Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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How to Avoid a Cedar Shakes Roof Cleaning Scam

How to Avoid a Cedar Shakes Roof Cleaning Scam 850x433


Every homeowner wants to hire the right contractor for the job, but how can the homeowner be sure they are hiring someone they can trust? Cedar shakes roof cleaning is no different from any other home improvement project; there are both reputable and shoddy roof cleaners offering their services. Anyone can buy a ladder, a truck, and a washer and call himself a cedar shakes roof cleaner. In order to avoid a scam and hire a professional roof cleaner, follow the rules below.

Say What You’ll Do and Do What You Say

This sounds simple enough, but unfortunately, not every cedar roof cleaner abides by this motto. Don’t just take the contractor’s word for it, take their customers’ word for it. Check their websites for testimonials. Ask for references, and actually contact those references. Look for reviews on the Better Business Bureau, and homeowner repair sites such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. Take the time to find out as much as you can about the roof cleaner’s previous jobs. Be wary of anyone who does not have any testimonials, reviews, or is hesitant to give you more than one reference; there is most likely a reason why.

Better Safe than Sorry

Since cedar shakes roof cleaners spend most of their day up on ladders, they should be insured for the homeowners protection. Don’t just ask IF they are insured, ask to SEE proof of insurance. Don’t take their word for it. All it takes is a call to the insurance company to validate that the roof cleaner is insured. The last thing a homeowners needs is to have a contractor cleaning the roof, fall off the ladder, break his back, and wind up being sued because the roof cleaner’s insurance lapsed.

Bruce Cleaning

Knowledge is Power

Cedar shakes and shingles are a unique roofing material that require a specific technique for cleaning and maintenance. The more the homeowner knows about how to properly care for their cedar, the better they are at choosing the right roof cleaner. Do not be afraid to ask the roof cleaner to explain his technique. The cleaning should be only be done from a ladder to avoid accidents and damage. The roof cleaner should never walk on the shakes and shingles. Nothing more than garden hose pressure should be used on cedar shakes and shingles. High pressure cleaners should never be used. Avoid terms like pressure washed and low-pressure, as this can easily damage the cedar shakes and shingles. Ask how they intend to protect the landscaping. The roof cleaner should take the time to protect the landscaping from dirty runoff and any excess water. The cedar shakes roof cleaner should easily and specifically be able to describe their method, and why they use this method.

By following these three rules, the homeowner can be confident that the roof cleaner they are hiring to clean their cedar shakes roof is profession, reputable, honest, and will get the job done without risk to the homeowner. If the homeowner takes the time to find the right roof cleaner for the job, they will be happy with the end results, and know their cedar shakes roof will receive the care and attention it deserves.

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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