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

Weathered Cedar Shingles & Shakes: Everything You Need to Know in 2022

Weathered Cedar Shingles & Shakes Everything You Need to Know in 2021

Advantages of Weathered Cedar Shingles and Shakes

Cedar Shakes and Shingles have several advantages, including aesthetics, durability, and insulation. When aged, their gray tone offers your roof an even more distinctive appearance that complements a variety of architectural types.

Weathered Cedar Shingles

What is the Difference Between Weathered Cedar Shingles and Shakes, and New Wood Shake and Shingles?

Weathered Cedar Shingles and Shakes are precisely what their name implies: Weathered Cedar Shingles. When exposed to sunlight and moisture, weathering occurs naturally.

Wood shingles and shakes, which are typically constructed of cedar but are also available in various other woods such as Southern Pine and Redwood.

Along with Cedar, both these other kinds of wood can be utilized for a variety of purposes.

For hundreds of years, wood has been the preferred roofing material, and it continues to be so today. They’re ideal for people looking for a cost-effective approach to show their home’s unique personality on the outside. True wood shake/shingles have the following benefits:

  • They’re stunning. Weathered Cedar Shingles have a natural beauty that synthetic products cannot match.
  • They keep their original proportions. Cedar is a low-density wood with little shrinking and the ability to maintain its original dimensions in humid areas.
  • The installations are long-lasting. Cedar shake/shingles are long-lasting because they lay flat, keep straight, and hold their fastenings well.
  • They are extremely resistant to the elements. Natural preservatives in cedar wood shingles help it resist moisture, insect damage, and UV radiation. It also has a lower moss development rate than many other types of roofing materials. Cedar shake/shingles can also be treated to prevent fire and fungal growth, as well as bug and moss infestations even when weathered.
  • They’re straightforward to work with. Lightweight, long lengths of cedar wood shingles with straight, fine grains and homogeneous textures make up cedar shingles and shakes. These characteristics make it simple to saw, cut, and nail cedar shingles.
  • They can be finished in a variety of ways. Paint and solid coatings, as well as stains and fine oils, can be applied on cedar shingles and shakes. The most effective way to apply these finishes is at the mill when they are cut. You can extend the life of your shingles while also making your roof look brand new by staining them.
  • They’re powerful. Cedar is one of the hardest woods on the planet, therefore it will assist strengthen the structural integrity of your roof.
  • They provide insulation. Cedar is naturally insulating, which means it will keep cool air inside during the summer and warm air inside during the winter. This will make your home more pleasant while also saving money on heating and cooling. It has twice the insulating value of asphalt shingles.
  • They add to the curb appeal of your home. Weathered Cedar shingles and shakes have many functional benefits, but they also have a natural, timeless aesthetic that will improve your home’s curb appeal. The color of weathered cedar shingles and shakes is a distinctive grayish silver.
  • They have a lengthy lifespan. Cedar has a 40- to 60-year lifespan, which is significantly longer than asphalt shingles, making it cost-competitive with asphalt shingles over time.
  • They’re also good for the environment. Salvaged trees, or trees that have fallen over due to a storm or old age, are frequently used to make cedar shingles and shakes. When the shingles and shakes have outlived their usefulness, they can be recycled into mulch, compost, and wood chips.

What is Cedar Weathering and How Does it Work?

“Weathering” is a natural process that occurs when wood is exposed to the weather for an extended period and undergoes a variety of chemical and physical changes.

Some people mistakenly believe that weathering and deterioration are the same thing, although the two are not. When moss or fungi grow on the surface of the wood, it decays. This happens when the moisture level of the wood is very high.

The principal component that causes changes on the wood’s surface throughout the weathering process is sunshine. Wind, dampness, heat, cold, and abrasion caused by particles pushed by the wind are all possible additional factors. The sun, on the other hand, is the principal source of wood deterioration.

The ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of sunlight has the most impact on the wood’s surface, and after just a few days of bright weather, a photochemical reaction will begin to modify the wood’s outer layer. The UV spectrum of sunlight has enough energy to break down and affect the structure of wood, which is why, if you wish to paint your siding, you must do so shortly after it’s placed.

The weathering process does not proceed at a consistent rate after it has begun. The chemical changes that occur in the wood act as a natural preservative, extending the life of the wood. Although the grain structure of some types of wood may prevent this, wood with tight grains should be able to withstand the elements for many years.

Cedar shingles and shakes are organic in nature and therefore need to be maintained. On average, they should be cleaned about every 7 to 10 years. This is subjective to the region and climate.

The sun is setting behind a tree in a field.
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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