General Cedar Shake Questions

I am NOT a Cedar shake guy… I’ve never even done a repair to one. All we usually do in my market is remove them & put decking down for a shingle job.

Here’s a question I received from someone I know through a non roofing forum… can y’all help me out?


I know you are the roof expert on here and was wondering if you could give me a little information. I am in the process of buying a new home in McAllen and had the inspection today. The home is about 15 years old and has a wood shake roof. When we looked in the attic, there were many spots of daylight coming through. It didn’t look like indirect light either, the spots looked like you could see to the blue sky. I am going to get a roofing contractor to inspect it and tell me what needs to be done. I suspect I will be told I need a new roof so they can sell me one.

My question is how long should a wood shake roof last? I’m hoping that just a few shakes need to be replaced. My other question is is there regular maintenance that should be done on a wood shake roof. My current roof is wood shake and I haven’t done anything. I’ve read about treatments that should be applied at certain times. Are these legitimate treatments, or is it just a scam?

Thanks for the info.


& There you go.

Is it Cedar Shingle or Cedar Shake?

What is the pitch?

What type of decking?
I will presume skip sheathing since he can see through some spots.

If it is Cedar Shake, there should have been 18" Shake Liner 30# felt interwoven between the courses.

If it were Cedar Shingle Perfections, there is not a felting requirement in most instances.

What is the per course exposure, or reveal?

Depending on the size and the grade of the various Cedar products, that can change, but 5" for Cedar Shingles with a 3-ply is typical and 10" with a 2- ply for Cedar Shakes is typical.

What was the forum?

Ed