Crater Lake

Handsplit Cedar Shakes for National Park in Southern Oregon

by Ali Turner, editorial & multimedia manager


Surrounded by the Cascade Mountain Range, Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the United States and is one of the most pristine spots on the planet. For two administration buildings located in the park’s headquarters, it was anything but calm waters, as roof deterioration had taken its hold. Worn wood shakes, damaged copper flashing, and compromised deck boards were affecting the structural integrity of the roof systems.

DRI Inc., the contractor on the job, specializes in historic restorations and is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. The expert team was brought in to evaluate and enhance the performance of the park buildings’ roof systems. DRI Inc., headquartered in Florence, Alabama, has experience with high-profile government agency projects, having performed roof replacements for the National Park Service in Ohio, Missouri, Alabama, North Carolina, and more.

“Our team worked diligently to ensure that the roofing project not only met the necessary functional requirements, but also aligned with the National Park Service’s commitment to environmental protection,” said Zach Blenkinsopp, president and owner of DRI Inc.

For this National Park Service project, DRI Inc. installed Watkins Sawmills Handsplit and Resawn Cedar Shakes, Malarkey® Roofing Products Paragon® CHROMA Cap, and CedAir-Mat® roof ventilation mat.

Watkins Sawmills cedar shakes are sawn on the backside while the faces of the shake are split along the natural grain of the wood. This process results in a highly textured surface that was an ideal choice for the rustic, natural backdrop of Crater Lake National Park. They have a unique look and are durable, insulative, wind resistant, impact resistant, lightweight, and can withstand thermal shock.

With the addition of a Fire Smart Roofing Certi-Guard® treatment, Watkins Sawmills’ cedar shakes become Wildland Urban Interface compliant, and the treatment lasts for the life of the wood. On top of that, the Fire Smart Roofing treatment enhances the shakes, making them Cool Roof Rating Council® and California Energy Code Title 24 compliant. Treated cedar is a beautiful option for areas where a fire-rated assembly adds durability and peace of mind, such as Crater Lake National Park.

“These products met the park’s specifications and will contribute to a longer lifespan for the roof, ensuring durability and protection against the harsh weather conditions at Crater Lake,” said Blenkinsopp.

Challenging weather was the primary limitation that the DRI Inc. team faced during installation. The harsh, prolonged winter, which included heavy snowfall in the park, meant that construction had to be carefully scheduled. “Additionally, we had to adhere to regulations and restrictions set forth by the park authorities to safeguard the natural environment, park staff, and visitors,” explained Blenkinsopp. “The project’s location at Crater Lake National Park made it a unique and special project for us. We take immense pride in contributing to the preservation and maintenance of such a cherished place.”

The new Watkins Sawmills Handsplit and Resawn Cedar Shakes add natural beauty, fire-rated protection, and long-lasting dependability that will stand up to the elements at Crater Lake National Park for decades to come.