Author Archives: Hank Detorre

About Hank Detorre

Hello I have been a carpenter for 40 of my last 60 years on earth and I know wood and its qualities well. I have written several nationally recognized articles on wood restoration and the proper method of exterior lumber care.

Cedar Roof General Maintenance




cedar roofs are unique


There are important factors to consider when planning on doing maintenance for a cedar roof. Cedar roofing requires very particular methods on upkeep that you wouldn’t need to consider on asphalt, tile and other roofing types.

When making decisions on the right service plan, it is crucial to understand how cedar roofs age, how they weather and why shingles buckle,crack and cup. Questions to ask yourself during the deciding phase of the right plan for your cedar roof are:

What is General / Preventative Maintenance ?

If your roof is still in good shape general / preventative maintenance can keep it in that condition. Preventative maintenance at PW&G consists of:

  • An inspection that covers all areas of the roof. Specifically areas where water intrusion is common.[1]
  • A blow off of debris. It is important to keep cedar roofing free from pine needles and leaves as these can seriously damage roofing.
  • Spraying an organic chemical compound to kill any moss and its root system.[2]
  • A check of the gutter system along the roofline and a thorough cleaning when necessary. 

These services can prevent many of the issues that cause cedar roofing to fail. Cracked, cupped and warped boards all start with excess moisture, preventing cedar from breathing. From its installation method and throughout its life cycle cedar must be able to dry off and release excess moisture.

Anything that prevents cedar from breathing is the primary culprit in the majority of all cedar roof failures. In our opinion culprit number 2 would be the excess stress cedar must go through to release that excess moisture and it’s why we are firm proponents of oiling cedar roofs to prolong their lives. 

In summary we have created this short post to help you in making an informed decision about the correct maintenance program for your cedar roof. We hope you have many years of life left in your cedar roofing, as many of these types of roofs are beginning to disappear as a roofing option all throughout Western Washington and the nation. We believe the maintenance required to keep a cedar roof in top shape is a fair exchange for the insulation benefits, the beauty and the appeal cedar roofs give a home.

Reference and Informational Material


[1] System components checked during an inspection are: The ridge caps, the field or body of the roof , connections to vent pipes and vent hoods , skylights and areas around chimneys.

[2] Our Preferred Chemical Application for Moss Control 

[3] A really great video by the guys at roof to deck on the care and appeal of cedar roofing. 

[4] The Cedar Bureaus Maintenance Program Manual 

[5] Why Wood Roofs Weather 

[6] How Cedar Roofs are Installed Diagram 

[7] Our Take on Why Cedar Needs Oiling

[8] In All Fairness. Why Cedar Roofs Don’t Need Oiling PDF . You Decide

[9] After the Quest. Decisions on Wood Appearance



Adding a pigment to oil



Cedar_Roof_West_Seattle_ Before and AfterWe recently completed a cedar roof restoration in Shoreline, WA. The use of 2 different pigments gave the roof a natural wood look. One of the things I never liked about adding stains to wood is how unnatural the even color looks on a roof. We kept the oil that we always recommend but added just a little bit of tint . The overall appearance was night and day as can be seen from the photos below.


ChevronThe use of a pigment when oiling a cedar roof goes along way in both protecting the roof and making the appearance uniform. When cleaning sometimes up to 3000 square feet of roofing , you will definitely miss small spots or have off coloring due to either patches in the wood or just the color differences some pieces of shake have when you’re done cleaning. The pigment helps blend in any darker spots and when mixed with our preferred brand of shake oil , gives the roof a look I have never seen before on any stained cedar roof before.

One of my favorite things to see is the look on the customers face when we are done oiling and adding pigment. Most of the time its pure shock that we could get the roof looking this way again.I am always surprised myself in the big differences either a little less oil, or pigment can have on a roof.

There are many stains who try giving this appearance to a roof but they fall short in their levels of protection , like a cedar oil does. We discussed the benefits of oiling a cedar roof in this post.


Cedar_Roof_Seattle_Experience plays a key role in darkening and lightening certain areas of the roof when you are staining it. There are times Ill slightly mix up the ratio of oil-lacquer thinner and pigment to give the roof an off color. Other times depending on the coloring of the siding, Ill add a natural cedar and also a smaller amount of blonde stain to the mix to really mix it up. What’s left is a finished product like the one above , where 2 different colors created a unique and natural wood look.

Wood Brightening After Cleaning

Pressure Washing a Deck Seattle


110312_0553_DeckRestora4.jpgIn our earlier post deck restoration Seattle, I discussed on one key issue that is often overlooked when going about cleaning a deck. Wood brightening after cleaning is essential to the cleaning process for a few important reasons such as:

  • It prevents dulling of the wood from harsh cleaning chemicals.
  • It stops and neutralizes the chemicals from further penetrating the wood pores.
  • It dramatically ups the appearance of the finished product.


WOOD FURRING-1When cleaning a wood surface, not using a proper pre-cleaning solution can actually damage the wood and cause massive furring.

Furring is the look wood gets from being cleaned harshly, the appearance looks like someone dropped a wool coat on your deck. Obviously no one wants a wood deck they can’t even walk on!

When wood is about to be cleaned its to get rid of moss, algae or weathering. Without addressing those issues that brought about the first cleaning, your left with a deck that might look clean but still has those moss and algae spores deep within its grain. Often times a light solution of bleach can get rid of those spores, but those chemicals can be very damaging to the woods surface. A milder solution is oxygen bleach also known as sodium bicarbonate .This green chemical does exactly what bleach does without causing damage.


pressure wash iconAfter a proper cleaning solution has been applied to the deck and a thorough cleaning has been done it is very important to neutralize the effects of the cleaning solution. 

A brightening agent such as Oxalic Acid or Citric Acid works both to brighten and neutralize the cleaning solution. It is very important to make wood brightening after cleaning a step that isn’t missed when restoring your deck or roof. Visit to avail their wood brightening and furniture restoration services at affordable prices.

When considering doing-it-yourself always make sure you are using the proper chemicals to get the job done the right way. Information and fact-finding can get you a long way from destroying your deck or injuring yourself.


Cedar Roof Restoration Bellevue


Cedar is a great product to have as a roof covering. With a proper maintenance plan, the roof can last many years and even decades. Bellevue, Washington is home to many residences that have cedar as a roof covering. Many of these homes in Bellevue have shake roofs that are 20-40 years old!


Although cedar is durable and requires little attention, a total lack of maintenance can seriously hamper the roofs’ life. Proper maintenance consists of:

  • Blowing leaves and debris off the roof.
  • Repairing damaged ridge cap and shingles.
  • Periodic power-washing and cleaning of the surface of the cedar shakes.
  • UV protection every 3-5 years.
  • The application of moss killing chemicals or zinc ridge caps.

Following a basic maintenance plan, can give you the full life cycle of your roofing. It may even prolong the roof way past its life expectancy. There is no method to restore a cedar roof in Bellevue,which has gone long periods of time without maintenance.


Cedar_Roof_Cleaning_SeattlepropAlthough, your roof may look like it is past the point of a restoration; a safe bet would be to have a contractor give an opinion on whether it is salvageable. If the roofing substrate is not completely damaged and rotted, there is still hope for a cedar roof. The restoration process consists of:

    1. Cleaning
    2. Repairing Damaged Boards
    3. Neutralizing and Revitalizing
    4. Oiling
    5. Installing Zinc Strips or washing with potassium salts


eye glassWhen comparing the cost of a restoration to a having a new roof installed; restoration is also very economical.The cost of a restoration is about 10% of cost of a roof replacement. On average a 2500 square foot home with a cedar roof in Bellevue can be restored for about $2000 plus ridge and shakes. That same size home can cost upwards of $25,000 to have replaced. As you can see the benefits of restoring make a lot of sense. If you have questions on whether your roof is able to be restored or you just don’t like the look of greying, weathered and dirty Cedar roofing, give us a call. We are experts at cedar roof restoration in Bellevue.


We provide cedar roof cleaning and oiling to the following cities:

Alderwood- Ames Lake- Arlington -Auburn- Ballard- Bellevue-Belltown-Bothell-Bridle Trails-Brier-Burien-Covington Crossroads -Des Moines-Edgewood-Edmonds-Everett-Evergreen-Fall City-Federal Way-Ferndale-Granite Falls-Hunts Point-Issaquah-Issaquah Highlands-Juanita-Kenmore-Kent-Kingsgate-Kirkland-La Conner-Lake City-Lake Forest Park-Lake Goodwin-Lake Stevens-Lynnwood Madison Park-Magnolia-Maltby-Maple Valley-Marysville-Medina-Mercer Island-Mill Creek-Monroe-Mountlake Terrace-Mukilteo Newcastle-North Bend-Overlake-Parkland-Puyallup-Rainier Valley-Redmond-Renton-Rose Hill-Sammamish-Sand Point-SeaTac Seattle-Sedro-Woolley-Shoreline-Smokey Point-Snohomish-Snoqualmie-Spanaway-Stanwood-Tacoma-Totem Lake-Tukwila -University Place-White Center-Woodinville-Yarrow Point

Deck Restoration Methods and Means

deck restoration seattle coupon



Soft Wash IconWood deck restoration Seattle is the process of bringing back the natural appearance to wooden structures such as cedar roofs, cedar decks, gazebos and patio furniture. The climate in Seattle is wet, damp and lacking in sunlight; this leads wooden decks to develop:

  • Moss, Fungus and Lichen.
  • Micro cracks from the stresses of constant rain and sporadic sunlight.
  • Weathering: wood uses weathering to protect itself from our climate.

Although your wood deck in Seattle may look like it needs replacing, most of the time a restoration can bring it back to life. The process of wood deck restoration Seattle is accomplished using certain tools and chemicals and done in a certain order. The first step would be a survey of the structure to be restored.



magnifying glassBefore starting any restoration project a survey of the structure must be done. Some common questions asked by wood restoration experts are:

  • What type of wood is the deck, gazebo or roof made of?
  • What type of maintenance was previously done? If the wood structure has been previously stained, a different procedure would be called for.
  • Is the damage to the wooden structure on a surface level or will boards and shingles need to be replaced?
  • Is the structure infected by moss and lichen or black algae? If so a treatment before cleaning must be done to rid the deck of these.
  • What is most cost effective to the customer and what procedure will last the longest?

By starting with a good survey it gives both the customer and the restoration expert the opportunity to take the measured steps required in bringing back the wooden structure to its original appearance. Different types of wood require different types of cleaning procedures and chemicals. The woods condition and its current appearance will give the restoration company, a starting point on what needs to be done next.



There are steps to properly restoring wood. Certain chemicals are used for each step in the process; wood restoration is also done in a standard order:



110312_0553_DeckRestora3.jpgDepending on what the deck restoration Seattle expert believes is appropriate for cleaning; the deck, gazebo or roof is usually sprayed with a mixture of oxygen bleach or a trisodium/sodium hypochlorite cocktail. Unlike Seattle expert which offer various services, if you are looking for a company that solely experts in providing power washing services then you should learn more about Hanover powerwashing pros. This is done to lessen the amount of time it will take to power wash the structure. Power washing by the expert is done with the utmost care to limit the furring of the wood, usually at a PSI of 1000 or lower for wood structures. Benefit more from York powerwashing pros!


Deck Restoration SeattleThe process of brightening can be accomplished with either oxalic acid or citric acid or a brightening agent of the restoration experts choosing. This process also helps to neutralize the effects of having used heavy cleaners on wood. It also helps to bring out the woods natural color and grain patterns.


An-oiled-cedar-roofAfter brightening and neutralizing your deck or roof, a sealer, stain or weatherproofing product should be applied to extend the life of the cleaning and protect the wooden structure from UV rays and rain. Sealcoatimg forms an integral part of the repair and renovation process, since they prevent harmful rays and other forces of nature from eroding crucial surfaces (check out to learn more)The product can vary by the customers or restoration experts’ opinion on the best method for the type of structure. For instance, a cedar roof would receive an oiling while a deck would receive a stain with rain and UV inhibitors.

Appearance and the customers concerns also determine the right product to use. There are many products out there today that contain algae resistant chemicals and coloring to add both protection and improved appearance to the cleaned, brightened and stained wooden deck, roof, gazebo or furniture.


Seattle is home to over 150 days of rain a year. Moss, Lichen and mold are a problem we are constantly battling to control. Decks are an inviting environment for the growth of moss and lichen, and are also victims to the effects of weathering. Proper care and maintenance of wooden structures should be done on a yearly basis. Choosing the right chemicals, tools and procedures can either enhance or ruin a deck. Whether you are considering doing-it-yourself or are seeking a professional for advice you are welcome to call us with any questions or concerns.