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Can You Leave Cedar Roofing Uncoated?


A treated and coated cedar roof

Cedar roofing is a beautiful investment for your home that provides many benefits, from durability and insulation to increased curb appeal and home value. You want to protect your cedar roof, which is why roofing companies offer various cedar roof coating options. Coatings help preserve the stunning look and practical benefits of a cedar roof.


If you leave your cedar roof uncoated, you'll face expensive damages, deteriorating beauty and an overall shorter life span. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you properly coat your cedar roof every one to three years for maximum protection.


What Is a Cedar Roof Coating?


A cedar roof coating, also known as a cedar roof treatment, protects roofs made of cedar from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, moisture, plant growth and other natural elements. While cedar roofs are pretty durable on their own, applying a roof coating can extend their lifetime from 30 to more than 60 years. The primary purpose of roof coatings is to protect the roof material from damage, but some coatings can even revive and enhance the look of an older roof.


There are several common types of roof coatings, including bleaching oil, water-repellent preservatives (WRPs) and semitransparent coats.


Bleaching Oil


Bleaching oil is composed of linseed oil and bleach crystals. A bleaching oil coating is known to defend against contamination and decay. Additionally, bleaching oil keeps cedar shingles from turning black due to mildew. In addition to protecting the roof, oil coatings enhance the roof's beauty. The use of bleaching oil can create a weathered look that a lot of homeowners enjoy.


Water-Repellent Preservatives


WRPs penetrate deep into the cedar wood's surface to help protect against water damage. This coating has a clear finish which brings out your cedar roof's natural beauty and gives your cedar shakes or shingles a nice shine. Water damage is one of the biggest threats to a healthy cedar roof, so taking the appropriate preventive measures is crucial.


Semitransparent Coat


Similar to WRPs, semitransparent coats also soak into the cedar shakes or shingles to prevent water damage. They also protect against damaging UV rays. If you're looking to protect your roof while giving it some new life, this oil-based coating is perfect for you — pigment is added to help adjust the color of your shingles.


Why Is Cedar Roof Coating Important?


Roofs are a beautiful part of our home's exterior, but more importantly, they keep us safe from the outside elements. Damage to a roof can lead to interior damage from leaks or infestation and costly bills or repairs. With a professionally applied roof coating, you can avoid the damage while also enjoying the preserved, beautiful look of your roof. Still not sure a roof coating is worth it? Learn more about the benefits of a coating from Cedar Roof Coatings below.


A properly coated and maintained cedar roof

Prevents Physical Damage


While cedar roofs are durable, they are not immune to damage. Mold, vegetation and pests can all lead to physical damage to your roof. However, proper cedar roof maintenance can prevent damage. A good maintenance schedule includes regular professional cleaning and a new cedar roof coating every one to three years.


Applying a cedar roof coating can protect your cedar roof shakes or shingles from the following:

  • Degrading

  • Burning

  • Rotting

  • Buckling

  • Cracking

  • Erosion

  • Discoloration

  • Fungus infestations

  • Algae infestations

Cedar Roof Coatings uses the Total Wood Preservative (TWP)® 200 Series — a deep-penetrating product that offers many benefits. The TWP® 200 Series treatment strengthens a cedar roof's wood grain to prevent peeling. Other benefits include preserving the beautiful, natural color of your roof's shakes or shingles and hindering moss growth.


Taking the time to strengthen and protect your roof should be at the top of your home improvement list. Your cedar roof protects you and your family, so any damage done to your roof can leave your loved ones vulnerable. When you take care of your roof, you can avoid causing damage to furniture or valuables within the home and prevent having to make costly repairs that accompany a damaged roof.


Protects Against UV Damage and Water Damage


One of the biggest threats to your cedar roof is the weather, especially UV and moisture damage. Luckily, coatings from Cedar Roof Coatings can prevent these issues from occurring or becoming worse.


Your roof is exposed to the sun daily. Discoloration, damage and degradation can occur if you have not properly treated your cedar roof. Cedar roofs with unprotected UV exposure will start to turn gray or ashy white. You likely chose your cedar roof largely because of its beautiful look, and without the proper cedar shake or shingle roof maintenance, your roof's beauty will diminish.

Without UV protection from a cedar shake roof treatment, your roof will also suffer damage at a cellular level. Your roof won't just look old and damaged. It will actually be compromised. Your roof contains lignin, which is like glue holding your wood roof together. Without proper maintenance, the lignin will absorb too many UV rays and essentially dry up and be destroyed, leaving your roof susceptible to cracking, warping and rotting. Keeping your roof oiled is key to keeping lignin healthy.


Extensive or unprotected exposure to water can cause your roof to suffer from a few issues, such as curling or cupping, moss growth, leaking and discoloration. When a cedar roof remains untreated, moisture from rain, snow and ice is able to soak through the boards. That's why Cedar Roof Coatings uses coatings that will help your roof become water-resistant.


However, water-resistant does not mean waterproof. Excessive amounts of moisture or pooling occurring on the roof can still lead to water damage. This coating will also need to be routinely applied every one to three years to reap the benefits of water resistance.


Upholds the Structural Integrity of Your Roof


As your cedar roof is exposed to moisture, the wood will naturally contract and expand. Untreated cedar roofs will be subjected to more moisture exposure, which can lead to cracks in the roof's surface due to consistent movement and shifting. With constant unprotected exposure and the effects of physical warping, your roof can become compromised. When the TWP® 200 Series treatment is applied, these effects are minimized.


Without some form of coating, shakes or shingles may begin to decay, creating gaps in your roofing. Decaying shingles can lead to leaks and damaged insulation, creating more expensive fixes down the road. Repairing or replacing a damaged roof is much more expensive than applying a preventive coating service.


A properly treated cedar roof completed by trained contractors

Protect Your Cedar Roofing With Cedar Roof Coatings


When protecting something as important as your roof, you want to ensure you're working with a skilled team of experts. Our Cedar Roof Coatings staff will help restore your roof to a beautiful, healthy state and use the TWP® 200 Series treatment to protect your cedar roof and extend its lifetime. Whether washing, repairing, inspecting or preserving, we've got you covered with all your cedar roofing needs.


When you choose to work with Cedar Roof Coatings, you can always expect standout customer service, high-quality techniques and reliable, knowledgeable staff. Don't wait to protect your cedar roof any longer — contact us today to schedule a coating service or to request a consultation to learn more.

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