Cedar Roof Maintenance: Keep Your Roof Looking Beautiful and Functioning Properly
Here in the U.S., we’ve been obsessed with cedar roofs since the first Europeans settled on our shores. These sturdy, weather-resistant wood roofs might have been considered extravagant or wasteful back in England, but if there was one thing settlers had in abundance, it was timber!
Since then, cedar roofs have risen and fallen in popularity in America, but they’ve never fallen out of style.
Better still, regular cedar roof maintenance can keep today’s roofs looking pristine for years, allowing homeowners to enjoy the beauty of their cedar shakes or shingles for the roof’s decades-long lifespan. If you have one of these types of roofs and you’re hoping to enhance its beauty and functionality, here’s what you should know.
Inspect Your Cedar Roof Often
Check the condition of your roof often. You can do this from the ground or by climbing up a ladder without standing directly on your roof.
Look for any areas that stand out from the usual pattern of your shingles or shakes. Curling, cracking, damaged, or missing shingles should be addressed right away. You should also check for signs of rotting shingles or dark patches where algae or fungus has crept across the surface of your roof.
These inspections are even more important after rough storms. Cedar roofs are resistant to severe weather, but heavy rain or intense blizzards can sometimes cause shingle damage.
Perform Basic Cedar Roof Maintenance
After an inspection, maintaining a roof can make it more functional. Here are a few basic tasks to tackle at least once or twice a year:
Start by removing debris that has accumulated on your roof’s surface, including leaves, dirt, and twigs.
Pay special attention to your roof’s valleys and corners, which is where this debris tends to build up. Grabbing a broom or garden hose can make this task easier. Like your inspections, debris removal is even more important to do after rough weather.
Remove Organic Growth
If you notice any organic growth during your inspection, get rid of it as soon as possible. Moss, fungus, lichen, and algae may seem like minor nuisances, but they can damage your roof fast. Because they thrive on and trap moisture, they invite rot and decay.
If the patch you’ve noticed isn’t on a steep slant and you feel comfortable working on your roof, you can do this task yourself. However, be sure to use basic safety precautions, and always choose an eco-friendly, bleach-free roof cleaner to remove the stains. You can often find cleaners meant for wood shingles and shakes online.
Otherwise, we recommend working with a pro. An expert can remove organic growth from your roof without damaging your shingles and shakes, and their knowledge can be especially important for moss infestations.
Maintain Your Gutters
Your home’s gutter system is crucial for your roof’s longevity. This system removes standing water from the roof, keeping your wood shakes and shingles moisture-free.
Make sure your gutters and downspouts are aligned and that they aren’t pulling away from the house. Experts recommend cleaning your gutters at least once or twice a year, and one of those times should always be during the fall.
Trim Overhanging Branches
Maintaining your landscaping can protect your roof as well. When you allow a tree’s overhanging branches to grow too close to your roof, you may be inviting damage.
These branches can scrape the surface of your roof during heavy storms, and they may be more likely to fall in severe wind. In addition, the proximity and shade of overhanging branches can sometimes trap moisture, which can increase your risk of attracting algae or moss.
Invest in Pest Control
Keep up with regular pest control treatments to keep unwanted guests at bay. Though it’s difficult for pests to enter a well-maintained roof, it’s not impossible.
If you neglect your treatment schedule, common pests that enter your home can cause significant roof problems. They may chew through your roofing materials or wires, requiring expensive repairs to your roof and attic.
Be Proactive With Professional Inspections
The do-it-yourself maintenance we’ve mentioned above can go a long way, but regular professional inspections are the key to keeping your roof in good condition. With expert maintenance, a cedar shake or shingle roof can last 30-50 years or longer. If you neglect these inspections, you might need a roof replacement much sooner!
During a roof inspection, your contractor will examine every component of your roofing system for wear and tear. They’ll check for damage and evaluate your roof’s structural integrity. They will also come into your house to check your ceiling, walls, and attic.
If they spot any issues, they can advise you on proactive roof repairs. Fixing a roof as soon as possible can restore your roofing system to peak condition and protect your investment for years to come.
Preserve Your Cedar Roof
Proper cedar roof maintenance and cleaning can go a long way toward keeping your investment looking as good as new. From removing obvious stains to being proactive about inspections and repairs, putting in regular time and effort can even extend your roof’s lifespan!
If you’re hoping to get more out of your cedar roof, partner with the experts at Garlock-French Roofing. With over 80 years of experience, we’re proud to offer expert roof installation and repair services to homeowners throughout the entire Twin Cities area. To get a free estimate, contact us today.