When it comes to physical appearance, there are few materials that can match the natural beauty of wood shingles and shakes. Most wood shingles and shakes are cut from Western red Cedar; you can also get shakes created from Eastern Cedar or pine. One of the major issues home owners have with wood shakes is the threat of fire. Many of the wooden shingles or shakes on the market today have been pressure-handled with the fire-retardant chemical. These shingles have a class "B" fire rating. The only way to get a class "A" fire rating is to apply retardant-treated shingles above at back of specific gypsum and sheathing. Untreated shingles or those treated with only a spring on coding will burn like kindling if there is a fire.
For decorative purposes, you can also get fancy wooden shingles and shakes which come in 5, 16 or 18 inches in length. These shingles come in many shapes and patterns. These kind of wood shingles are most generally used on exterior walls of a home, although, a lot more roofing companies are trying to incorporate them into the roof layout. It is best to apply these wood shingles and shakes above open sheathing which allows plenty of air circulation to avoid rotting. You can apply to closed sheathing but you will need to be sure the shingles or shakes are raised off the decking about an inch for suitable ventilation with wood spacers.
Pros: The life expectancy of shake shingle roofs are anywhere from three to five decades, not to mention that it offers a beautiful roof style.
Cons: Wood roofing is costly to buy and install.