Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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Cedar Shakes Roof If Not Maintained What Happens

Cedar Shakes Roof If Not Maintained What Happens 850x433


What Happens If I Neglect My Cedar Shake Roof?

Here at Sullivan Cedar Roof Cleaning, we are often asked about the consequences of not maintaining your cedar shake or wood shake roofing; it’s a fair question, so I thought I’d answer it here.

The Clear Answer

Without any doubt, to neglect cleaning your wood shake roof on a regular basis means premature replacement. Half-life replacement is something roofing companies love! It is easy business for them, but it costs you, the roof owner, thousands upon thousands more than simply calling someone up to have your roof regularly cleaned.

A cedar shake roof is made of organic material. You wouldn’t go beyond the recommended time without cleaning your teeth. Why is that? By just having them cleaned and maintained regularly, they will last a whole life! Or we might compare it to why we change oil in a car. Certainly, if we never do, we may only see half its intended life because a car is also something designed to be regularly maintained which is exactly the case with a cedar shake roof.

The Only Roof that Needs Maintenance

Wood roofing happens to be the only kind that absolutely needs regular maintenance. A couple of unbiased sources for this information that I’d like to tell you about are both the USDA Forestry Service and Cedar Shake Bureau. The bottom line is that we are talking about less than 5% of the replacement cost to have your entire wood roof cleaned. And having that done once every eight to ten years will be the difference between having a wood roof replaced prematurely and having a roof that most likely out-lives you or I.

As always, give us a call and we can help you ourselves or set you up with someone in our network of cleaners across the US and Canada who use our proprietary, non-invasive cleaning solution and method that will keep your roofing clean and healthy for years to come!

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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