The grade of cedar shingles varies as follows:
The highest grade is called a Number 1 Blue Label and this is the highest grade of shingles for roofs. They are made of 100% heartwood with 100% clear and edge grain. Heartwood is defined as the older, harder central wood of a tree that is usually darker, denser, less permeable and more durable than the surrounding sapwood of the tree. Sapwood is the younger, softer outer portion of the tree that is more permeable and less durable, lighter in color than heartwood.
- Number 2 Red Label cedar shingle grade is a good grade for many applications, but flat grain and limited sapwood are permitted in this grade.
- Number 3 Black Label cedar shingles are a utility grade for economy applications and secondary buildings such as sheds, gazebos and sidewalls.
Number 1 and premium grades of cedar shakes and cedar shingles are available with preservatives via a pressure treatment process. They can also be purchased with pressure-treated fire retardants.
Interesting Properties of Cedar Roofs
Cedar has some very interesting properties as well. Sometimes in the late summer after the first rain, a home may experience a leak. Then through the whole winter, the leak is never seen again. This is because, when the cedar is dry it can shrink a little and at the first season rain, the water drips in before the cedar has had a chance to soak in the liquid and swell. When wet, the cedar swells slightly and that can sometimes seal the crack.
Cedar is a beautiful natural roof. There are many attributes to shingles and shakes that come into play when deciding the proper roofing material for your home.