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Cedar Roof Care

Proper Cedar Roof Care: As with any other type of roof, basic maintenance is needed to keep the cedar looking great and performing exceptionally. Cedar trees can endure hundreds of years without losing their sturdiness or beauty. That same strength and elegance translates to a cedar roof, which can last 50 years or more with proper care and maintenance. Several factors contribute to extending the life of cedar roofing. The Shake Guys have perfected a process which ensures that your cedar shake roof gives your home many years of unmatched protection.

Our crafting and installation processes have set the foundation for long-term performance of your roof. With our use of durable, high grade western red cedar wood, careful crafting, expert installation using top quality hardware and fasteners, special finishes and treatments, your cedar roof only requires minimal maintenance and care.Our pre-installation process also evaluates the following:

  • Ventilation – Because cedar shakes and shingles need to breathe, we ensure that your roof has the proper ventilation before we install your new cedar roofing system.
  • Flashing Needs – If moss, mold and mildew growth is a concern in your area, we will assess whether copper, zinc, or galvanized flashing should be installed.

Once installed, your cedar shake roof or cedar shingle requires a small dose of preventative maintenance and a bit of seasonal care. We maintain the roofs that we install and can provide our customers with the following maintenance and care services.

As with any other type of roof, basic maintenance is needed to keep the cedar looking great and performing exceptionally. We recommend the following cedar roof maintenance, which the Shake Guys can provide if you so choose:

  • Twice a year, remove leaves, twigs, pine needles and other debris that may have fallen or blown onto your roof, especially debris that may have accumulated in the roof’s valleys or eaves.
  • Cut back any overhanging tree limbs, branches, or vines to prevent moss growth.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts twice a year to prevent clogging and a backup of water on your roof.
  • Have roofing materials, such as fasteners, flashing, sheathing, underlayment, etc., checked regularly.
  • After extreme weather, schedule a storm damage roof inspection to check for any roof damage and have repairs done immediately.

It’s important to have roofing professionals with wood roof maintenance expertise perform your roof maintenance. They have the proper equipment and footwear, and know how to properly walk on the roof to prevent cedar shakes or shingles from cracking.

Besides the special cedar treatment options added during the crafting process, such as preservatives to prevent mold, mildew and fungus growth, topical roof sprays are available to preserve the cedar wood. If you plan on applying a cedar preservative, we recommend:

  • Checking that the product label specifically states that it is a topical cedar roof treatment.
  • Using only products with a material safety data sheet (MSDS) that lists each ingredient and provides safety precautions. Stay away from products containing crank case oil, unfortified linseed oil, or diesel fuel.
  • Ensuring that the product is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered wood preservative, repels water and inhibits ultraviolet (UV) rays. Be aware that topical treatments cannot make fire retardant claims.
  • Never using a film-forming finish, such as varnish, paint, transparent, or solid color stain. These finishes will cause the cedar to crack or bring about rapid deterioration.

If you notice the cedar discoloring from moss or mold growth, or the sun’s ultraviolet rays, certain cleaning techniques can be used. As always, the Shake Guys can handle your roof cleaning needs.Moss or lichen growth should be cleaned off as soon as it’s spotted on your cedar roofing to prevent fungus decay. A solution of one quart household bleach and one ounce of detergent to three quarts of warm water can be used as a cleaning agent. Then, a solution of copper naphthenate that contains three to four percent of metal content, copperoctoate containing one to two percent metal content and copper–8–quinolinate with one percent active ingredient should be applied to control fungus roof growth.Over time, ultraviolet radiation from the sun can begin degrading wood roofing if a chemical treatment to reduce weathering is not applied during pre-installation. Discolored roofing from weathering can be cleaned using chlorine or oxygen bleach mixed with water. But if degradation has occurred, the weathered wood fibers can be removed from the surface using one part household bleach and a small amount of powdered detergent with five parts water. It is applied using a soft bristle brush.

Pressure or power washing is done only in rare situations when other cleaning methods are not effective. To avoid roof damage, only professionals trained in cleaning cedar should power wash your cedar roof. In addition, a refinishing stain must be added after the wood has completely dried.

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