Roof made out of cedar

The History and Benefits of Cedar Roofing

Cedar Roofing has been an important part of the people of America for thousands of years. It’s been valued and used in Native American religious and cultural ceremonies. Cedar has been historically used for hundreds of years as shingles on European-style homes. And of course, cedar is still used today for all its benefits.


Before any Europeans even showed up, cedar was used by many different Native American tribes continent-wide. Tribes in the northwest used cedar for making fishing and war canoes that could extend to 60 feet. Cedar is used in incense for many tribes while also being used in sweat lodge ceremonies. It’s so important that some clans have cedar trees as a clan symbol, such as the Hopi tribe.

Colonial & Post Colonial Era

When the Europeans arrived, they were met with forests thicker than they are today on the east coast. If you have ever had the chance to visit the Pine Barrens in South Jersey, imagine that but for the entire eastern seaboard. Simply, there was plenty of wood to build with. Of all the different kinds of wood, the colonists prized red cedar the most for cabins.

Cedar as a roofing material was mostly put off for slate or tile, until the 18th century. This changed when roof sheathing became a horizontal application, allowing natural ventilation on both sides of the cedar roofing. Then, when the 1800s rolled around, cedar roofing became the primary roofing material in America. In fact, numerous National Park buildings from that time have cedar roofing.

Modern Era

The history of cedar roofing can be long and lecturous. But to put it briefly, it has been important for anyone who has inhabited North America for hundreds of years.

Today, cedar roofing is used primarily for its benefits which include:

  • Lightweight – very easy to replace heavier materials with lighter cedar material
  • Durability – resistant to wind, decay, bugs, and more.
  • Energy efficient – cedar shingles have natural insulation properties, while also being environmentally friendly
  • Character – perhaps its best benefit is its entirely unique character from factory cut black tar shingles.

Benefit from Cedar Roofing Now!

We are New Jersey’s leading professional roofing contractor, contact us now at 732-624-6239 to find out the benefits of cedar roofing first-hand!