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

Can I Put Solar Panels on Cedar Shake Roof?

Can I Put Solar Panels on Cedar Shake Roof

You’re looking into solar panels on cedar shake roof; one of the first questions that come up is if solar panels work on cedar shake roofs.

Yes, as a homeowner you can install solar panels on your Cedar Shake Roof!

Solar energy technology has advanced to the point that installing solar panels on roofs can work well on wood shake roofs just as it works on an asphalt shingle roof or any other type.

New solar power panels can be put on any roof, not just roofs made of cedar shakes or shingles, metal roofs, wood shakes, asphalt shingle roofs, or tiles.  If you are concerned about the look of solar panels on your roof, solar panel manufacturers offer a large variety of different shapes and styles.

Roofing contractors also suggest the latest installation of solar power panels that best suits the design and requirement of your cedar roof. The best idea is to consult for the better option that best suits your cedar wood shakes.

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Preparing Your Roof for the Solar Panels

Before you start to add the solar panels to your cedar shake roof it is worth having it professionally cleaned so that it will be 10 years +/- before you need to have it cleaned again. A clean roof will ensure that it is prepared and ready to have the installation added. If the roof is dirty and infested at the beginning this is only going to decay as the years pass. Bruce Sullivan offers professional cedar shake roof cleaning.

Washing Moss off Cedar Shake Roof

Are Solar Panels Resilient?

Solar panels are designed to withstand extreme heat and cold at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Celsius. They are installed on top of the existing structure of the cedar shingle roof. Many solar panel manufacturers also offer warranties on their products that last 20 years or longer in order to offer reassurance.

The solar cells that make up solar panels are well protected through reinforced glass coverings. This will protect the panel from hailstones and high winds and many other situations.  Damage to the frame; which is often aluminum, will only affect the solar cells to an extremely limited extent, if at all.

You may have heard that solar panels are permanent fixtures that cannot be moved, but that is simply not true anymore. Solar panels can be fixed using special fastenings that will allow their easy removal should they be needed. If you have a professional install your solar panels, you can request this.

Cedar Shake Roof Solar panels?

There are several solar panel choices and each type has its own set of considerations when it comes to installation. If you are considering solar energy for your home, solar tiles or solar shingles are an excellent choice. Cedarwood roofs go best with solar panel installation. However, two types of solar power systems are available for roof owners:

1. Solar Power Panels

Solar panels are also typically mounted at an angle off of flat roof surfaces. Cedar shake roofs are always pitched so can work well with solar panels angled towards the sun. Solar panels are fairly easy to replace, even on wood shake roofs. Solar panel installations are also fairly easy to carry out due to their modular design. This also allows for them to be replaced as necessary.

2. Solar Shingle Roofs

Solar shingles (also known as solar roof tiles) used to be more expensive than solar panels per area covered for power generation, but solar shingles may actually be more efficient overall due to design modifications and technological improvements.

Installing Solar Panels on Cedar Shake Roof

Installing Solar Panels on Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake roofs are great because they look great and protect your home. Solar panels installed on your cedar roof help you have an energy-efficient smart home that is eco-friendly and also saves money on your energy bills.

However, the installation of solar panels on cedarwood shakes is slightly different than on asphalt shingles. Different techniques of installing solar panels with proper methods are required for the best roof and better energy-efficient home.

Moreover, as a proper roof installation helps you increase the lifespan of cedar shakes, the same installation technique goes with the solar panel installation with the framing structure.

1. Solar Trackers

Solar panels are typically installed on solar trackers, which help angle a solar panel to face the sun throughout the day. The point of solar panels is to maximize solar power, so you’ll be able to maximize solar panel efficiency with solar trackers to adjust solar panels as the sun changes across the sky.

2. Layers of Underlayment

The installation technique for shake roofs is essentially the same, with underlayment layers between the cedar shake rows for safety issues.

3. Lag Bolts

During the installation of solar panels, the roofing experts will initially insert lag bolts into the roof’s framing structure flashing underneath. This method helps to avoid any damage to the roofing material itself.

4. Mount Panels

The solar panels are then fastened to your home’s rafters and not the roof, so you won’t have to worry about whether the panels will harm the roof or be too heavy and damage the building. Mounting systems help you ground mount the panels or lay directly to the roof surface for direct sunlight.

5. No Excessive Weight

Solar panels are considerably lighter than comparable technologies and roofing materials, weighing only 4 pounds per square foot when fitted over existing roofing. There’s also no danger of exceeding the weight limit.

6. Strong Seal

The underlayment is then flipped and secured using a waterproofing compound or high-grade sealant. A flashing seal is formed when the overlying layer of underlayment is maneuvered beneath the previous layer of underlayment, creating a solid seal for the roof. The solar consultants will seal your installation with a high-quality sealant to prevent any leaks at the end.

7. Duration

Overall, the installation process takes one to two days but this is dependent on how many panels you need to be added.

Maintenance of Solar Panels

Solar panels can be installed on cedar shake roofs as they are sturdy and durable, and are still best suited for roof aspects that are facing into the sun. Solar panels will require some cleaning in order to ensure the most efficient energy gain from your solar panel installation. Solar panel installations require proper maintenance and care by the homeowners to keep functioning with better results and outputs, if this is neglected the output will fall.

1. Regular Inspection

Regular inspection helps you find out if any tree leaves, algae or other debris is not there that can affect the functionality of the panels.

2. Proper Cleaning

Roof panels need a proper cleaning if dust, leaves, pollen, or other material gets stuck on the panels. Cleaning solar panels will help you out to get better functioning of panels.

3. Sun and Shade Monitoring

Roof panels function best when they are directed to direct sunlight exposure. However, tree branches can hinder sunlight exposure and can cause shade on the panels. Panels need to be angled properly for better functioning and tree branches need proper trimming over time.

4. Monitoring of Energy usage

Solar panels are installed for energy conservation and you need to monitor carefully the energy consumption and electricity bills to check the optimal functioning of panels.


Finally, solar panels can actually increase the value of your home.  Solar panels not only allow your home to be that little bit greener but they also save you money on your energy bill.

Call Bruce today and prepare your roof for your solar panel roofing installation.

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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