale value
  • Con – Cedar Shingles:
    • Higher purchase price
    • More expensive installation costs
    • More expensive repair or replacement costs
    • Regular maintenance needed to prevent mold/mildew growth

Despite the upfront cost implications, cedar roofs offer a wide range of benefits that may outweigh those of asphalt roofs over the long-term.  Homeowners wishing to learn more about cedar shingles as an alternative to asphalt when in need of a roof replacement are encouraged to speak with a roofing professional, such as a representative from Triumph Roofing.

Range of Factors to Take into Consideration with the Installation of Cedar Roofs

Asphalt Tiled RoofAs implied above, costs associated with the installation and maintenance of cedar roofs might be influential factors in any deliberations over this material versus asphalt shingles when replacing a roof.  But it will also be important to keep in mind the range of factors that can affect the actual purchase price of the cedar shingles as well – these dynamics will include:

  • Thickness of the shingles
  • The quality of the shingles
  • Roof area (square footage)
  • Roof configuration (peaks/angles)

Additional facets that homeowners will need to take into consideration before proceeding with the installation of cedar shingles would be:

  • Will any special building codes or permits come into play?
  • Can the present roofing structure support the added weight?
  • How will cedar fit in/align with the roofs of any nearby homes?

All of the above are viable questions and concerns that can be addressed and answered by roofing professionals with extensive experience in the installation of cedar roofs, such as Triumph Roofing in Toronto and Calgary.

For additional information on the expertise of Triumph Roofing in installing cedar roofs, please go to our Cedar Shake page.

Whether you prefer to replace your roof with asphalt shingles or are looking to switch to cedar shingles, the professionals from Triumph Roofing will competently install the roof of your choice.  Call the team from Triumph Roofing at 416-534-8877 in Toronto or 403-452-4114 in Calgary or contact us to request a no-obligation consultation today.

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