Cedar Roof Maintenance Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

Cedar shake roof shingles offer many homes an attractive appearance, but to protect these shingles from unnecessary and disintegration, you will need to perform ongoing cedar roof maintenance and repairs. Although maintenance and repairs can be fairly simple, it is easy to forget or neglect to perform these steps on a regular basis. Consequently, you will void any assurance you might otherwise have that your roof will maintain its integrity and beauty. Follow the steps below to protect cedar shingles and extend their life.

Ignoring Debris

Because some areas of the roof are not visible, it is often easy to overlook debris such as leaves, branches, vines, etc. that might exist on the roof and often cause damage. If you have a large tree with overhanging branches, for example, these branches can not only brush the roof shingles and sometimes loosen or tear them, but they can drip moisture which can promote the growth of moss, mold and decay. You should also remove other debris such as dirt, garbage, etc., to prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the shingles, which in turn would lead to decay.

Ignoring Flashings

Periodically check the flashings—the long, thin strips of metal used to waterproof seams and angles of your roof—for any damage or holes. If you find damage in the flashings, replace them right away, or hire a roofer to replace them for you.

Ignoring Mold and Moisture

If after checking your roof, you have discovered that lichen or moss has formed on the shingles, do not make the mistake of believing that moss and mold harmless. You should, in fact, apply a chemical treatment to these areas. For a simple solution, mix together:

  • 1 oz. detergent
  • 1 qt. bleach
  • 3 qts. warm water

Use to scrub these areas and remove or kill the moss or mold. There are also effective commercial chemical treatments you can use. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions when using commercial chemical treatments. There are also commercial chemical treatments that that can prevent the growth of these molds.

Not Preparing for Weather

Wood shingles are somewhat more vulnerable than other roofing materials. Loose wood shingles, for example, are more likely to be torn loose from the roof by high winds. Don't make the mistake of assuming there is nothing you can do to protect your cedar roof against weathering. To retard the weathering process, coat your shingles with a semi-transparent stain that has preservative characteristics.