If you'd like to put cedar shake roofing on your cabin, but you're not sure if that's the right choice due to the fire hazard and extra maintenance that's often needed for a wood roof, consider alternatives that look like wood shakes but are made from other materials. Some are more realistic than others, but they all resemble real wood shakes but they need less maintenance. Here are three alternatives to wood shake roofing.
1. Metal Roofing Shingles
Metal shingles can be coated to be the same color as real cedar. The shingles can also be stamped to have a texture that resembles wood grain. From a distance, your roof looks like real cedar wood. However, metal is a more durable material that protects against fire, wind, and objects.
Metal is a good choice for a cabin since it's durable and will protect your cabin if you are away for weeks at a time. Metal protects against animal damage too since rats and raccoons aren't likely to chew up a metal roof.
2. Rubber Tiles
Rubber tiles are made to look like cedar shakes, so these could be a good option for your cabin. Rubber is a good roof to have for protection from impacts since the tiles are cushioned and can cause hail to bounce. Metal is a somewhat heavy option, so it resists wind lifting too. Metal roof tiles have a long life and need little maintenance. They don't attract pests or mold, so they're a good choice for a cabin in a wooded or waterfront setting.
3. Synthetic Cedar Shakes
You can buy roofing that is made from synthetic materials, such as plastic. They are colored and formed to look like cedar wood shakes. The plastic synthetic shakes are lightweight and easy to install. These could be a more affordable wood roof alternative. However, prices vary according to quality. If you want faux roofing shakes that look real, even up close, you'll want high-quality materials.
Synthetic shakes are durable and less prone to damage than real wood. Plus, animals shouldn't be attracted to the plastic and start gnawing on your roof. Synthetic cedar shakes are worth a close look when you prefer a roofing material other than real wood.
Talk to a roofing contractor about all of your choices when you're ready for a new roof. They can compare alternatives to cedar wood shakes so you buy material that is durable and long-lasting, and that looks beautiful in a natural setting too. The roofer may have samples you can view to get a good idea of what your new roof will look like. Be sure to compare maintenance requirements too so you don't have to spend a lot of time cleaning, sealing, or repairing your new roof.