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:
- Is the roof showing signs of weathering? For an explanation on why shakes turn grey and why this is important on deciding on a maintenance plan check out this post.
- Has the roof been oiled in the last 3-5 years? For why oiling a cedar roof is important read up on oiling here.
- Is their moss present on the roof above ¾ of an inch? To understand how moss destroys roofing read our post here.
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.
- 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.
- 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
 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.
 In All Fairness. Why Cedar Roofs Don’t Need Oiling PDF . You Decide
 After the Quest. Decisions on Wood Appearance