Care And Maintenance Tips For Cedar Shake Roofs
11th of March 2020 by Costi Serban
Cedar shakes are one of the most attractive roofing options. Exuding a classic, Old-World aesthetic, cedar shakes add rich character to your homes facade. That said, cedar shakes arent known for their longevity and many homeowners find them troublesome to maintain.
In this post, your local at Mass-Tech Roofing and Building Co., shares maintenance tips to keep your cedar shake roofing looking and performing its best for many years.
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 doesnt 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.
Advantages Of Cedar Roofing Material
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Q: When Treating Exterior Wood Whether A Deck Fence Or Roof Isnt A Common Water Sealer Enough
A: The answer is usually no. Water sealers offer short-term moisture protection only. For long-term protection, a broader based protective treatment is needed. Ideally, that treatment should replenish the woods natural resins and rejuvenate its interior properties, include a moss and mildew retardant and, very important, an effective ultraviolet light inhibitor. Consider, too, in the case of fence and roof treatments, the desirability of a color enhance to return the wood to its original, natural appearance.
How Long Will A Cedar Shake Roof Actually Last
When investing in a new roof, youre expecting to get as many years out of it as possible. This is especially true when investing in a new cedar shake roof.
But how long will your cedar shake roof actually last?
As long as its properly installed and with proper maintenance, you can expect to get 30 years of life out of your cedar shake roof. If you invest in quality materials and live in an area with the right conditions, you could possibly get up to 50 years out of it.
Be aware, cedar shake shingles are naturally made, so theres no manufacturer warranty on the materials if they fail prematurely. This leaves you with only your roofing contractors workmanship warranty to rely on if theres ever a problem with your cedar shake roof.
To get the best roof possible, you should always look for a contractor that offers you a lifetime warranty.
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A Better Alternative To Traditional Cedar Shakes
At Brava, we have long recognized the need for a composite shake shingle that would give you the beautiful roof lines of cedar shakes, and at the same time eliminate the countless issues that make natural wood shingles so difficult to maintain.
- Bravas Cedar Shakes are made from 100% recycled material making them sustainable and renewable.They can be manufactured with both Class A and Class C fire ratings.
- If you live in an area that is prone to hail, hurricanes and tornadoes, our shingles carry a Class 4 Impact Rating which gives your roof superior protection and could save you money in costly repairs after a storm.Bravas Cedar Shakes do not break like natural cedar shakes and do not require expensive equipment to install.
- Our composite Cedar Shakes do not absorb water one of the chief problems with any wood product.
- Our Cedar Shakes can be made in almost any color and even custom color-blended to give you a totally unique look on your roof.
The Long Life And Beauty Of Cedar Shakes From Brava
If you want the look of cedar shake shingles on your roof but want to avoid the maintenance and potential damage that they can suffer, consider using our premium composite Cedar Shake. It is environmentally friendly and has a 50-year limited warranty. They require virtually zero maintenance, are more durable than wood, and offer various installation options like a straight-line pattern or staggered pattern for a classic cedar shake look.
Get Inspired to Order Your Complimentary Lookbook.
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How Much Does A Cedar Shake Roof Replacement Cost
You just learned how long a cedar shake roof should actually last. You also learned 4 factors that affect its lifespan.
But you still need to learn the most important piece of information before getting a new cedar shake roof. That’s how much your new roof will cost.
Unfortunately, the roofing industry doesn’t like to talk about pricing. But we do things a little differently from the other roofing companies out there.
That’s why we’re going to break down how much a cedar shake roof replacement could cost so you’ll know what to expect from a budgeting standpoint.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been providing high-quality roof replacements to the residents of Nashville since 1990. Our workmanship ensures your cedar shake roof is installed properly and lasts for decades. If you’re local to Nashville, don’t hesitate to contact us today to begin the process of getting your new cedar shake roof.
Cleaning And Careful Inspection By Professional Roofers
It is necessary to clean Cedar shakes roof in order to prevent Cedarwood damage. You should hire a professional Cedar shake roof cleaning service to clean the Cedar roofs rather than a generic roofing company. Before you hire professionals for Cedar shake roof cleaning, make sure that they use Cedar-friendly cleaning solutions otherwise, the Cedar shakes will be damaged. You can read more in our guide on how to choose a cedar roof cleaning professional.
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Does A Cedar Shake Roof Need Maintenance
You invested a lot of your hard-earned money into your cedar shake roof. Dont you want it to last as long as possible?
You probably think thats a pretty dumb question because, of course, you want it to last. Unfortunately, weve seen too many homeowners have expensive problems or their cedar shake roofs life cut short for one simple reason: they neglected it.
Over our 30 years in the roofing industry, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has seen cedar shake roof investments ruined because they werent maintained. To help you avoid this happening to your investment, were going to help you understand cedar shake roof maintenance.
Lets get to why your cedar shake roof needs maintenance and 3 reasons you need a maintenance program no matter the age of your roof.
A Better Alternative To Real Cedar Shake Roofing
While cedar shake roofing is a beautiful option, it requires a lot of maintenance which all leads to extra time, effort, and money to keep your roof looking nice for years to come.
However, now there are alternatives to traditional cedar shakes that do not require the same maintenance and ongoing investment. F Wave Roofing is a company known for their premium synthetic roofing shingles that mimic the appearance of traditional materials, including cedar. They are designed with a realistic appearance, so you wont be able to see the differences when compared to the real thing.
F-WAVE REVIA shingles are made using a commercial-grade polymer material that creates lightweight, highly durable shingles that look great on the roof. Unlike traditional cedar shakes, they feature a Class A fire rating and Class 4 Impact Rating, the highest rating for fire and hail-resistance available. REVIA shingles are also rated to withstand up to 130 mph winds.
Unlike traditional cedar shakes, REVIA shingles do not need special treatments for protection against moisture, fungi, sunlight, or algae. They also dont need any treatment for fire protection, as they have a Class A Fire Rating, the best rating possible.
The best part is that there is no specific annual roof maintenance that is required. Because of REVIA synthetic construction, these shingles are incredibly durable with low maintenance requirements.
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A Basic Guide To Wood Shake Roof Maintenance
Many factors affect the longevity of a wood shake roof. These include humidity and precipitation levels, ventilation and installation. The slope of the roof and overhanging trees are also factors. Some of these are manageable by the contractor and others, by you, the homeowner. Weather and the reduced durability of second-growth cedar are beyond anyones control.
Safe Harbor Exteriors offers some simple tips to prolong the life of a wood roof.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Trim overhanging branches that drop pine needles or leaves on the roof. Clean debris out of gutters, off the roof and the keyways between shakes. Ensure adequate year-round ventilation of the attic or roof assembly. Install strips of zinc or copper at the ridge and midway across the roof on long slopes. Runoff from these strips reduces the growth of moss, mold,and mildew. In time, its extracts will dissolve and expose the wood to decay, cupping and splitting. Washing and treating the entire roofing system will help with maintenance.
Cleaning your roof with a high-pressure washer can cause significant damage when done with untrained hands. Use a normal garden hose and a brush or pump sprayer. To remove dirt, mildew and weather residue, use a mix of sodium percarbonate and water. With redwood and cedar, tannins can leach out of the wood. Remove this brown and black discoloration with a second wash of an oxalic acid solution. Note that oxalic acid is toxic, so handle it with care.
How To Clean Cedar Shake Roofs And Siding
Cedar shakes are typically cleaned the same way youd clean other exterior wood surfaces, using the same products. Sodium hypochlorite is typically not a good option for cedar shakes. Because cedar shakes are so porous, and because bleach goes to work on the first thing it hits, sodium hypochlorite often does not reach the organic growths roots that are embedded below the surface. Using sodium hypochlorite will also leave the shakes looking bleached out.
Our recommendation is to soft wash the cedar shakes, using a system such as the ProTool Clever and the Deck Restoration Plus line of professional wood restoration products
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Benefits Of Cedar Roof Maintenance And Preservation
Even if you witness your roof starting to wear down, you might not think it’s that necessary to get it cleaned and replace broken shingles. However, there are plenty of advantages to restoring your roof:
Extended longevity: Cedar Roof Coatings repair and cleaning services will help extend your roof’s lifespan. If you neglect to care for your roof, the time for cleanings and repairs might come and go, and you’ll be forced to start looking for a roof replacement instead. Cleanings and repairs offer an easier way to make minor improvements and get ahead of costlier replacements.
Retained curb appeal: Your roof is a central part of your home even more importantly, it’s a central exterior part of your home, meaning anyone who passes by will be able to see it. It’s important to keep up with roof maintenance so you can be proud of how your house looks. Cedar Roof Coatings will make your roof look brand new, impressing your neighbors and friends.
Sustained home value: If you’re looking to sell your house in the future, keeping up with cedar roof maintenance is one of the best ways to retain your home’s value. If a potential buyer visits and sees a roof that’s curling, splitting or covered in moss, they’ll be primed for a negative experience. Whether it’s true or not, your roof can reflect what’s inside, and a roof that’s in poor shape could send a bad message.
What Causes Deterioration
A major source of damage and something that greatly decreases cedar roof life expectancy is ultraviolet light from the Sun. A recent USDA study reports:
Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight degrades lignin at the surface. Lignin is the natural glue in wood that holds the cellulose fibers in place. It is impossible to eliminate sunlight exposure to your roof, so many people apply treatments to their shingles to prevent this. The problem is that treatments themselves weaken the wood and eventually hasten the process of your cedar shingles needing to be replaced.
In addition to deterioration, cedar shakes can also suffer from cupping, wood rot, erosion, and splitting. With all of the maintenance needs and possible defects that are inherent in wood products, is there another option that provides the timeless beauty of cedar shakes without the hassle?
Yes, there is!
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What Are Cedar Shakes
Shakes are a type of roofing material used on pitched roofs. Shakes are split from logs and usually manufactured by hand. They add a rustic, rugged look to your property and are one of the most popular types of roofing option alongside shingles.
Cedar is the traditional material used for making shakes, adding a uniquely natural feel and softness to both classic and contemporary properties.
Cedar has many desirable qualities that make it perfect for building: an even grain, low density, and weather and rot resistance – the latter due to unique chemicals found naturally in the wood.
Adequate care for your cedar shakes can extend their life and keep them looking their best, improving the overall quality and protecting the value of your home. So just what can you do to prolong the life and healthy appearance of your cedar shakes? It’s time to find out…
One of the best ways to protect cedar from weathering is to use a cedar stain finish. Before installing your cedar shakes, they should ideally be treated with a special cedar finish oil. This helps seal in moisture, keeping the wood sleek, strong, and water-resistant
Cedar Shake Roof Benefits
Beyond the incredible aesthetic appeal of cedar shake roofs, there are a number of bountiful benefits. A well-installed cedar shake roof is quite durable. Prospective buyers should consult their manufacturers warranty, which will have more specific details for their wood shake home installation. Cedar shake roofs are resistant to severe storms and are quite energy efficient.
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How Much Will A Cedar Shake Roof Cost
You just learned what a cedar shake roof is and 4 things you need to know about it. After reading this your better equipped to decide if a cedar shake roof is right for you.
But there’s still one more important thing we didn’t cover, that’s how much a cedar shake roof costs. We don’t shy away from answering pricing questions like the rest roofing industry, that’s why we wrote another article breaking down the cost and what impacts the price.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roof replacements in the Nashville area since 1990. Our workmanship ensures that your new cedar shake roofs life is maximized. Thats why we offer a lifetime warranty.
To learn how much you’ll have to invest in a cedar shake roof, check out How Much Will Your New Cedar Shake Roof Cost? .
Power Washing Helps Preserve The Roofs 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.
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Clean Gutters To Ensure Moisture Isnt Retained
An important step for maintenance of any roofing type, cleaning gutters is especially critical for cedar shake roofs to ensure moisture isnt trapped in your roof. If backed up, the water will soak your shingles and can lead to rot. Be sure to check gutters regularly, with increased urgency in the fall season when leaves and additional debris are falling.
Benefits Of Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance
Taking care of your cedar shake roof has its unique benefits. Some of them include:
Without proper maintenance, cedar shakes have an average lifespan of about 15 years. Cedar shingles, which tend to be thinner than shakes, have an even shorter lifespan. By observing proper care and maintenance, these roofing materials can last up to 30 years or more. You wont have to worry about replacing your roof prematurely.
Maintaining your cedar roof also helps prevent pests from invading your roof. Broken or missing cedar pieces expose the roofs inner surface, providing a passageway for unwanted critters ranging from rats and squirrels to birds and other animals.
Having a routine maintenance schedule will ensure your roofer replaces damaged shakes and prevents unwanted pests from wreaking havoc in other areas of your homes interior.
Excessive moss growth may seem like a minor cosmetic issue that can lead to the appearance of stains and moldy streaks on the roofs surface. If not addressed right away, some of the cedar shakes may start to rot. Cracks and warps can also result in water damage and leaks.
Regular maintenance can help you minimize all these as much as possible.
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