Restoring Cedar Shake Siding

What You'll Need
Garden hose
Soft brush
Pressure washer
Wood brightener
Wood cleaner
Wood putty
Wood-based filler
Pry bar

Cedar shake siding is a fairly durable type of siding. However, as with any other siding, it is prone to damage and deterioration if not properly maintained and cared for. This is due to the fact that it is exposed to outdoor conditions and changes in the weather and temperature. However, if the damage and repairs required are not substantial, it is more worthwhile to spend time and money on restoring the current siding, rather than changing it. Let us highlight the main steps involved in carrying out such a job.

Step 1 - Removing the Paint

Remove any coatings of paint, if any. In order to do this you can either sand the cedar, and peel off the paint, or else use chemical stripping.

Step 2 - Clean

Start cleaning the siding. If you use a garden hose you will be able to rinse most of the loose dirt. Make sure to close all the doors and windows well before commencing. Afterwards, mix some detergent and a cup of bleach, to a bucket of warm water, and start scrubbing the siding with a soft brush. If you have a pressure washer, you work can be facilitated since some provide the opportunity to pour the soap into a compartment. Start off on the upper part and move your way downwards little by little. Make sure not to scour too hard as you do not want to scratch the cedar or damage it. 

Step 3 - Rinsing

When ready, rinse the siding with plenty of clear water with the garden hose or a power washer. Do not use too high a setting as you do not want to damage the siding with too much pressure.

Step 4 - Checking

Now that the siding is clean you can check its condition well. Inspect it carefully so as to see if there are any areas which require repairing or more thorough cleaning.

Step 5 - Removing Stains

If you notice any stains try to discern by what they were caused. In case of mould or mildew, bleach should do the job. Tannin stains can be removed by some wood brightener. Otherwise, you might try to use a specialised wood cleaner. Make sure to test it on a small area to avoid further damage or discoloring.

Step 6 - Repairing

If there are any areas which require repairs do not give up. Small holes can be filled in using some wood putty of a similar color, or some wood based filler. When it dries up sand the area lightly with a sandpaper. If there are more serious problems such as large cracks, just remove the particular shingles carefully using a pry bar. Then, replace with new ones. It is not overly difficult to do so as long as you nail it in place as neatly as possible. Any other imperfections could also be buffed using an electric sander.

Step 7 - Painting

It is best to provide a finish to the cedar siding. You can either apply some water-repellent synthetic resin, or else paint it with some latex paint. You could also stain it. The most important thing is to allow the primer to dry well before applying the coating of paint.