Tips for Maintaining a Cedar Shake Roof

A cedar shake roof is a beautifully rustic roof that can add a lot of charm and appeal to your home. Unlike other types of roofs the cedar shake roof is made from cedar shingles. Cedar is a very strong wood that holds up well to the elements and is a natural deterrent to mold, mildew and many insects. This makes having a cedar shake roof a good thing. Unfortunately the cedar shake roof also has its downsides as maintenance needs to be a very proactive thing. The article below will share with you several tips for maintaining a cedar shake roof.

Clean it Often

Even though a cedar shake roof is naturally protected against water damage it can still warp and get damaged if allowed to soak continuously in water. For this reason it is important that the cedar shake roof is cleaned often. If leaves or branches are allowed to rest on it for days or weeks at a time you will see pooling of water in those areas. Leaves and branches can create a dam that will block water from flowing off the roof and into the drain. You can use a large broom to push the debris from the roof. Never use a power washer on a cedar shake roof as the pressure can actually break the cedar.

Protect Against Mold and Algae

A cedar shake roof is made from real wood and, as such, can accumulate algae and mold as well as mildew. It will usually be hidden under the cedar where it is dark and remains damp. If you allow debris to collect on the cedar shake roof, especially organic debris, which can cause mold to form. This happens when the organic debris begins to break down. Removing the organic debris quickly will prevent mold and mildew from forming. In order to protect the underside of the cedar shake roof you need to check the flashing. Flashing is long and thin strips of metal that is used to along the seams to waterproof the roof. Inspect the flashing for holes or places where it may not be properly seated.

Open Valley

If you have a multilevel cedar shake roof where the roof splits and forms multiple peaks then you will have a valley where they meet. This valley (or several) are covered with metal and are treated and painted. Inspect these pieces of metal for rust. Rust can eat away at the metal and cause holes to form. Remove the rust with a wire brush and then treat and paint the metal.

Chemical Treatment

There are a myriad of little plants that can grow out of a cedar shake roof. These plants can cause all kinds of issues like holes in the roof or cracking cedar shingles. This can be avoided by treating the cedar shake roof several times a year with a very simple chemical mix. Check with your local home store and purchase the proper chemical for a cedar shake roof. Apply it with a brush over the entire roof.