Shakes and shingles are the two most common units used for roofing, and can be made in a wide variety of different materials. However, besides the differences that are associated with each type of roofing material, shakes and shingles each offer a set of advantages and drawbacks. Knowing the differences between shakes and shingles lets you choose the type of roofing unit that is best suited to your needs.
Shingles are the more common roofing unit of the two, and are what most people commonly associate with roofing. Shingles are regularly shaped, and any two shingles will vary very little. Shingles are also fairly thin, which means that they hug the roof itself very well, making it harder for weather conditions to rip away parts of a roof. Shingles are also installed in an overlapping manner, so that at any point there are two or three shingles between the outdoors and your roof. Shingles are widely available in a wide variety of materials, and as such can be customized to fit your budget by changing the material that they are made of.
Shakes, on the other hand, are not nearly as common as shingles are, because they are thicker and irregularly cut. This makes them ideal for those looking for a rustic, unique appearance. However, since they are thicker and each shake is unique in its shape and cut, they do not lie as flat on a roof as shingles do. This means that it becomes much easier for weather conditions to get between the shakes and to the roof. In order to mitigate this, roofs with shakes installed on them have a layer of waterproof roofing felt installed underneath. As they are in less demand than shingles, shakes can be harder to find and slightly more expensive than shingles made out of the same material. Additionally, shakes are more intensive to install due to their underlying roofing felt, which can increase installation costs and time.
In truth, there is very little difference between shakes and shingles besides aesthetics. However, it should be noted that shakes allow for more precipitation to reach the roof, as roofing felt is not as effective at blocking out water as is a layer of unbroken shingles. Thus, shingles are better suited for areas with heavy or intense rain or snow fall, while shakes can work just as well in temperate areas without large quantities of rain or snow. For more information on which roofing unit may be right for your home, contact a roofing contractor from a company like Economy Roofing.