Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Bellingham Home Inspector (King of the House): Shake Roofs

Shake, and wood roofs, in general, can be very pretty roofs. But, if they start going south, they can deteriorate real fast. Because they are wood, if rot begins and moisture levels stay at twenty percent or higher, that rot will continue. Shakes are popular in my Pacific Northwest Region, but our damp climate leads to moss, rot, algae and deterioration. In the fall, winter and early spring it is impossible to keep the moisture below 20 percent at almost any location outside the home. Our periodic high winds contribute to shakes that are soft or rotten being blown off. If you are a realtor, listing or representing a buyer, be skeptical if they tell you the shakes will last a lifetime. Do not assume this person knows what he or she is talking about. The photo below was taken on a roof that the seller insisted had at least 35 more years left in it. Wishful thinking!

Thanks for stopping by.

Steven L. Smith


Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 2 commentsSteven L. Smith • September 20 2007 05:09PM


Many homeowners here in California have been forced to replace their shake roofs in order to obtain fire insurance.  While they are lovely, they can be a real hazard in areas near brush where brush fires can send sparks to the roof and consume a home.
Posted by Marlene Bridges, Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate (Village Real Estate Services, Inc.) over 11 years ago

That makes a whole lot of sense Marlene. Wood and shakes are a worry even in my area during the fireworks season.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 11 years ago