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How to Inspect a Cedar Roof


Cedar roof undergoing an inspection

Cedar roofs are investments that can protect your home for up to 30 years when maintained. These shingles and shakes are a luxurious roofing material that increases your curb appeal. To maintain them, you must perform routine roof inspections. While it's essential to hire a professional for a thorough inspection once a year, you can perform visual cedar roof inspections in the meantime.


Once you learn how to check roof shingles or shakes from the ground, you can identify damage and address minor issues before they become significant. Review this guide to know how to tell if your cedar shingle or shake roof needs repairs.


Cedar Roof Inspection


Before you begin, consider your roof's age so you understand what to pay close attention to. For instance, if your roof is older, you'll want to carefully examine the shingles or shakes. Strive to inspect your roof twice annually — once in the spring and again in autumn. Checking it during the spring allows you to spot any winter damage while it's warm. When you inspect your roof during the fall, you can identify and address issues before winter.


In addition to these inspections, examine your roof after a storm. If winter is particularly severe, contact a professional for a roof inspection.


When you're ready to inspect your roof, start by walking around your home at a wide angle and using binoculars to check your roof's condition. Document your findings in a notebook and take pictures of concerning areas. You can understand your roof's general health even if you can't see its entirety.


As you perform your cedar shingle or shake roof inspection, look for the following.

  • Missing shingles or shakes: One of the easiest issues to spot during your shake or shingle roof inspection is missing shingles or shakes. You'll notice openings, indicating shingle or wood shake roof damage, or shingles and shakes on the ground. Missing shingles or shakes expose your roof's underlayment, or the protective layer that separates your roofing material from the deck. An unprotected underlayment can cause leaks in your home, so contact Cedar Roof Coatings for repairs.

  • Damaged shingles or shakes: Damaged shingles or shakes also expose your home to leaks. However, they are more challenging to notice than missing ones. You can look for discoloration or rot. Rot often occurs near gutters and along the trim. It forms on the lower edge of the shingle or shake and typically causes moss. Aside from moss, the bottom edges of the shingles or shakes may fray or split.

  • Curling or cupping: Cupping is when the shake or shingle's sides form a cup-like shape, and curling is when the shake or shingle's end curls upward. Any distortion that prevents your shingles or shakes from looking flat is concerning. While wood roofs bend naturally from the weather, curling or cupping can indicate an improperly ventilated attic.

  • Rust: When inspecting wood shingles or shakes, you don't need to worry about rust. However, your roof's metal components — flashings, gutters and vents — can rust. Your flashings and gutters corrode from drainage issues or age. If your vents are rusty, your attic may have too much humidity.

  • Discoloration: The sun causes discoloration over time, but green or black shingles or shakes can indicate algae, moss or mold. These substances can cause structural damage, so contact a Cedar Roof Coatings professional immediately.

  • Wear around the vents: A plastic piece around your roof's vents prevents water from entering the attic. You can see it with your binoculars. When you examine it, look for chips or cracks — these indicate that it needs replacing.

  • Dampness: Dark, wet areas that don't dry during sunny days can indicate rotted shingles or shakes, or an underlayment problem.

Interior Inspection


Cedar roof inspector beginning their inspection process

If you don't notice damage from the outside, inspect your roof from the attic. You'll want to examine the roof's underside, and the attic's framing and walls. Signs of damage include the following.

  • Humidity: Proper ventilation is necessary to prevent moisture and heat buildup in your attic. Excess moisture and heat can deteriorate your roof's frame. Stale air that's warmer than the rest of your house is a sign of excess humidity. If you notice this, you need to clean or replace your vents.

  • Leaks: Use a flashlight to search the walls and beams for water stains or wet spots. Other signs of water damage are rusty nails and rotten or moldy walls. You can also check your attic for wet areas and active leaks during a rainstorm. Try to address leaks as soon as possible to prevent major damage.

  • Light: Gaps in your roof let sunlight into your attic. You can notice them by turning off the lights in your attic during a sunny day and checking for patches of light. These gaps also allow water to enter your home, so contacting Cedar Roof Coatings is crucial to address the issue.

Professional Inspection


It's best to have a Cedar Roof Coatings professional inspect your roof once or twice a year. You also need to schedule an expert roof inspection if you notice any issues. Cedar Roof Coatings technicians have the knowledge and experience to identify damage you can't see from the ground. We can view your roof up close and determine its overall condition. A Cedar Roof Coatings team member will do the following.

  • Check your roof's structural integrity: Our trained inspector checks your roof for uneven planes and sagging. They'll examine the drainage system for water buildup and the shingles or shakes for water damage. If there are signs of water damage, they'll also look at the venting in your attic.

  • Check your roofing material: A Cedar Roof Coatings professional looks for broken, damaged, loose, curling or cupping shingles and signs of rot or moss.

  • Check the interior: Once the inspector examines the roof, they move on to check the attic for structural or water damage, deterioration, rot and signs of animal damage or infestation.

  • Recommend repairs: After the inspection, your technician will provide a detailed analysis and suggest repairs or restoration.

Contact Cedar Roof Coatings for Your Expert Roof Inspection


Cedar roof undergoing an inspection in Fairfield & Westchester counties

Cedar Roof Coatings can help you keep your roof functioning and looking great as long as possible. We are Fairfield County's leading restoration, preservation and repair company. Our goal is to save you money by maintaining your roof and curb appeal. Thanks to our years of industry experience, we have the knowledge, skills and professionalism to offer high-quality services.


Call 203-847-5740 or fill out a form online to consult with our team about your roof inspection. We look forward to making your roof look and function as good as new.

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