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Maintaining the Color of a Cedar Roof

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Maintaining the Color of a Cedar Roof

Many homeowners in the U.S. prefer a cedar roof because of its innate appeal. Cedar roofs are incredibly durable, and regular maintenance can extend their life span, performance, and beauty. When it comes to cedar roof preservation, it's essential to clean, preserve, inspect and coat your shingles.

Starting these processes early helps your roof lasts as long as possible. Over time, you may notice that not all of your roof's shingles wear down at the same rate. When this happens, it's helpful to get in touch with a professional service like Cedar Roof Coatings.

When you notice your roof has a lot of buildup of debris, Cedar Roof Coatings can clean your roof to help it last longer. We can also add a coating to your shingles to help maintain the beautiful aesthetic of your cedar roof.

Let's take a look at how to clean cedar shingles, who you should reach out to for roof inspections, and how the process of coating your cedar shingles works. It's important to note that all the strategies we cover in this article are best done by a professional and credible company like Cedar Roof Coatings that has experience with cedar roofs.

Cleaning Cedar Roof Shingles

Cleaning Cedar Roof Shingles

After years of exposure to the weather, your cedar roof shingles may develop a buildup of leaves and other organic matter. Getting your cedar shingles professionally cleaned will help ensure your shingles age well. Make sure you also have debris from your gutters and downspouts cleared so they don't get clogged and damage your roof. Debris on your roof or in your gutters can cause a buildup of moisture as well as moss and mold growth.

Some people may want to try deep cleaning shingles themselves, but this is usually a bad idea. Often people damage their shingles by using too much water pressure or harsh chemicals that can lead to permanent harm.

If you're considering cleaning your roof, you'll want to contact Cedar Roof Coatings. A company with our level of experience with cedar roofs knows the correct amount of pressure to use to wash your roof based on its age and condition.

You may opt to regularly wash your roof if you want your shingles to have a faded appearance more quickly. The best way to ensure this cleaning process is deep enough for the desired effect is by scheduling a professional like Cedar Roof Coatings to do it. If you've just gotten new shingles and you want to blend them in with your older shingles, one way to do this is by having your roof washed regularly where the new shingles are, which will result in material color consistency.

Getting your roof washed by a professional is the best way to prevent damaging your roof in the process of cleaning it. When you choose Cedar Roof Coatings, we will clean your roof in detail using Cedar Wash, a 100% eco-friendly hydrogen peroxide-based formulation designed to remove any algae, dirt, mildew, and mold buildup.

After we wash your roof, our professionals will inspect the exterior of your house to find any areas that need touching up, such as column bases that need recaulking. We can give you recommendations to keep your home's roof in good condition.

Inspect and Replace Shingles

With regular inspection and maintenance, your cedar roof can last decades. However, if you don't keep up with regular cedar roof maintenance, you'll need to replace your roof sooner. Every season, have your roof professionally inspected for any damage, mold or debris. It's especially critical to have your roof checked for damage after a severe thunderstorm or wind event.

At Cedar Roof Coatings, our roof inspections begin with an inspector walking the entire roof area, photographing and documenting their findings. Our experienced inspectors will find any obvious problems with your roof and other minor issues that may cause more significant problems for you down the line.

After the inspector finishes their walk-through, they will fill out a report that documents the information gathered and recommends services to correct any issues your roof might have. This report will also feature estimated prices for any corrective services that we suggest to you.

If you schedule a roof cleaning with us and we notice any compromised shingles, we will replace up to 20 shingles at no additional cost. Keep in mind that you may not need to replace curled shingles. If your roof has curled shingles that you want us to replace, we will provide you with an estimate at that point.

Finishing Cedar Roof Shakes

Finishing Cedar Roof Shakes

If you want to keep your cedar roof looking fresh and new, it must be able to breathe. A roof that can breathe typically has a preventative finish designed for wood roofs. Finishing a roof protects it from collecting moisture that can ultimately damage your roof. A professional from Cedar Roof Coatings will avoid waterproof sealants, as they can trap unseen moisture and allow rot and mold to grow.

Oil-based coatings are excellent for wood shingles because the oil can penetrate deep to rejuvenate the wood. Having a professional like Cedar Roof Coatings apply the coat to your roof is important because your roof will need to have a certain wood moisture content and ambient temperature when the coating is put on. A wood moisture content above 15% is typically too high for the coating process. When your shingles are drier, you can have a professional apply an oil-based coat on them.

At Cedar Roof Coatings, we use TWP 200, a semi-transparent oil-based penetrating finish. This finish is designed to increase the life span of cedar roof shingles. This extended life span is possible because this finish penetrates wood very deeply, and its paraffin oil makes the wood's cellular structure more stable.

How Often Do You Need to Coat Cedar Shingles?

The color on your shingles will typically last for around five to seven years. This longevity makes the color of the coat you choose extra important!

Cedar roof treatment, such as coating and refinishing cedar shingles, can also help make the color of your roof more uniform. If you have a mix of old and new shingles, blending cedar roof shingles with a coating can help you achieve a more consistent color. Coating can also help shingles maintain their color and last longer.

A professional will have to coat your cedar roof singles more than once to maintain their color, so contact a dependable service like Cedar Roof Coatings that can give you consistent, quality work.

If cedar shingles aren't coated, they will turn a silvery grey color over time from the natural weathering process. You may even prefer this silvery grey color! You can also add other colors to your shingles by having them professionally coated. Your roof installer can coat your roof during installation, but it's best if shingles are coated during the manufacturing process so all sides of each shingle can be covered.

Keep in mind that cedar roofs need frequent treatment and re-coating. Using a quality product will provide the most benefits and can even keep you from needing an early roof replacement.

Coating Colors for Cedar Shingles

You can have your cedar shingles coated if you want to change their color.

Choosing a coat color for your cedar shingles is a significant and fun decision. You want your roof to enhance the natural beauty of your home while standing out for its aesthetic qualities. The species of wood your cedar shingles are made from determines their base color. Cedar shingles are either red cedar or white cedar. Here are their differences:

Red cedar has the following features:

  • Grain: Red cedar shingles have a tight grain.

  • High tannic acid: Tannic acid is a natural preservative that lives within cedar shingles. Red cedar has higher levels of tannic acid than white cedar.

  • Durability: Red cedar is more durable than white cedar because of its higher levels of tannic acid and its tighter grain.

  • Weathering: Red cedar often ages into a dark color that is blotchy and inconsistent.

  • Color options: Cedar Roof Coatings can coat red cedar to change the color if you'd like. However, its tight grain has a lower absorption rate than white cedar, so it may have a streaked look when it's coated. Therefore, your color options for red cedar are more limited.

Here are the main characteristics of white cedar:

  • Grain: White cedar has a wider grain.

  • Lower tannic acid: White cedar shingles have lower levels of tannic acid than red cedar.

  • Durability: White cedar shingles are less durable than red cedar shingles because of their wider grain and lower levels of tannic acid.

  • Weathering: White cedar typically ages into a consistent silver color.

  • Color options: White cedar shingles can absorb coats better than red cedar shingles, which means that your color options for white cedar shingles would be more extensive than with red cedar shingles.

Popular Colors

Popular Colors

Here are some of the most common colors that you may choose to coat your cedar roof:

  • Cedar tone

  • Slate gray

  • Clear


Adding color to your home can bring out your style. However, you may consider the advantages of a neutral roof. If you want your roof to be the first thing people notice when they pull up to your home, then go for a more boldly colored roof. If you want your garden or your trim to be the star of the show, a neutral roof is to your advantage. Your neutral roof will fit well with your home's external style while simultaneously fading into the background.

When you choose Cedar Roof Coatings to coat your cedar roof neutral colors, you'll have greater flexibility in design decisions concerning the rest of your home. Cedar roofs last around 30 to 40 years with proper maintenance, and neutral colors will always be in style. You'll never have to worry about your neutral roof clashing with your changing taste over time, whether you want to use a similarly neutral siding color or paint your house hot pink.

Common neutral color for cedar shingles is brown because it can bring out the natural tones of wood. As discussed previously, cedar roof shingles naturally age to a gray color, so gray is another popular neutral color for shingles.

Dark vs. Light Shingles

Before you decide on a particular color to coat your shingles, it may be best to determine if you ultimately want to coat your shingles a light or dark color. This decision is largely a matter of personal taste and how well a light or dark color will go with the other colors adorning the outside of your house.

Some designers may recommend that your roof be darker than your home, as this combination leads to a classic look. However, you may not achieve this classic look if your home is already a very dark color or if your roof is vast.

Additionally, light- and dark-colored roofs can absorb light differently. How much light energy your roof absorbs may affect the heating and cooling of your home. With cedar roofs, a dark or light color doesn't seem to make much difference in terms of energy savings, so this factor won't come into play when you're deciding on using light or dark cedar roof shingles.

Preserve and Re-Coat Your Roof With Cedar Roof Coatings

Preserve and Re-Coat Your Roof With Cedar Roof Coatings

When it comes to maintaining the color of your cedar roof, working with a company you can trust is essential, which is why hiring Cedar Roof Coatings is an excellent choice! Located in Fairfield County, we are committed to helping you maintain your current roof so it protects your home and remains the eye-catching piece of art that it was meant to be. We offer free estimates on repairs as well as cedar roof inspections and cleanings.

We have the experience to help you, as we have worked with hundreds of homeowners throughout New York and Connecticut. You can be sure the advice we give you is both sound and rooted in honesty, as we aspire to provide you with the high-quality, professional experience you deserve.

Want to know more about us and the work we've done? Check out our gallery of past projects, the accolades we've received and the blog we've put together as a hub of resources for you.

Imagine your cedar roof emanating the aesthetic it did the day it was installed. Start on preserving your cedar roof shingles today and contact us with our online form or by calling us at 203-847-5740.

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