IL (847) 278-2272
WI (414) 662-9550
Large residential home in need of cedar shake roof repair

Cedar Shake Roof Repair Guide for 2024

Cedar shake roofs exude natural beauty and rustic charm, making them a popular choice among homeowners. However, like any roofing material, cedar shake roofs require proper maintenance and occasional repairs to ensure they last for many years. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of cedar shake roof repair, from identifying issues to DIY fixes and when to call in the professionals.

What’s in this article:

Ready to learn how to tackle cedar shake roof repairs like a boss?! Start reading!

Understanding Cedar Shake Roofing

Before we dive into the repair process, let’s take a moment to understand cedar shake roofing:

  • What Are Cedar Shakes? Cedar shakes are wooden shingles made from cedar wood. They are known for their durability and natural resistance to decay and insects.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Cedar shake roofs offer a timeless and rustic appearance that enhances the curb appeal of homes.
  • Durability: Properly maintained cedar shakes can last for decades, but they require regular upkeep to reach their full potential.

Common Issues with Cedar Shake Roofs 🧐

Cedar shake roofs are not immune to wear and tear. Here are 6 common issues homeowners may encounter:

1. Curling and Cupping

Shakes can curl or cup due to exposure to moisture and weathering.

2. Splitting and Cracking

Over time, shakes may develop splits and cracks, making them less effective at shedding water.

3. Moss and Algae Growth

Moisture and shade can encourage moss and algae growth, which can damage the shakes.

4. Rot

Cedar shakes can rot when exposed to excessive moisture for prolonged periods.

5. Loose or Missing Shakes

High winds and severe weather can cause shakes to become loose or go missing.

6. Worn or Damaged Flashing

Flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights can deteriorate, leading to leaks.


Cedar roofing project completed in Deer Park, IL by the Shake Guys.

DIY Cedar Shake Roof Repairs 🛠️

While some cedar shake roof repairs are best left to professionals, there are DIY fixes you can tackle yourself. Here are some common DIY repairs:

  • Replacing Loose Shakes: Secure loose shakes by nailing them back in place. Be sure to use corrosion-resistant nails and follow the original nailing pattern.
  • Replacing Missing Shakes: If you have missing shakes, replace them with new ones of the same size and thickness. Ensure they are properly aligned and nailed in place.
  • Cleaning Moss and Algae: Remove moss and algae with a mixture of water and white vinegar or a commercial moss remover. Be gentle to avoid damaging the shakes.
  • Sealing Cracks and Splits: Use a cedar-friendly sealant to fill small cracks and splits in the shakes to prevent water infiltration.
  • Applying Wood Preservative: Periodically apply a wood preservative or sealant to protect the shakes from moisture and UV damage.
  • Cleaning Gutters: Keep your gutters clean to ensure proper water drainage from the roof and prevent water from backing up under the shakes.

Use Safety Equipment and Follow Safety Guidelines

Safety should be the top priority. Use the proper safety equipment and follow safety guidelines to help protect yourself from hazards.

Before starting, inspect your ladders for any visible defects and ensure they are in good condition. Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a hard hat to safeguard against falling debris or accidents.

Please familiarize yourself with state and government guidelines for fall prevention and roof safety procedures. To learn more, visit

When to Call a Professional Roofer 📞

While DIY repairs can address minor issues, some cedar shake roof problems require the expertise of a professional roofer. Instances when it’s best to call in the pros include cases of extensive damage, such as numerous missing or severely damaged shakes, which signify the need for professional help. Persistent leaks or water infiltration are also clear signs of more significant problems that should be addressed by a roofer. If structural issues are suspected, such as sagging or weakened roof supports, it’s crucial to consult a professional for a thorough inspection to ensure the safety and integrity of your roof.

Additionally, severe rot and decay in the shakes or underlying structure may demand extensive repairs or even a roof replacement. Furthermore, any issues with flashing around roof penetrations like chimneys, vents, or skylights should be handled by professionals to ensure proper sealing and water resistance, safeguarding your home from potential leaks and damage.

Cost Considerations for Cedar Shake Roof Repair 💲

The cost of cedar shake roof repairs can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • Extent of Damage: The more extensive the damage, the higher the repair costs.
  • Labor and Materials: Labor costs and the type of materials used will impact the overall cost.
  • Professional Fees: Hiring a professional roofer may come with additional fees for their expertise and experience.
  • Location: Regional differences in labor and material costs can affect repair expenses.
  • Roof Accessibility: If your roof is difficult to access, such as steep slopes or complex designs, it may require additional equipment or safety measures, increasing the cost.

6 Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Cedar Shake Roof

To prolong the life of your cedar shake roof and minimize the need for repairs, consider these maintenance tips:

1. Regular Inspections

Perform visual inspections of your roof at least once a year to catch issues early.

2. Gentle Cleaning

Clean your roof periodically to remove debris, moss, and algae, using a soft brush or low-pressure washer.

3. Sealant Application

Apply a cedar-friendly sealant or wood preservative every few years to protect the shakes from moisture and UV damage.

4. Trim Trees

Trim overhanging branches to prevent debris buildup and minimize the risk of falling branches damaging the shakes.

5. Clean Gutters

Keep gutters clean to ensure proper water drainage and prevent water from backing up under the shakes.

6. Professional Inspections

Schedule professional roofing inspections every few years to identify potential issues and ensure your roof is in good condition.

Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal With Cedar Shake Roofs

Cedar shake roofs are a stunning addition to any home, but they require regular care and maintenance to keep them looking and performing their best. By understanding common issues, tackling DIY repairs when appropriate, and knowing when to call in professionals, homeowners can ensure their cedar shake roofs last for many years, maintaining their natural charm and protecting their homes from the elements. With proper attention and care, your cedar shake roof can continue to enhance your home’s curb appeal and provide reliable shelter for years to come.

Contact our roofing team at Shake Guys today and experience the highest possible level of quality workmanship from the pros you can trust. We’ll make sure your next roofing project goes off without a hitch–starting with a free roof inspection!

Schedule a Free Inspection & Consultation