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Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Roofing Professionals

As a Residential and Commercial roofing company, we provide information about roof system design and installation best practices. We inform our customers about products and services including Roofing, Gutters, Insulation, Masonry, and Sheet Metal.

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Cedar Shakes and Shingles

Wood shake roof systems that are properly designed and installed are known for their longevity, performance, and beauty. The highest quality shakes available in the Ohio and Kentucky markets are western red cedar shakes that are certified by the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau. These shakes are branded as Certi-Label shakes and shingles. Western red cedar trees are the preferred source for roofing material because they live up to 1500 years and are extremely durable. Cedar that is harvested on the east coast (near sea level) grows faster than western red cedar but is less dense and not a good product for roofing.

(See before/after photos of this roof)

Wood Shake roofs that are properly ventilated can last up to 85 years. The longest lasting wood shake roof systems are installed over split sheathing. Roof decks with split sheathing are well ventilated are cause moisture on the underside of the shakes to evaporate quickly. Wood shake roof systems installed over solid sheathing such ad plywood or OSB are difficult to ventilate. Moisture that is trapped in between the courses of shakes can cause them to fail prematurely.

Wood shakes can be installed in several sizes and grades. Deer Park Roofing, Inc. recommends the following design specifications (for the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area) to ensure the long term performance of your Cedar Shake Roof System:

  • Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau Certi-Label heavy (3/4 inch thick) premium grade shakes that are fire treated
  • Fasteners should consist of Stainless steel nails (type 304 or 316 stainless) or hot dipped galvanized
  • Number 30 asphalt felt should be installed between each course of shakes no lower than twice the exposure
  • Shakes should be installed over split sheathing or a Cedar Breather underlayment should be used when installing shakes over solid roof decks such as OSB or plywood

Maintenance Tips for Wood Shake Roofs

  • Over driven fasteners and poor ventilation will cause cedar shakes to curl, such shakes should be removed and replaced
  • Cedar Shake Roof systems will perform well if moisture is able to evaporate quickly from both the surface and the underside of the shakes
  • Shakes will last longer if they are installed over a steep slope and exposed to sunlight
  • Coatings should not be applied to the surface of the shakes because this will trap moisture between the courses
  • Remove leaves and branches from the surface of the roof and keep the side laps of the shakes free from debris
  • Do not allow moss build up or other vegetative growth on the surface of the wood shakes
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage

For more information about Cedar Shake Roof Systems, contact a staff member. Deer Park Roofing, Inc. is an approved applicator by the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau.

Before/After Cedar Shake Re-Roof Project


This is a (before) photo of a recent Cedar Shake Re-Roof project performed by Deer Park Roofing, Inc. The scope of work included removing the old shakes, installing Certi-Label Fire Treated Wood Shakes, and installing new half round copper gutters.


The gutters are installed first so the straps can be fastened directly to the roof deck. The Cedar Shakes will be installed over the gutter straps to prevent leaks from occurring at the fasteners.


16 oz copper flashings were used throughout this roof. The Cedar Shakes are 18 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. 30 pound felt paper is installed between each course of shakes.


The original attic insulation was not sufficient and the removal of the roof allowed us to install blown-in insulation. The attic space was insulated to an R-value of 30.


The old steel collector boxes are replaced with custom fabricated copper collector boxes.


The Cedar Shake Roof System is completed and subject to inspection by the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau. The customer receives a 25 Year Warranty on this system.