Nothing beats the look of a cedar roof, but without the proper maintenance, your new roof may not last as long as you hoped it would. Cedar roofing is one of the more expensive types of roofing materials you can choose, and it can last a very long time if you follow these important steps to care for it.
Keep It Free of Debris
Depending on where you live and what your yard is like, debris might land on your house regularly. With the proper care, a cedar roof can last 30 to 40 years, but you must keep all debris off of it. This includes leaves, sticks, and dirt.
Because cedar roofs are made of wood, they may begin to rot. This is caused from water and debris sitting on a roof, and this can also cause moss to begin growing on the roof. Going on the roof and removing any leaves or sticks will deter moss from growing, and this is a step that will protect the roof.
As you do this, you may also want to clean your gutters too. If the gutters become full of leaves and dirt, the roofing material around the gutters may begin to deteriorate. You should make a habit of completing this step once or twice each year.
Clean It Regularly
As cedar roofs age, they begin to change colors, and this is one of the highlights of cedar. When you provide the right care and maintenance for the roof, the colors will be beautiful. Without the right care, the nice look is slowly replaced with an old, worn-out appearance.
Cedar roofing materials come in two main types: shingles and shakes. Both require regular cleanings, and this is something you should do every three to six years. There are several steps involved in cleaning a cedar roof, and here are some of the options you have:
- Power wash the roof – a power washer provides a way to really clean a roof, but it is not the only way to wash a roof. If you use this method, start at the top of the roof and work your way down, avoiding any areas with loose shingles or shakes. The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau warns against power washing because it may be too aggressive for cedar roofing materials. If you decide to power wash your roof, make sure you are careful.
- Use a cleaning solution – cleaning solutions will help you clean the debris off your roof, and the right solutions will actually protect your roof. You can use mild laundry soap, trisodium phosphate, or other types of cleaning solutions available at hardware stores.
- Apply moss killing solutions – keep in mind that mildew and moss will naturally grow on a cedar roof, especially if the roof is dirty. You can prevent this and eliminate any moss you currently have by applying a chemical that kills moss. While there are many you can use, one of the best types is zinc sulfate.
Cleaning your roof regularly will help it last longer, and it will keep it looking great.
Apply a Preservative Solution to the Roof
The final form of maintenance you must do involves applying a preservative to the roof every five years or so. Sunlight will naturally cause damage to cedar, and the main form of damage the heat from the sun causes is cracks in the materials. You can protect against this by using a cedar wood preservative.
Here are a few types you can choose from:
- Semi-transparent oil-based stain – stain is known to preserve wood, and that is why it is applied to wood decks and other outdoor wood structures. These stains often help with preventing moss from growing.
- Water-repellent solutions – these solutions are designed to keep water out of the roofing materials, but they will not stop the growth of moss and mildew.
After spending a lot of money to get a cedar roof, you should make the decision to perform all the routine maintenance it needs. With cedar, it's better to take the time and perform the work it needs before the cedar roofing begins to wear out and look bad. You can hire a company to handle all of these steps for you, and this is often the best idea if you want to make sure the work is done right.