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Cedar Roofing Materials: Where Roof Life of Oregon Gets Their Materials

Posted June 3, 2010 by Patrick Morin

Where in the world did you find a 600-year-old cedar tree? Would you believe British Columbia, Canada? That’s about 5 hours north of Portland Oregon. I had one of our mills send me some pictures of the method of finding, preparing for, cutting, and then air hauling the bolts of cedar to the road. The trucks pick them up from there and take them to the mills. Of course, not all cedar is done this way, just the best old growth stuff. The other 85% of the cedar used for roofing and siding will be harvested from 300-400 year old tree’s while harvesting the Douglas Fir, Hemlock, and Spruce trees; these being use in the building trades.

When you choose Cedar Shakes for your home, you’re using the lowest carbon footprint roofing material in the world. Its entire life the tree gave off oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide. When it became old and inefficient at converting, it falls over and then begins to support a lot of other ecology.

When you compare the amount of energy it takes to mill a shake as opposed to manufacturing composition shingles. This makes a huge carbon foot print and doesn’t stop at the manufacturing either, because most homeowners choose dark tones for their composition shingles the solar refection generates a ton of heat, causing the homeowner to spend money cooling the house.

Sometimes it’s difficult to detect downed trees after 50 years, but as you can see, once unburied and cut into bolts, and milled into roofing material, a 600 yr old cedar tree produces enough high quality old growth, 100% vertical grain shakes for 3-4 homes. These are Roof Life’s of Oregon shakes. These are what you want on your roof. Not only are the shakes of the highest quality but then we have them pre-treated with a wood preservative, and because the treatment is fixed into the wood, the mill then gives you a 50yr. warranty. The final step of bring you this amazing roof is to install them with complimentary components that will last just as long; i.e. stainless steel fasteners, Feltex Underlayment( 50X’s stronger than 30lbs felt normally used for shakes), correct ventilation and a pretreated starter course. This is the best roof offered in Portland from every angle.

It is a well-guarded secret in the roofing world that 98% of all premature roof failures are due to workmanship issues. In the cedar roofing industry it’s a little different in that your roofing contractor cannot only install your roof with poor craftsmanship but also buy crappy, low grade, poorly milled pretreated or raw shakes. No matter how well a shake is treated, it will never last as long as the high end shakes that Roof Life of Oregon offers.

If you’re a homeowner, who currently has a builder grade shake roof, and are sick and tired of taking care of it but you like how good a cedar roof makes your house look and you like the low environmental impact. We have the roof for you. There are a lot of examples of our work all over town and yes, this type and kind of roof will cost more to install. As we looked at the long term costs of roofing in Portland, our high end pretreated roofs will actually save you 30-40% in the next 30 years. And our Lifetime Transferable Warranty will bring you that savings even when you ready to sell. We will explain all the details when we meet with you. We look forward to serving you soon.

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