Natural cedar shake roof tiles are materials that have been used for centuries in achieving stunning roof designs. They have insulative qualities and wind and impact resistance. If you’re a cedar roof owner, you’re probably aware of the aesthetic appeal they give to a house. All these characteristics are what make these roofing materials a go-to for homeowners.
As if all these features weren’t enough, natural cedar shakes contain oils that make them inclined to be decay-resistant. However, this doesn’t mean they do not need to be maintained and in more humid environments they tend to need an extra layer of care and protection.
In this article we’ll dive into the treatment of cedar shakes, is it something that should be done at all? We’ll talk about getting the quality of these roofing materials right from the start to avoid spending money on avoidable maintenance charges and, we’ll highlight alternative options for treating cedar shakes.
What is a Cedar Roof?
Before we dive into the debate of whether treating is a good option for cedar roofs, it’s important to know what these materials are made of. Cedar roofs and shingles are made from natural wood, such as western red cedar, which has been split and cut into thin strips.
These roofing materials have become popular due to the longevity they offer; when installed correctly, they can last up to 30 years or more, and because it’s a natural product, they are also environmentally friendly.
Key Features Of a Cedar Shake Roof
Here are some key features you need to know about cedar.
- Natural material: made from cedar wood, which is a naturally durable and rot-resistant species.
- Textured appearance: the rough, irregular surface of cedar shakes gives them a rustic, natural look.
- Insulative properties: cedar shakes have good insulative properties, helping to keep buildings warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Lightweight: cedar shakes are relatively lightweight, making them easy to install and handle during roofing projects.
- Biodegradable: cedar shakes are biodegradable, meaning they will eventually decompose and return to the earth.
- Can be painted or stained to match the color scheme of your house.
- Can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.
Getting it Right From the Start
When it comes to this type of roof and its maintenance, buying quality cedar shakes or shingles right off the bat can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you opt for fake or cheap cedar, however, you may find yourself dealing with more issues in the future due to damage caused by weather and wear and tear. Investing in original cedar shakes will not only provide better protection for your home but will also save you money over the years due to its low maintenance requirements.
Should I Treat My Cedar Shake Roof?
If you want my expert opinion, the simple answer is No. Cedar is a soft wood that can “breathe”. This means it can contract and expand with changes in temperature and humidity. Treating the wood interferes with its natural breathing ability and can reduce its longevity drastically.
How to Prepare a Cedar Shake Roof For Treatment
If you’re still convinced that treatment is what your roof needs then here are some tips on getting it prepared and how to avoid damaging your shakes during treatment.
- Take away any debris, which includes leaves, sticks, dirt as well as mildew, moss, and leaves.
- Restore any damaged rotten or damaged cement shake tile.
- Clear the gutters so that they enable better drainage.
- Get the shakes clean by using an acidic cleaning solution or bleach mix.
- Let the cedar shakes dry completely.
- Use a stiff-bristled brush to take away any loose pieces of wood and old fibers.
- Clean any fibers or dust by using a dry paintbrush.
Select The Best Product for Roof Care
Instead of treating your roof, you can always choose to protect it by adding a covering. We’ll discuss some options available for cedar roofs. These coverings offer multiple benefits including UV and water resistance. Some provide protection and colors to shakes.
The best product to choose is dependent on the climate as well as the individual requirements of your home. It’s also possible to select products that are used in conjunction with roof maintenance and pick a cleaning company to maintain your roof.
Cedar Shake Roof Coverings
- Paint: Cedar shakes are painted and some paints have mildewcide, algaecide, and fungicides to prevent rotting and pests. Some paints are also protected against fire to shield the house from fire.
- Stain: The stain on cedar shakes not only provides color to a shaky roof, but it will also shield the roof from ultraviolet rays as well as help the roof get rid of water and humidity.
- Water Protection: Water damage can be extended to the cedar shake roof when it’s not handled correctly. Applying a water-resistant coating to the roof of a cedar shake can aid in the elimination of water and moisture that should be removed and could create damage to the roofing which includes mold, rot, and mildew. It can also affect the structural integrity of the structure of the roof.
- UV-Protection: As a precautionary measure, applying UV protection to the roof of a cedar shake can prevent shakes from cracking, cupping, or splitting and curving. UV radiation may cause discoloration, but the application of UV protection can lessen the risk of all this.
- Fire Protection: Because they are made from wood, cedar shakes are susceptible to fire-related damage and can be restricted due to their low fire-resistant properties. A cedar shake roof covered with products that are fire resistant can safeguard the roof as well as your entire house should it be subjected to flames.
What Happens if I Don’t Properly Treat My Cedar Shakes?
Inadequately treating the roof of a cedar shake can cause a variety of negative consequences. Cedar shakes may break, warp, cup, and split as a result of the sun’s rays as well as freeze and thaw cycles. The excess moisture in shakes can cause them to weaken and rot, and eventually cause water to seep through the structure, weakening its build and resulting in leaks inside the house.
As well as damaging the roof, damaged shingles can create an ugly appearance that can reduce the appearance of your home. They can also impact your resale value when you are trying to sell your house and may prevent prospective buyers from securing certain kinds of financing.
The Best Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance Advice
Sometimes all your cedar shake roof needs is a good wash to restore it to its original shape. We offer premium roof cleaning services that are backed with our unique cedar shake cleaning formula. It is tested, trusted, and guaranteed to remove all your roof’s woes. When you choose us, your cedar shake roof is in good hands. However, if you decide that treating your cedar shakes is the right option for you, finding a seasoned professional to get the job done would be a better option. It’s safer and this will prevent your Cedar shakes from getting damaged any further.