There are many types of roof coverings available and what type you choose could make a big difference in your home’s performance. If you’ve lived in a home with a shake roof for years and that shake is starting to look nasty – you might wonder if you can switch your current shake roof to something more manageable like asphalt shingles. Let’s learn more about switching from shakes to shingles and how to do things the right way.
So, Can You Switch from Wood Shakes to Asphalt Shingles?
You can make the switch to asphalt easily on most occasions. Let’s find out why shakes aren’t as popular as they once were and the special requirements for switching.
Why Wood Shakes Are Falling Out of Favor
Don’t get us wrong, wood shakes are a great roofing material, and with the right home, they can last for decades. There’s been no downgrade of quality in shake production, but shakes have fallen out of the favor both with local building divisions and with insurance providers over the past few years.
Shakes are beautiful, but they can create a fire hazard. After all the shingles are made of wood. This is more of a problem if you’re trying to install wood shakes in an area prone to wildfires. Some jurisdictions don’t allow new shake installs and some home insurance providers won’t even cover shake roofs or will charge exorbitant premiums to cover wood roofs. Shake roofs aren’t disallowed everywhere but times are changing, and shake isn’t as popular as it used to.
Upgrading Code Requirements
If you’re switching from shake to asphalt shingles, you may have to make proper building and code adjustments to meet modern building code. Most older shake roofs are installed over 1 “x 6” boards with small gaps in them to allow air to flow in and out.
If you’re switching from shake to asphalt shingle, this spaced decking may no longer meet building code. Most homeowners simply apply plywood or particle board over their previous decking to upgrade to proper code requirements. Your unique jurisdiction may also have special rules for shake to shingle installs. A call to your local building department can help tell you what you need to do, or you can leave it to the roofers’ expertise.
You can switch from wood shake to asphalt shingles, and many do every year. The key in a proper switch is hiring a highly-rated local roofer that has performed many shake to shingle installs already. A good roofer will meet code requirements and do what it takes to take off your nasty old shake roof and install a beautiful new asphalt shingle roof. Now you’re left with a gorgeous new roof that both your insurer and your local building division love.