Cedar shingles have long been the most popular choice for homes everywhere, but newer and better alternatives are becoming available every day. One of the most ideal alternatives to cedar is wallaba — naturally strong, watertight and environmentally friendly, Wallaba Shingles are a great choice for any roof. Here’s a quick look at wallaba, cedar and how both materials hold up against each other.
A hardwood found in tropical places like Brazil, Suriname and Guyana, wallaba is straight-grained and naturally dense. It produces natural gum and oils that seal the wood organically, making it watertight and resistant to fire, decay and insects without any kind of chemical treatment. Wallaba is rated to withstand up to category five hurricane winds without taking on extensive damage, and will generally last up to 40 years without any expensive maintenance. Thanks to its naturally long lifespan, fewer wallaba trees need to be cut down in order to produce shingles. It’s a naturally reddish brown shade, but transitions into a lovely silver as it weathers.
Unlike Wallaba Shingles, cedar comes from the mountainous areas west of the Himalayas and Mediterranean region. This wood doesn’t naturally seal itself, which means cedar shingles need to be chemically treated every few years. Without any kind of treatment, unfinished cedar only lasts around 5 years; higher quality cedar may last around 10, though this isn’t very common. It isn’t nearly as resistant to decay as wallaba, and has no natural protection from fire, wind or insects. There is currently no rating on cedar’s resistance to hurricane winds. Most cedar is a mixture of yellowish-golden shades, but this fades out to a dull gray as the wood wears.
If you’re looking for a strong wood with natural protection and impeccable durability without the need for expensive chemical treatments, Wallaba Shingles may be the way to go!