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Battle Of Rustics: Cedar Vs. Metal

by Tara Pena

Creating a rustic style for a home can help to set it apart from the mass-produced look of homes found in many neighborhoods or help your home blend into a natural setting. Roofing can be an important part of creating a rustic look, and two popular choices are cedar and metal. While each has its own strengths, when it comes to all around quality, there is a clear best choice. 

Strengths of Cedar

Cedar is a natural material, and when it is harvested in a sustainable manner, it can actually promote the health of a forest. Moreover, when your roof reaches the end of its service life, it can either be reused to create birdhouses, decorations, etc. If you do throw it away, you can do so with the confidence that it is biodegradable, so it won't clog up landfills or leach toxic chemicals into the environment. Cedar is a beautiful wood, and as it ages, the grain will stand out and enhance the beauty of your roof. 

Weaknesses of Cedar

Cedar is a natural material, which is susceptible to damage from the environment. Hail can split cedar shingles, moisture can promote rot, moss can undermine the integrity of shingles, and snow can build up on a cedar roof and cause collapse. Furthermore, if you live in a wooded area, you have to worry about fire danger, and a cedar roof can ignite with nothing more than a stray spark from a forest fire or from your chimney.

The Superiority of Metal

Metal roofs are durable and can last decades longer than a cedar roof. Unmaintained cedar roofs can last for as little as ten years although they can last for much longer with proper maintenance. In contrast, a metal roof can last for sixty years or more. Thus, your maintenance and repair costs are almost nil. Environmental factors will have little to no effect on your roof. Metal roofs are affixed to your roof with screws, so they will resist even gale force winds, and a thick gauge of metal will resists hail damage. Furthermore, snow will slide right off a metal roof, so you don't have to worry about roof collapse or ice dams. Unlike shingles, metal is fireproof, so it will protect your home from fire damage. A metal roof will even reflect the sun's energy away from your home, which can decrease your cooling costs by up to 40%.

Metal roofs have been used in cabins, mine buildings, and other rustic structures for hundreds of years; thus, a quality metal roof can enhance the rustic look of a home. More importantly, a metal roof will better protect your home than a cedar roof will, so if you are looking for a rustic roof, then metal is the way to go. To learn more about both of these options, speak to a roofing contractor such as those at Premier Contractors.

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