The Definitive Guide to Cedar Roofing

Cedar roofs come in two style types: wood shingles or wood shakes. The only differences between the two options are in their appearance and functionality.


  • Cedar shingles are machine cut and have tapered ends to provide a crisp, clean appearance.
  • Cedar shakes are hand-split with rough edges giving them a more classic, rustic look.

Functionality:  (Refers to the installation process)

  • Cedar shingles will lay flat since they are milled more precisely than shakes.
  • Cedar shakes are more irregular in shape and will not lay completely flat to the roof. This creates gaps which can be penetrated by wind, wintry/wet precipitation, so professional installation is imperative to the overall health of your roof.

The life expectancy of a cedar roof is highly variable depending on your local climate, the type of cedar wood selected, and the thickness of the cedar shake or shingle. Standard cedar shingles are typically Medium in weight, which is approximately ½” in thickness. Heavy shakes are roughly ¾” in thickness. Generally the thicker the cedar shingle, the longer the shingle will last. 

Cedar shingles come in a variety of grades:

  • The Certi-Guard® label identifies cedar shakes and shingles which have been pressure-impregnated with fire-retardant polymers to provide permanent fire protection. 
  • The Certi-Guard® label identifies cedar shakes and shingles which have been pressure-impregnated with fire-retardant polymers to provide permanent fire protection.
  • Blue label shingles are #1 grade, or the highest quality shingle available.
  • Red label shingles are either #2 or #3 grade, or the more economical type shake.

After a few years, the shake quality can be obvious on a roof and even more noticeable if an unqualified installer was used. Cedar shakes or shingles turn a grayish-brown color faster, will begin to curl at the ends, or split, and you will notice missing shakes on your lawn after an intense storm or high winds. SJR strictly adheres to only using the highest quality of cedar shake, Western Red Cedar – Blue Label, never the inferior brands or quality will be used.

St Joseph’s Roofing has earned a reputation of being one of the best cedar shake roof installers in the area…by far. Countless times we have been singled out by shake communities to install multiple roofs within the same division; Arlington, Falls Church, and Reston…to name a few communities that have trusted our services. 

Contact us today to meet with one of our experienced Project Managers to discuss your cedar roof project!!


Why Cedar Breather is in your best interest to install whe you replace your cedar roof…

Protection. Longevity. Fire-Resistant. Retards Algae Growth

Cedar Breather® is the solution for preserving the beauty and life of wood roofing. As a fire-resistant underlayment for wood shingles and shakes, Cedar Breather provides space for a continuous airflow between the solid roof deck and the shingles. The patented three dimensional design of Cedar Breather allows the entire underside of the shingle to dry, eliminates excess moisture, prevents thermal cupping and warping, and reduces potential rotting.

If you live in an area where it’s humid or you have a lot of tree coverage then you should look into the benefits of adding cedar breather to your roofing system. Humid locations and areas where the sun cannot reach the roof to dry it out will have a greater chance of seeing algae growth and/or moss. The cedar breather will help minimize and slow the growth of algae or moss therefore protecting your roof from rot & water damage increasing the longevity of your roof sheathing (for example: plywood, wood planking). In our area, Reston, Fairfax Station, Oakton, and certain parts of Falls Church are good examples of locales that can tend to have greater tree coverage over your roof.

Ask your SJR Project Manager for details!!


Cedar Shake Label Descriptions

Cedar Shake Images

Our Service List

From top-rated roofing services to siding and gutters, there’s only one contractor in the region that can tackle it all at great prices – St. Joseph’s Roofing. Get in touch today for the best service money can buy. Our services include:

Our Service Areas

St. Joseph’s Roofing services a wide-ranging area in Northern Virginia and Maryland. We have listed all of the counties and cities we frequently service to give you an idea of our reach. If you do not see your location listed, call (703) 716-7663 to see if we can help you.

Counties in Virginia and Maryland:

Fairfax County, Va | Arlington County, Va | Loudoun County, Va | Prince William County, Va | Montgomery County, MD

Cities We Serve in Virginia:

Alexandria, Va | Annandale, Va | Arlington, Va | Ashburn, Va | Bristow, Va | Burke, Va | Centreville, Va | Chantilly, Va | Clifton, Va | Fairfax Station, Va | Fairfax, Va | Falls Church, Va | Gainesville, Va | Great Falls, Va | Lake Ridge, Va | Leesburg, Va | McLean, Va | Middleburg, Va | Oakton, Va | Potomac Falls, Va | Reston, Va | Springfield, Va | Vienna, Va

Cities We Serve in Maryland:

Bethesda, Md | Cabin John, Md | Chevy Chase, Md | Glen Echo, Md | Olney, Md | Potomac, Md | Rockville, Md

#1 In Northern Virginia & Maryland

St. Joseph’s Roofing offers the finest roofing and roofing-related services available in Northern Virginia and Maryland. With more than 28 years in business, we know what it takes to exceed expectations and our results, well, they speak for themselves. Our motto is simple – clients should never be overcharged through deceit. Honesty is the best policy. If that sounds good to you then call (703) 716-7663 for a free estimate today!


Superior Craftsmanship. Award-Winning Customer Service. Honest, Transparent Pricing!

The Most Trusted Contractor In Our Area!

St Joseph’s Roofing is the #1 licensed and insured roofer in Northern Virginia’s for all your residential and commercial roofing needs. Our estimates are free and our work is world-class.

603 Carlisle Dr. Herndon, VA 20170
P: (703) 716-7663

10494 Business Center Ct.
Manassas, VA 20110

3305 Sage Rd
Markham, VA 22643

4533 Stanford St
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Contact Us Here


  • Monday – Friday : 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Saturday : CLOSED
  • Sunday : CLOSED

Licensing: VA Contractors License #2705175440 | MD Contractor License #88608
© 2020 St Joseph’s Roofing Inc | Privacy Policy | Trademarks | Site Map