Cedar is a natural insulator against elements in the environment, which is the main reason it is such a great material for your roof. Other materials such as asphalt, slate or aluminum are good, but the thermal resistivity (r-value) is leaps and bounds lower than that of wood. With proper maintenance, your cedar roof should last well over 50 years. At Outdoor Restore, we do things a little differently than traditional cedar cleaning companies. We do not use harsh power-washing tactics and we do not walk on your cedar roof. These common practices can cause damage to both your cedar roof and felt underlayment, which can cause premature roof failure and replacement. Instead, we use a proprietary solution that cleans and hydrates your cedar roof, restoring it back to its original look and quality for roughly 5% of the replacement cost.
We use an environmentally-friendly, soft wash system that is applied from a ladder, then we let that dwell for 15-20 minutes on the shakes as it works its way through the grime and fungi that has accumulated. We then use a simple garden hose and rinse the solution off from that same ladder position. As mentioned above, Outdoor Restore will never walk on your cedar roof or use a power washer to clean it.
Solar radiation damages the cedar shakes and shingles rapidly, and is the most easily seen. Sunlight will cause the color of the cedar shakes and shingles to change from its natural golden hue to a silvery gray. This color change is an indication that the lignin (the natural glue that holds the wood cells together) is breaking down. As the lignin breaks down, tiny cracks in the cedar shakes and shingles occur which allow excess moisture to creep in and create further damage.
Moisture causes the cedar to swell, and then shrink as it dries. This is known as the wet-dry cycle. After repeated wet-dry cycles, the cracks in the cedar from the solar radiation grow larger and deeper. This means even more moisture will get deeper into the shakes and shingles, preventing the cedar from drying quickly. As a result, the shakes and shingles begin to warp.
While cedar contains natural preservatives, these preservatives are depleted over time due to solar radiation and moisture. With the absence of the natural preservatives, wood-destroying fungi (such as white-rot fungi and brown-rot fungi) creep in and start to colonize and grow. In the right environment, these fungi grow rapidly and eat away at the wood. White-rot fungi cause the shakes and shingles to become soft and spongy, while brown-rot fungi cause the shakes and shingles to crack and crumble. Without cleaning the fungi from the cedar roof at the early stages, the shingles and shakes will need to be replaced, and the homeowner risks premature roof failure.
Call us today at 952-466-6846 to schedule a free roof inspection performed by a certified roofing inspector. We’ll provide recommendations on how to prolong the quality of your roof based on your home’s unique environment, including the direction of your home in relation to the sun, large trees or shading and other environmental factors.
Visit our gallery page to see the difference our cedar cleaning process could make on your roof.