When do I need to Replace my Cedar Shingles?

When do I need to Replace my Cedar Shingles?


Cedar roofs are a stunning feature of many West Coast homes. Cedar shingles are durable and can last decades if well-maintained. In fact, one of the cost-effective benefits of cedar roofing is when it comes to repairs—missing shingles can easily be replaced with new ones. Undoubtedly, this is more affordable than replacing an entire roof system.
However, some homeowners don’t know the signs that indicate cedar shingles need replacing. This is important because changing damaged cedar shingles immediately ensures the roof system will last a long time.


If any shingle on your cedar roof displays one or more of these 5 signs of wear and tear, it’s time to swap them out with a new shingle.


Curling or Cupping: Although it is part of the weathering and aging process of cedar wood, a shingle that curls upward can be problematic. Distorted shingles can be caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays, heat, and rain. Substantial cupping and curling occurring soon after installation may indicate improper installation. Even properly installed shingles may become distorted by expansion and contraction from the elements over time. A cedar roof should only be installed and repaired by a reputable roofing company or an expert that is familiar with the task. 

Cracking: Cedar wood also wears over time due to moisture. Wood expands and contracts over time so drying and cracking is inevitable. Nevertheless, when hairline cracks become bigger, shingles should be replaced to avoid further damage.

Fraying: Extreme rainfall can cause numerous issues for roofs. Edge rot is common on West Coast homes that receive a great deal of shade and never dry out completely after a rainfall. If shingles are left untreated, the result is decay due to moss, algae, and other micro-organisms. When fraying is noticeable on the shingle replacement is highly recommended.

Splitting: A split with rounded edges and a dull orange or grey interior colour may occur as a result of natural weathering. However, split shingles with sharp edges and a light orange interior colour may indicate hail damage. Split shingles should be replaced and may be covered by a good home insurance policy.

Loose or Missing Shingles: This may seem obvious, but many homeowners don’t recognize that this type of problem frequently results in leaks. Therefore, loose or missing shingles should be replaced as soon as possible. This will help avoid further damage to the rest of the home through water leakage, a problem that if left unaddressed can cost thousands of dollars to fix. If leaks are noticeable inside a home, it may indicate shingles are loose or missing on the roof. Replacing loose or missing shingles quickly can save you a significant amount of money down the line.


In addition to the stunning natural beauty of cedar shingles, they remain a popular roofing material with homeowners and builders because they can last as long as 50 years when properly maintained. Weather definitely plays a role in how long a cedar roof will last. However, so does proper care, like replacing damaged shingles in a timely fashion.
Knowing when to replace or repair cedar shingles will help the roof endure and look sensational over many decades. Make sure you purchase your cedar shingles from a sustainable forest products company, like Longhouse Specialty Forest Products.