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Lifespan of Cedar Shingles

Updated May 25, 2017

Cedar shingle roofing costs about five times as much as typical asphalt roofing. Shingles are also used to side buildings; with costs ranging between £91 and £97 per 100 square feet, stretching the lifespan of cedar shingles is critical.

Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of cedar shingles is 20 to 25 years. In some instances, shingles have lasted as long as 60 years.

Installation and Lifespan

Cedar shingles need to "breathe." There must be air flow under the shingles to allow them to dry after absorbing moisture. Mounting cedar shingles onto sheathing can reduce lifespans to 15 years or less.

Sealants

Some installers recommend treating cedar shingles with a sealant every 5 years to protect and preserve the wood. Sealants should be applied on roofs by professionals since they make cedar roofing slippery.

Factors That Can Reduce Lifespan

Tanins from overhanging tree limbs, poor wood quality, salt water spray and pollutants in the air can all negatively impact the lifespan of cedar shingles.

Cupping and Warping

Some cupping and warping of shingles is normal and does not indicate shingles that have outlived their lifespan. If cupping and warping is excessive, over a wide area, it could be a sign of installation problems.

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About the Author

Robert Korpella has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a certified Master Naturalist, regularly monitors stream water quality and is the editor of freshare.net, a site exploring the Ozarks outdoors. Korpella's work has appeared in a variety of publications. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas.