Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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What Is the Junk on My Cedar Shakes Roof?

What Is The Junk On My Cedar Shakes Roof 850x433


What is the Junk on My Roof?

Here at Sullivan Cedar Roof Cleaning, one of the most commonly asked questions has to do with what all the build-up is on your wood shake roof. Simply put, the junk, gunk and debris on your roof is most likely a combination of any of the following infestations:

  • moss
  • lichen
  • British Soldiers (mushroom like growths, which are hard to remove)
  • tanning (black bumpy film, which comes out of the wood and is also hard to remove)
  • dark brown fungi
  • mildew
  • algae
  • saplings (which grow out of the dirt between shingles)

What Do These Infestations Do to My Roof?

As they grow on and into the roof, the wood becomes soft and eventually vulnerable. Being organic, over time these infestations get lodged in-between the breathing spaces of the shingles and are eventually planted in that dirt and on the wood. The problem arises when you don’t have it cleaned soon after this these infestations grow and feed on the wood, leading to decomposition over time. Your roof will then be in need of a partial or complete replacement many decades before it would have otherwise.

How Can Sullivan Cedar Roof Cleaning Help?

What Sullivan Cedar Roof Cleaning can do here is to help educate you on how to maintain the only kind of roofing that needs regular maintenance. As I’m sure you’ve been able to tell so far you’ve come to the right place! Although this kind of roofing does need maintenance, it’s of course also considered one of the finest and most beautiful roofs available now it’s up to you to find out exactly what is needed to keep it looking beautiful for decades to come!

Sullivan Cedar Roof Cleaning uses a Soft-Wash process that removes the infestations without any invasive pressure washing, and without walking on your fine wood shake roofing. Contact us today for an estimate. If you are outside of our area, contact us anyway and we’ll put you in touch with the right kind of roofing cleaner in your area!


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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