Cedar shakes present a lot of curb appeal as a roofing option. If you’re looking at replacing your roof, it makes an excellent all-around option. But like any roof, cedar shake has a useful life before it starts to require a roof replacement in Calgary, or anywhere you go. True, we get some nasty hail damage in this city from time to time, but you’ll want to know what kind of life your roof is going to have compared to the cost of replacement over a typical life cycle. You’ll also want to know exactly how long you have between total cedar shake roof replacements.

What Kind of Repair or Replacement Is Involved with Cedar Shake?

Cedar shake is a natural roofing option, and unlike asphalt or metal roofing, it can biodegrade more readily. That degradation can present more problems.

Your roof’s shingles should be flush with one another. This overlapping arrangement keeps the Canadian elements and pests out of your interior. But shake has a unique drawback when it ages weathers moisture. Shake can warp and bend out of shape, creating gaps that let more moisture and thus more bio-degradation into the shake’s roofing layer.

However, if there are only a few cedar shakes showing signs of deterioration, you may be able to get away with repairs rather than a complete replacement. Fortunately, cedar shake is one of the more straightforward repairs to make, and it’s economical on a per-square-foot basis.

When Should I Replace My Roof with Cedar Shake?

Protective cedar shake shingle on the roof being warped with age

Cedar shake is best when you cater to its natural lifespan. While shake used to imply hand-cut shingles, it’s a bit more complicated because a lot more shake on the market can be cut by machine. But shake still stands out a few ways. Among some finer differences between shake and other shingles, shake usually follows the grain of the wood and has less taper.

Cedar is excellent, rot-resistant, and insulating (great for Calgary), but it can fade to grey with time and requires more upkeep than other roofing materials. That can affect your roof repair and roof replacement schedule, and if you’re looking to move, the home’s curb appeal might take a hit in the last few years of a cedar shake roof’s useful life. Your wood shakes might last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, so if you or your home’s previous owner have a record of when it was last replaced, you can plan a roof replacement accordingly.

If you’d rather keep a frequent eye on your budget for repairs and replacement, that’s certainly an option. What matters is your home ownership strategy and how you’d like those costs spread out throughout the period of ownership. Resale value can be affected by your choice, but one key takeaway you can rest assured of is that cedar shake is best replaced right before a resale! The look and feel of cedar shake is quite stunning when it’s new.

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and in serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work. Give us a call at (403) 608-9933 or email us at [email protected]


The choices for home exteriors can be overwhelming, but if you’re thinking about replacing your old siding, it might greatly benefit your heating bill to choose a side best suited to the winter months. Let’s take a look at your options.

Your Siding Options for Calgary Winters

We’ve written a bit about your options for home exterior siding, and they are many. But the possibilities grow fewer if your home needs an extra boost against Calgary’s four-seasons-in-a-day weather. Despite the variability of the weather, the crushing cold of winter’s daily low temperatures can undoubtedly impact your home. Just because it’s warm sometimes doesn’t mean your siding will always keep the heat in.

Wood has high insulation value, but wood can come with its own problems. One thing to note is how much maintenance wood needs. Vinyl is very economical and durable, but the insulation isn’t optimal. So what does that leave?

What Is the Best Siding for Winter & Why Is it Hardie Board?

Exterior wall thermal insulation overlaid by winter-friendly siding

Hardie board, also known as fibre cement siding, is gaining popularity. The first thing that comes to mind when we’re talking about the benefits of Hardie board is its insulating properties. It has good insulation by way of its materials.

Hardie board is made of the following:

  • Cellulose wood fibres
  • Water
  • Sand

These ingredients form a mixture that becomes like cement, so it can be shaped for aesthetics and curb appeal just as much as durability.

Fibre cement can operate as a fire barrier because it’s heat resistant. And this quality works both ways; room-temperature heat escaping past the interior insulation out into the cold snap of winter just bounces right back into the lining.

Moreover, Hardie board has excellent water resistance. That solves a critical problem. Humidity and temperature changes all the time in Calgary winters, leading to a dizzying cycle of condensation, frosting thereof, and frost melt once the chinooks roll in. Hardie board doesn’t experience the same water penetration with that cycle, so it’s impervious rot and moisture.

Once the Calgary spring arrives, all that moisture can make an inviting home for bugs, termites, microscopic organisms, and other pests. This water resistance ensures that your home’s foundation and structure are protected from any potential dangers by guaranteeing that your exterior doesn’t degrade and rot. While Hardie Board has a similar look and feel to wood siding, it requires far less upkeep. Rather than sanding, painting, or worrying about bugs, you can just wash off your siding without worrying about dirt, bugs, or water penetration.

At the end of the day, there is more thought that can go into your choice of siding for colder winters. But siding is an unsung hero in the layers of insulation available to your home. If you have any questions about whether Hardie board would be the best choice for you, please contact us!

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work. Give us a call at (403) 608-9933 or email us at [email protected]