A Real Cedar Shake Roof Disappointment

IMG_1313-2Twenty-five years ago the leaders at Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, Illinois were pleased with their decision to invest in a real cedar shake roof for their church. The original builder told them that the cedar shakes would last 50 years.

Fast forward two decades and the church knew it was in trouble. After almost 25 years — half the expected life span of the real cedar shakes — the roof was failing.

“We were seeing the roofing paper through the eroded cedar shingles,” says Ray Lacek, building engineer/maintenance staff manager at Holy Family Catholic Community. “The water run-off was eating away at the cedar shakes so there was nothing left of the wood. We were at the point where our roof had exceeded its lifespan.”

Composite Shake Solution

Disappointment in the real cedar shake roof quickly turned to concern for the structure underneath. Lacek and the leaders of the church did their research and selected Bellaforté Shake roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes as the replacement roofing solution.

“As long as we were going to invest so much money in such a large roof, we wanted a product that would give us the longest life,” says Lacek. “That’s when we met with the team at Care Sheet Metal and Roofing, Inc. and learned about the benefits of composite shakes.”

Once up on the roof for a full investigation, it turned out the real cedar shake roof was in even worst condition than anticipated.

“The real wood shakes were covered in moss and desperately in need of maintenance,” says Michael A. Zuccaro, owner of Care Sheet Metal and Roofing, Inc. out of Brookfield, Ill. “Clearly we could see that this roof had suffered from hail damage and mold growth. One of the primary concerns was that old cedar shakes were blowing off during every wind storm.”

The Fix

IMG_1265 (2)To protect the church structure, it was decided that a two-phase roofing project would be undertaken. The first phase occurred in 2015 when the composite shake from DaVinci was added to the large church sanctuary and narthex. This endeavor encompassed more than 27,000 square feet of roofing. Then, in 2017, the rectory and office wing roofs were replaced, covering more than 18,000 square feet.

“We are both pleased and relieved to have the DaVinci roofing overhead now,” says Lacek. “Since the new roof has gone up we’ve had some heavy rains and high winds. I’m happy to report that we’ve had no loose or missing shingles.

“From our perspective, we would highly recommend other churches and commercial projects invest in a DaVinci composite shake roof over a real cedar shake roof. We can tell this roofing material is made to last … and we’re grateful that this manmade product gives us the look of real cedar without the maintenance hassles!”