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Top Ways to Protect Cedar Roofing Shingles

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Top Ways to Protect Cedar Roofing Shingles

Cedar shingle roofs make an excellent addition to any home. They provide an authentic, rustic feel that is unique and inviting. Cedar shingles are also durable and notably resistant to various kinds of damage. However, having a cedar roof involves a certain level of maintenance.

To ensure that they continue to look fresh and stay in the best condition possible, you should take certain measures to help preserve them. You can use many different treatments and cleaning methods to keep your cedar roofing shingles well-preserved and well-maintained. Learn how to protect your cedar roof with these helpful tips, including how Cedar Roof Coatings can assist you.

What Do You Use to Protect Cedar Roofing Shingles?

Treatments are highly recommended to maintain a durable and long-lasting cedar shingle roof. While cedar is considered to be naturally water-resistant, it is not enough alone. Treatments help preserve the cedar shingles from damage done by UV rays, water and other elements. Various treatments are used for cedar roofing protection.

Some cedar shingles can be treated with bleaching oil. This treatment is typically made with linseed oil and bleach crystals. Bleaching oil protects cedar shingles from decay and contamination and helps keep the shingles from blackening, which can happen as the result of mildew and other natural substances in the wood. The treatment also lends cedar shingles a weathered look, which many people find to be visually appealing.

Water-repellent preservatives (WRPs) are a clear finishing treatment that penetrates into the cedar wood shingles. Adding a protective layer against water damage, this treatment helps keep shingles in good condition. While WRPs do not have any pigment to change the shingles' color, they do enhance their natural appearance by giving them a nice shine.

Another treatment option is applying semitransparent stains. These treatments are oil-based stains that penetrate the cedar shingles. Similar to WRPs, they protect the shingles from water damage and UV rays. However, semitransparent stains contain pigments that let you change the color of the shingles. Solid-color stains contain even more pigment and provide even more protection from UV rays.

Keep in mind that the texture of the cedar roofing shingles will determine how much product they absorb. Smooth shingles will absorb less of the treatment finishes and require reapplication more frequently. Rough and saw-textured shingles will absorb an abundance of treatment products and will need to be recoated much less often.

Cedar Roof Coatings provides a protective treatment that enhances new and old wood alike and provides many other benefits. Highlighting the wood's natural grain patterns, our product will give your cedar roof plenty of curb appeal. It will also help repel water, stop UV damage and prevent wood rot.

Keep the Roof Free of Debris

Fungus growing on cedar roof shingles

One of the most helpful tips for protecting cedar roof shingles is to remove leaves and any other debris. Tree needles, moss and any lichens that may be growing can retain moisture, which can cause cedar shingles to develop wood-decaying fungus and become weak. If unattended, the shingles can quickly become very brittle, making them less resistant to water and other forms of damage.

It is also a good idea to keep low-hanging branches from resting on the cedar shingle roof. While the cover of vegetation can act as a good barrier from UV rays, it also reduces the shingles' ability to dry once they become wet. Additionally, low-hanging branches can pose a serious fire hazard, and an overgrown tree with weak limbs can pose a safety risk during a storm.

Climbing onto your roof to clear debris can be dangerous, but do not ignore the issue. Call the professionals at Cedar Roof Coatings to keep your cedar shingle roof clear of debris and free of damage.

Install Flashing to Inhibit Plant Growth

Moss, algae and other plant growth can cause significant damage to cedar roofing shingles, but you can deter their growth and protect your roof. Installing untreated copper, zinc or galvanized flashing can prevent the original and recurring growth of moss and lichens. As small particles of these materials flake off and dissolve in rainwater, plant growth is inhibited for approximately 15 feet near the flashings.

Another option is to apply a copper-based coating to your cedar shingles before applying the final finish. This will help prevent plant growth right from the very beginning.

Cedar Roof Coatings will assess any issues you may have with plant growth and help you to determine if flashing is a good solution for your roofing needs.

Perform Moisture Maintenance

Protecting cedar roofing shingles can also be done from inside your home. The climate you keep in your home can make a big difference in maintaining the condition of cedar shingles. Moisture is a common culprit for damaging cedar shingle roofs, so it's important to keep humidity and other forms of moisture under control even inside the home to prevent moisture from penetrating through cracks in the attic and reaching the shingles.

You can take some steps inside your home to ensure your cedar shingle roof will maintain its best look and functionality.

Experts recommend you maintain an interior humidity level of around 40%. You should also make sure your attic is adequately insulated to prevent any spots from becoming overly humid. Installing heating wires can prevent moisture by melting away any ice that may have dropped under the roofing shingles. Checking the caulking around your home can help you discover any potential leaks that you need to address.

Caulking is one of the services we provide at Cedar Roof Coatings. Our professional inspections can identify any areas that need recaulking and help you get the proper seal your home needs.

Always Maintain Clear Gutters

Gutters can easily become clogged with leaves.

Although gutters are not technically a part of your roof, they are still an essential component of your home. Maintaining them and keeping them cleared of debris will certainly help you keep your cedar shingle roof in good condition.

Gutters that are not regularly cleaned can easily become clogged with leaves, branches and other debris. Eventually, clogged gutters will not be able to handle any water runoff the way they should. This ultimately leads to a buildup of water on the roof. In the end, clogged gutters can result in cedar roofing shingles breaking down much more quickly.

To ensure that your gutters stay clean, taking time to remove any debris is key. We suggest cleaning your gutters at least once in the spring and twice in the fall.

You might also want to consider installing an entirely new gutter system. A high-quality gutter and downspout system will efficiently redirect things such as rainwater, dead leaves and melted snow away from your roofing. A good gutter system can go a long way toward preventing water damage, mold, mildew and wood rot on your cedar shingles.

Clean the Cedar Shingles

To help your cedar roofing shingles last a long time and even restore them to their former color, get a professional cleaning done. We recommend having our professionals clean your cedar roof every five to seven years for the greatest benefits.

Taking time to clean the shingles thoroughly can help maintain your roof's longevity. A good cleaning will remove any moss, debris, lichens or weaker wood. There are a few recommended ways to clean cedar shingle roofs. One way to clean them is to hire a professional power washing service to blast away any harmful growth and debris. Never power wash cedar roofs yourself as it can remove excessive amounts of wood and damage your shingles if done improperly.

Another method uses special cleaning solutions, such as chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach, mixed with water. Solutions containing oxygen or chlorine bleach will quickly kill molds and algae growing on cedar shingles. Such solutions can also remove weathered wood fibers from the surface. When selecting a cleaning solution, it's essential to choose a cleaner of the appropriate strength as excessively strong solutions can strip too much of the surface fiber.

Never use any liquid detergents to clean your cedar shingle roof. Liquid detergents can often react with bleach and emit toxic fumes. You should also avoid combining power washing with cleaning solutions, which can cause a lot more damage to your roof than good. In most cases, scrubbing the cedar shingles with a cleaning solution and a sponge or soft bristle brush should be enough to clean them correctly.

At Cedar Roof Coatings, we have the knowledge and experience needed to clean your cedar roof safely and effectively. Using an eco-friendly solution made with hydrogen peroxide, our washing technique will remove dirt, mold, algae and mildew. We will also check the house to look for any touch-ups that need to be done, including recaulking.

Check for Storm Damage

Check for storm damage

It is important to check the condition of your roof after storms. Check it safely from the outside by using a ladder and binoculars to overlook the shingles. Pay close attention to any cracked, warped or missing shingles.

Also, take time to check for damage on the inside of your home. Are there any new leaks that you do not remember having before the storm? Are there water spots on your ceiling or in your attic? Leaks can indicate that your roof has holes that you can't see easily from outside.

If there are any signs of storm damage to your cedar shingle roof, it is best to take care of them as soon as possible. A small leak can lead to extremely costly and time-consuming repairs. Checking your roof after every storm will help remind you to inspect your roof regularly.

Allow the professionals at Cedar Roof Coatings to investigate any leaks or damage your roof may have.

Have Your Roof Inspected Annually

On average, a cedar roof can last 30 years or more with proper inspection and maintenance. However, neglecting regular maintenance can cut the longevity of a cedar roof in half. This means that failure to have a cedar roof inspected for damage, debris and mold can result in needing an entirely new roof after just 15 years.

Thoroughly inspecting your roof can catch potential problems with your roofing before they become too extensive. An inspection is one of the best ways to maintain your roof. Look for shingles that appear to be warped or damaged. Cedar shingles that are curled, cracked, damaged or missing should be replaced. You should also keep an eye out for shingles that look discolored or rotten, as the damage can spread from a single shingle to others.

Even though you can take steps yourself to inspect and protect your cedar roofing, consulting a professional is always a good idea if you come across any issues so you can address any problems correctly and ensure they do not progress.

Our experienced professionals at Cedar Roof Coatings perform full roof inspections. Whether you need an annual inspection or believe you have a serious issue, our inspection services will help spot potential problems.

Keep Your Cedar Shingles in Top Shape With Cedar Roof Coatings

Cedar Roofing Coatings is a family-owned and operated business dedicated to saving you money by maintaining your roof to help preserve its ideal condition. We offer only quality services and professionalism and provide only the best roofing maintenance possible. We have built our reputation with our longstanding customers on a foundation of honesty, transparency and genuine care.

Our team will guide you towards the best steps for preserving your cedar roof. You can rest assured that we will not tell you to replace your roof if repairing it is an efficient solution. Our goal is to inspect every roof and determine the amount of care it needs to keep it looking and functioning at its best.

We provide several cedar roofing services, including the following:

  • Replacing ridge caps

  • Replacing rotted, damaged or curled shingles or shakes

  • Assessing, repairing and replacing vents, valleys and flashings as needed

  • Complete roof inspections

  • Pressure wash treatments

  • Caulking repairs

We offer free estimates for all of our services and always make it our goal to provide you with what you need for reasonable costs.

Whether you just need an inspection for your roof or are looking for cedar roofing repairs, we are here to help. We will be happy to provide you with a no-obligation, free roof evaluation report. For cedar roofing maintenance that you can trust, contact us at Cedar Roof Coatings today.

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