Cedar Shake Roof

How to Properly Maintain a Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shakes are appealing because of their beauty and longevity. They have been used as a roofing material for hundreds of years, and their popularity has not waned. Nevertheless, while cedar shake roof tiles are naturally durable, they are still vulnerable to forces such as weather, plant or fungal growth, and the inexorable march of time. Fortunately, with regular cedar shake roof maintenance, your roof can last for decades.

Our Top 5 Tips for Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance

1. Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance Begins with Trimming Overhang

Ironically, one of the most important steps you can take to maintain your roof doesn’t begin with the roof at all but with the trees surrounding your home. Removing overhanging branches reduces the likelihood that a tree or limb will fall and damage the roof. It also reduces the chance of mold growth by allowing the roof to dry more quickly. Once the branches are gone, make sure to clear any debris left behind on the roof, such as sticks, needles or leaves. Not only is it unsightly, but the debris can promote mold growth by retaining moisture.

2. Cedar Shakes Require Protective Treatments

There are a wide variety of protective treatments and oil finishes you can use on your cedar shake roof to prolong its life. Protective treatments include chemicals that kill algae and fungi as well as those that resist fire and repel water to ensure your roof is durable to adverse conditions. If you fail to apply these treatments, you may notice gradual degradation of the shakes on your roof. These should be performed on a regular basis every one to three years.

3. Frequent Inspections Can Identify Problems Early

While cedar shakes on your roof are generally very durable, they may become damaged or cracked. Sometimes they can go missing altogether. When this occurs, it can leave your home vulnerable to roof leaks and pest infestations. Ideally, you should inspect your roof or have it professionally inspected twice a year, preferably in the fall and spring. You should also have an inspection after any extreme weather event, such as a windstorm or hailstorm. For proper maintenance, any loose or broken shingles should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

poorly maintained cedar shake roof

4. Power Washing Helps Preserve the Roof’s Color and Integrity

Every few years, you should have your cedar shake roof professionally power or soft washed. Over time, the shakes can fade, but regular cleaning helps to preserve their warm color. Power washing also helps to keep the cedar shingles strong by removing materials that weaken them, such as old wood, lichens, moss and other debris. Power washing should take place every couple of years for best results.

5. Maintaining Moisture Levels Can Prevent Rot

Cedar shakes are fairly resistant to moisture on their own. Nevertheless, if the level of the moisture exceeds 20%, this allows damaging fungi to grow and can eventually cause the shakes to rot. One way to maintain an appropriate moisture level is to keep your gutters clean so that water doesn’t build up and saturate your cedar shakes. Installing gutter guards is also an effective way of protecting your cedar shake roof from absorbing damaging moisture.

cedar shake roof maintenance

Regular Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance Is Essential

Not all of these cedar shingle roof maintenance tips need to be carried out every year, but they do need to take place on a regular basis to be most effective. While this might sound like a lot of work, doing regular maintenance will extend the life and curb appeal of your roof for years to come. If you need repair of an existing roof or are looking to install a new one, contact DuraShield today.

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