If you're like most homeowners who are lucky enough to have a cedar shake roof, you really appreciate the value this material provides. After all, cedar is a long-lasting wood that's attractive as well as resistant to pests and rot. Although you should definitely stay on top of roof maintenance and repairs, there comes a time in the life of any cedar shake roof when the time comes to replace it. Following are five signs that your cedar shake roof may have come to the end of its natural life:

Frequent Leaks 

The occasional leak is nothing much to worry about as long as it's repaired quickly and efficiently in order to limit water damage. But if your cedar roof is leaking after every rainstorm, it's probably time to have the roof replaced. As a conscientious homeowner, you should be checking for water damage as a matter of routine, especially after major precipitation events. Be sure to inspect your ceiling for signs of water damage often, particularly if you have an older roof, and don't forget to check ceilings in closets and other out-of-the-way parts of your home. 

Abundant Fungal Organisms 

The presence of abundant amounts of fruiting fungi is a clear sign that your cedar shake shingles are experiencing internal rot. By the time the fungal colonies reach the point where they're openly fruiting, they've already worked their nefarious magic underneath the surface. Not only do these organisms produce enzymes that attack the compounds in the wood that provide it with structure and strength, they create a prime environment for the influx of other destructive fungal pests such as lichen and algae.  As your roofing contractor about having your new roof treated on a regular basis with an anti-fungal product in order to help minimize the chances of another infestation. 

More Than Half the Shakes Are Cracked or Curling

Shake shingles that develop cracks or start to curl should be replaced as soon as possible. Cracks and curls occur primarily as a result of the wood simply becoming too brittle over time to retain its structure. The occasional stray shake shingle is something that the average homeowner can keep up with fairly easily, but when cracks and curls start happening so quickly that they're covering half or more of the surface of the roof, that's a clear sign that a new roof is in order. 

Your local roofing repair and replacement contractor will be able to provide more information on maintaining your cedar shake roof. You can also check out a website like http://hometowneroofing.com/ for more information and assistance.