Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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The Benefits of Owning a Cedar Shake Roof

The Benefits of Owning a Cedar Shake Roof 850x433


It’s no surprise that cedar shakes and shingles have been used as roofing material in this country for centuries. Their beautiful golden hue and fresh cedar smell (when new) are not the only reasons why people have chosen this roofing material. Other than aesthetics, cedar roofs are often chosen for their insulation and their natural preservatives.

Because of their incredibly low weight and density, cedar shakes and shingles provide a superior insulation over other roofing materials. They do an amazing job at keeping the house warm in winter and cool in the summer. According to manufacturers and cedar shakes and shingle associations, it is the preferred roofing material for areas with extreme cold and snowfall. When properly installed, they keep cold air flowing above the felt barrier rather than letting it seep into the attic. Thus, reducing the amount of stress put on your heating unit, and saving you money on costly heating bills.

Cedar is also a very sturdy and durable wood. It is a flat, straight wood, with a low density and shrinkability factor, which helps to make it an ideal roofing material. In addition, cedar (specifically, Western Red Cedar) contains natural preservatives in it’s fibers. Known as thujaplicans and water-soluble phenolics, these natural preservatives make the wood mostly resistant to moisture, decay, and insect damage.

While cedar makes for a great roofing material, it is important to note that it does require maintenance on the part of the homeowner. As the exposed cedar shakes and shingles weather, and are prevented from having their natural wet/dry cycle, the shakes and shingles will begin to deteriorate. For more information on weathering and maintenance of your cedar roof, check out our Homeowner’s Guide of Maintaining Your Cedar Shake Roof.

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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