Palo Alto has a Mediterranean climate, which means the city experiences a cool, wet winter. For this reason, homeowners with wood shake or shingle roofs should be concerned about how their roofs will fare when exposed to moist conditions. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association:

Wood shakes and wood shingles are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, pine and redwood trees. Shakes are split from logs and reshaped by manufacturers for commercial use. They are thicker at the butt end than shingles; generally one or both surfaces are split to obtain a textured effect. A split and resawn shake has a split face and sawn back. A taper sawn shake has a natural taper and is sawn on both sides. Wood shingles are sawn on both sides and have an even taper and uniform thickness. When applied to shingles, the industry terms “Perfection” and “Royal” mean 18 inch and 24 inch lengths, respectively.


Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are available pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives for increased fire resistance and to prevent premature rot and decay in some climates.

Cool temperatures are still not as big of threats to wood roofing as the snow and hail experienced in the Midwest and the East Coast. For this reason, if the wood shakes and shingles are maintained properly through pressure treatment and preservatives, they will likely survive the cool temperatures in the days ahead. As long as they are given the right amount of care, wood shingles and shakes will remain a good Palo Alto roofing option. Still, homeowners will benefit from watching out for red flags, as listed by InterNACHI, that indicate it’s time for a roof replacement.

Loose, split, or missing shingles and shakes are a tell-tale sign, as are exposed roofing underlayment and fasteners. Curled or cupped shingles or shakes almost always cause homeowners to panic, but these are not a reason to immediately ring the alarm, unless there is clear indication of moisture intrusion. Once it is determined that there is extensive damage to the wood shingle or shake roof, it is time for homeowners to call for re-roofing in Palo Alto.

Wood remains to be a popular choice for roofing materials because of its natural beauty. However, for wood shingle or shake roofs to perform at their best, they need to be maintained properly. The repairs should also be done in a timely manner by trusted roofers like the ones from Shelton Roofing.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Wood shakes and wood shingles,