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Cedar Roof Cleaning Myths: Debunking Common Misconceptions

Cedar Roof Cleaning Myths


Your home’s cedar roof is a valuable investment, providing beauty and protection to your home for years. However, to ensure it remains in good condition, you need to clean and maintain it regularly. Unfortunately, there are several common myths about cedar roof cleaning that can lead homeowners to make the wrong decisions and even cause damage to their roof. In this article, we’ll debunk some of the most prevalent cedar roof cleaning myths to help you properly care for your roof and protect your investment.

Roof Cleaning Myth #1: You should pressure wash your cedar shingle roof

Pressure washing is a popular method of cleaning for many homeowners, but it’s not suitable for cedar shingle roofs. Cedar is a softwood, and high-pressure water can easily damage it, leaving it vulnerable to leaks and other issues. Instead, you should use a gentle washing method, such as a low-pressure wash or soft-bristle brush, to clean your cedar roof. This will remove any dirt or moss buildup without causing any damage to the shingles.

Roof Cleaning Myth #2: Cedar shingles are maintenance-free

While cedar shingles are a durable and long-lasting roofing material, they do require some maintenance to keep them in good condition. Neglecting to maintain your cedar roof can lead to moss, algae, and other organic growth that can damage the shingles and cause leaks. Regular cleaning, treatment, and maintenance by a professional roofing company can help ensure your cedar roof lasts for decades.

Cedar Myth #1: Cedar roofs are prone to moss and algae growth

Many homeowners believe that cedar roofs are more prone to moss and algae growth than other roofing materials. While it’s true that cedar roofs can be more susceptible to these issues than asphalt shingles or tile roofs, proper maintenance can prevent and control moss and algae growth. Regular cleaning and treatment can help keep your cedar roof looking great and prevent any damage from moss or algae.

Cedar Myth #2: Cedar shingles are easily damaged

Cedar shingles are actually very durable and can last for up to 30 years or more with proper maintenance. While they may be more susceptible to damage from high winds or falling debris than other roofing materials, they are not easily damaged under normal circumstances. However, neglecting regular maintenance can leave cedar shingles vulnerable to damage from moss, algae, and other organic growth, as well as from leaks and other issues.

Algae Myth #1: Algae growth on your roof is harmless

Many homeowners believe that algae growth on their roof is harmless and can be left alone. However, algae can actually cause damage to your roof over time, especially if it’s left to grow unchecked. Algae can trap moisture, which can cause shingles to deteriorate and lead to leaks and other issues. Regular cleaning and treatment can help prevent algae growth and keep your roof in good condition.

Algae Myth #2: Pressure washing is the best way to remove algae from your roof

As we mentioned earlier, pressure washing is not suitable for cedar shingle roofs, and it’s also not the best way to remove algae. High-pressure water can actually force algae deeper into the shingles, making it more difficult to remove. Instead, a gentle cleaning method, such as a low-pressure wash or soft-bristle brush, is more effective at removing algae and preventing damage to your roof.

Soft Washing Myth: Soft Washing Chemicals Are Dangerous

Contrary to the misconception, soft washing chemicals are not inherently dangerous when used properly. Soft washing is a safe and effective method for cleaning various surfaces, such as roofs and sidings. The key lies in the correct application and dilution of these chemicals. Professional soft washers are trained to handle these substances responsibly, minimizing any risks associated with their use. Like any cleaning process, adherence to guidelines and precautions ensures a secure and successful outcome.

Importance of Proper Cedar Roof Maintenance

As a homeowner, it’s essential to understand the importance of proper cedar roof maintenance. Neglecting your roof can lead to issues such as moss and algae growth, damage to your shingles, leaks, and damage to your gutters. Regular cleaning and maintenance by a professional roofing company can help keep your cedar roof in good condition and extend its lifespan.

Call Us for Professional Cedar Roof Maintenance & Cleaning

In conclusion, there are several common cedar roof cleaning myths that can lead homeowners to make the wrong decisions and even cause damage to their roof. It’s important to understand that cedar shingles require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition, and that pressure washing and neglecting maintenance can cause damage to your roof. Regular cleaning, treatment, and maintenance by a professional roofing company can help ensure your cedar roof lasts for decades.

At Sullivan, we have years of experience providing professional cedar roof maintenance services. Our team of experts knows how to properly clean and maintain your cedar roof to keep it in great condition for years to come. Whether you need a gentle cleaning or more extensive repairs, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule your cedar roof maintenance appointment and ensure your roof stays in top shape.

Read More:

Cedar or Redwood: Which is the Best Choice for Your Outdoor Projects?

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Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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