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Cedar Shake Roof - Was It Repaired, Or Not?

Just driving up to a house, even from a distance, I can often look and say to myself - cedar shake roof - was it repaired or not?

This particular roof was said by the seller to have been inspected, had dozens of bad shakes replaced, other shakes repaired, and stained all over.  I have no doubt that the seller believed it to be true.

Well, looking at the multiplicity of staples and nails that were protruding, all of the broken shakes, and incredible amount of moss growing on many areas, I wondered about that "inspection and repair."

I noticed that some shakes had been replaced, but really very few and ONLY on the front of the house.

This is a very large house with many roof surfaces, and only spots of the front surfaces had a few shakes replaced.

Even looking out windows you could see this.

There were broken shakes, excessively-split shakes, shakes crumbling at the bottom, and nails through the shakes!

The roof is original to the house, circa 1996, but has not been taken care of.  It should not be this deteriorated.

They tried to spruce the roof up to sell the house.

One thing you should NEVER see with cedar shake repairs are nails through the shakes!

This is short term and stop gap at best.

These nails will cause the shakes to split more and/or leak in short order.

The nails are already coming loose!

This is not considered to be a professional repair.

The highly-respected Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau has a brochure out on how to maintain and repair cedar shake roofs.

You can see it HERE

The brochure is even in diagram form, so it is NOT hard to understand.  Actually it is quite basic.  What they recommend, albeit basic, is also the Best Practice.

My recommendation:  sometimes homeowners try to do the right thing.  But they don't know what to look for when "repairs" are made.  It is wise to have objective eyes look at any repairs done, especially when the work is as extensive as this was apparently intended to be.  A home inspector's assessment will be observant, understanding and thorough.  And worth your call!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 20 commentsJay Markanich • April 19 2014 02:50AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay....other than curb appeal, I could never understand why any homeowner would want a roof of cedar shingles....it's expensive and a bonfire waiting to happen!!!!  there are so many, much better roofing materials available today....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 4 years ago

This neighborhood has all cedar shake roofs Barbara.  Unfortunately, in my opinion.  There are plastic roofs now that look just like shakes!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Morning Jay as I age getting on a roof is totally out of the question.  I'll leave those to you

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 4 years ago

This was visible even from the ground James.  I could see it with the naked eye (knowing what to look for) and then with binoculars.  But the close-up view is the best.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Leave the Shake roofs for the ultra-luxury properties where money is not a consideration. 

When a builder uses shake in moderate priced communities, it is usually in the "standard features" and not an option.

Leave the Shake roofs to the folks to whom price means nothing.

I've never seen average market priced homes with shake roofs that would stand the "price, condition" test.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

This is a huge property in Great Falls, Lenn, and well over $1 mil.  The problem is maintenance, but my buyer was not happy to be locked into having to replace with another shake roof.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

 Good morning, Jay.  Silly boy, I'm sure that you noticed the contractor used galvanized nails. Picky, picky, picky…

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Hi Jay,

The roof is looking like Uncle Bob had been there. I think the buyer may be onto something wanting the roof replaced. Never and I mean never nail through the tops of the shakes.

Have a great Easter weekend in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Most of the communities here that have a cedar shake roof have to replace the whole roof with a tear off.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 4 years ago

The cost of replacement of a shake roof on a large home is going to be well over $10-15,000 or more.

How many buyers are willing to assume that risk???  In time, ALL roofs must be repaired.  With shingles, it's a minor cost.  With shakes, it's anyting but and quite ugle when it's done.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

I really dislike shake roofs. I know they can be spot repaired to keep costs down, but they are expensive to originally install and major fire hazards.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) about 4 years ago

Face nailing? Ouch---even Billie Jays would know better

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 4 years ago

Not sure of that Michael!  I'm sure they were locally-grown, very special nails though.

I don't know if the buyer wants the roof replaced, but he was not happy to see my photos Clint!  This is an unbelievably hoity-toity neighborhood and the seller would not want to be bothered with hearing negative anything about his house.  He had it repaired after all - done is done!

Is that annually Raymond?

; ')

Lenn - I emailed you separately about this house.  Yes, it's beautiful, as they all are there.  But wow, the roof was a mess!  Much more than your suggestion (which you made not knowing where the house is).  I was all over the attic - no leako!

Than - an unfortunately this neighborhood (see comment to Clint) requires them!

Charlie - you kidding?  Billy has been working all night on a marketing plan!  Something about Hole Yer Horseshingles!  Then he rode off into the morning light - selling Easter stuff I think...

 

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Really, though, I can do something about that hump.  Easter special.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

 Hello Jay ... This is a great post with some great comments, I like Barbara's comment at #1 ... Bonfire waiting to happen. My suggestion to fix this problem would be ... Tear out the old cedar shakes and put different type of shingles and roofing. Cedar shake shingle roofs are out dated, expensive and a "Pain in the butt"

Your post has been featured to the group:

Addicted to Active Rain

VB

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) about 4 years ago

Thanks VB!  Unfortunately in this neighborhood, very high-priced homes, these shakes are required!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Hello Jay ... your welcome and now I understand! I guess if that's the case then the home owners have to deal with this situation and need to spend some money for repair and or replacement.

VB 

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) about 4 years ago

I think it's a bummer when people get locked into having to do this or that with their houses, but this area wants to maintain "a look," Bob.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Fascinating.  We dont have those types of roofs in Vegas, but good to know!

Posted by Jimmy Chickey, Realtor, Nationally Recognized Author, Teacher (Keller Williams Realty Southwest, Partner in the Jamie Cox Group) about 4 years ago

They would probably turn to charcoal Jimmy! 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

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