Cedar shakes are a timeless roofing material with many benefits such as rustic aesthetics and durability. A cedar roof can outlive an asphalt one by not only years but decades. Unlike asphalt, cedar is an organic roofing material and needs proper maintenance to ensure its longevity. Without regular roof maintenance and cleaning, cedar roofs can lose their integrity and become vulnerable to issues like water damage and roof leaks. If homeowners want their cedar shake roofs to last as long as it’s meant to, then they will practice regular roof maintenance.
But there’s the problem. Angieslist reported,
“Many cedar/redwood shake roof homeowners weren’t told they needed to maintain their roof to reach the potential natural life span of anywhere from 40 to 60 years. Normally after a 10-year period of not cleaning, a homeowner will notice the green moss or mold, the lichen or the dark brown to the black coloration of fungi.”
Our DuraShield team strongly believes that every customer should have the proper information and instructions on how to take care of their beautiful cedar roofs. We want our roofs to last you decades, so we provided a breakdown of everything you need to know about maintaining your wood roof.
When is The Best Time for Cedar Roofing Maintenance?
Unless you experienced a recent storm, you do not need to check on your roof every week. Cedar roof maintenance is usually done towards the fall because of the weather. For example, in Illinois, we recommend doing a thorough roof inspection before and after winter, due to the heavy snowstorms.
Inspect Your Cedar Roof
You can get a general idea of the condition of your roof by inspecting it safely from the ground. We recommend looking for shakes that appear to be curled up, cracked, or torn off. Roof repair that’s done immediately will prevent further damage, so contact us as soon as you spot any signs of roof damage.
Remove Any Debris
One of the first steps in cedar roof maintenance is to remove any debris that has fallen on your roof. This includes things like fallen twigs and leaves, pine needles, mosses, and lichens. This kind of debris can make it harder for any water to run off of the roof. If debris has been on your roof for an extended period of time, your roof can develop wood-destroying fungus. These fungi are known for retaining moisture, which can weaken wood shake shingles and cause them to become brittle and break.
Trim Overhanging Branches
Make sure to trim any overhanging branches from trees to prevent debris from falling on top of your roof. By removing those branches, the roof will be able to dry much faster and avoid water retention, which leads to harmful fungi growth. By removing these branches for cedar care roof maintenance, you will also significantly decrease the chances of a tree catching on fire and then setting your roof ablaze.
Put Down the Pressure Washer
While pressure washing is effective in cleaning your driveway or patio, we do not advise power washing your cedar roof. The intense pressure from the pressure washer can remove some of the essential resins in your cedar shakes. Your cedar roof may not dry quickly, and as a result, the water could be forced into the wood creating damage in the future. You could even power wash away the weakened pieces of your roof. Instead, we suggest soft washing, or if you’re going the DIY route, using your garden hose to clean your roof safely.
Cleaning The Gutters
Another critical step in cedar shake shingles maintenance is to clean your gutters. The point of your home’s gutters is to take rainwater runoff and redirect it away from your house so that it cannot harm the roof or the house’s foundation. Unfortunately, when gutters become clogged, they have a harder time redirecting the collected water. This can lead to serious backups that will leave rainwater sitting into your shake shingles, which can lead to rotting of the roof. For the best cedar shake maintenance, you should be cleaning your gutters out on a very regular basis, especially during the fall, when the leaves are falling off of trees and into the gutter system.
Cedar Roof Treatments
There are various treatments you can perform on your roof that should be done every couple of years to ensure longevity. Treatments include fire repellents, fungicides, insect infestation, and water repellents. If you are unsure what kind of treatments your roof currently needs, then schedule your free roof inspection, and we will access the treatment solutions your roof needs.