Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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Cedar Roof Maintenance


Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance

Many of the Cedar Shake Roofs we are asked to inspect and clean show signs of neglect from lack of proper maintenance.  This is often because the owners of Cedar Shake Roofs are not aware that they need to ensure that the roof is kept clean, the valleys clear of debris, and the roof clear of organic material.

A Cedar Shake Roof will not decay on its own, it requires some outside help, such as organic debris building up and creating an infestation and damp.  It takes moisture combined with an infestation to create the decay that affects cedar shake roofs.

Once the debris is removed and cleaned off the roof it can sometimes occur that an area of the roof will need fixing or changing.  If the roof has been left too long then you may find the cedar shakes have rotted and the felt underlining gets damaged.  The felt protects the roof and the shakes protect the felt.

Proper cedar shake maintenance is simple; making sure the valleys of the roof are clear and there is no build-up of organic material, fungus, algae, brown rot, or fallen debris such as leaves.  These checks can be done at the same time as the gutters are cleaned.

Cedar Shake Roofs need to stay dry in order to function properly and to reach their full potential lifespan.  It is important to keep all tree cover cut back from the cedar roof. Tree cover provides too much shade and moisture which doesn’t allow the cedar roof to breathe and stay dry. Also a cedar roof should have a cleaning every six to eight years, which is subjective. Yearly maintenance of your cedar roof will go along ways to extending the life span of your roof. This is just being pro-active and will save you from a premature roof replacement. So keep the valleys clean of debris, keep any tree cover cut back and have a routine cleaning schedule in place and your cedar roof will last decades.

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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