40 Year Old Cedar Shake

In the early 1970’s my sister-in-law’s father was building a new large house. When the roofers put on the cedar shakes they were placed too close together and the building inspector made them re-shake the roof.  The “old” shakes were ripped off and new ones put on. My brother salvaged the old shakes and was able to re-roof his own house. There was still some left over so in December of 1975 I roofed our house with them.

In 2005 I re-roofed a portion our house that had less of a slope. Not looking forward to doing the very steep sloped parts of the house I found excuses not to do so. A trip across Canada took up one Summer and buying a boat filled the next three. Procrastination worked until this Summer when I knew I really had to bite the bullet. This past week I have been practising my parkour skills and started the process. The roof definitely needed doing but I’m very impressed with the durability of cedar. These shakes are forty years old and many have lichen, mushrooms and mosses growing on them but when seen on edge the wood is still in wonderful shape. Unfortunately there were enough in poor condition that I’m proceeding but I’ll have enough kindling to last the rest of my life.

On the flat

On the flat

On edge - still looks as good as new

On edge – still looks as good as new



  1. Well the term “shake tear off” is daily conversation around here. My husband said, when I told him they were 40 years old “Well he’s done well but they are due to be replaced.”

    You may have lichen, mushrooms and mosses growing on your roof, but we currently have a sunflower growing out of the roof of our garage. That should give you a laugh!

  2. It’s great wood, and such a noble tree. Yesterday we hiked in the N. Cascades through a hemlock-cedar forest with some great old giants in it. Worthy of worship, in my opinion. Parkour – yes, I bet! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.