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How to Properly Maintain Your Cedar Shake Roof in Oregon

cedar roofCedar shake roofing is beautiful and resilient making them a fantastic choice when it comes to roofing and siding material. The oil in your cedar shake shingles gives them a natural resistance to decay. Cedar also provides insulation as well as impact resistance to high winds and falling debris. All of these qualities mean that cedar shake shingles are a premium product and can be more costly than other types of shingling. For this reason, it is important to properly maintain your cedar roof as it weathers and ages.

Cedar shake roofing, if properly maintained, will remain in good condition and last 40 to 60 years. To promote a full and healthy life for your roof, you should clean it before each wet season. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you conduct a deep cleaning every five years. If you put off this cleaning for too long, you will begin to notice moss and mold growth on your cedar.


Before each wet season hits, you should take the time to inspect your cedar roofing. During this time remove any accumulated litter from your rooftop. Cleaning out pine needles and debris that may have found a home between the shakes and in the valleys of your roof. If not removed accumulated debris can have two detrimental effects on your cedar shakes.

  • Prevents the shedding of water.
  • Promotes water retention, as well as mold and fungal growth

This cleaning can be done easily with a garden hose and a firm broom to sweep the roof clear of debris. Avoid power washing to ensure that you do not damage your cedar shingles and shakes. While you are conducting this cleaning pay close attention for signs of mold, algae, mildew or fungus growth. If you discover signs of this, you should contact a professional to have it treated.

Lastly, ensure that your gutters are clean and not clogged. Clogged or poorly functioning gutters can allow for moisture to promote fungus growth on your shakes as well as potentially promoting leaks into your home.

If you discover damaged or loose shakes during this process, mark all tiles that you will need to repair. You should replace all tiles that no longer offer any protection to your home. These tiles may be either, broke, rotten or exposing nails under the cedar shake.

Treat Your Cedar Shake Roof

Once you have given your cedar a cleaning, you will need to decide how you want to treat your cedar shakes. There are many options and treatments you can pick from to treat your cedar. Depending on the choice of treatment you may need special protective gear. For this reason, many Oregon homeowners decide to hire a professional that has the gear, experience, and knowledge to easily handle the job.

Cleaning Solutions

Often simple detergents can be used to help you remove slight discoloration and staining of your tiles. This mix is best applied with a brush or broom and when you are finished, just hose off the surface of any build-up.

Pesticides and Chemicals

You should always wear protective gear when using pesticides. Follow all instructions on the product label. Be careful and wash both yourself and your safety gear after use. Be mindful where you apply chemical treatments as rooftop runoff can affect ground level plants.


When faced with stubborn stains the use of bleach may be required to remove them. Bleach solutions are best applied with brushes. After a soak time of several minutes, it is recommended to rinse the bleach site. If the stain persists repeat and soaks again, it is not recommended to leave bleach to soak for lengths of time beyond half an hour.

Preservative Treatments

The application of preservatives on your cedar shakes will retard mold growth and prevent wood rot. The regular application of wood preservatives will extend the life of your roof. When applying chemical preservatives to your roof, it is crucial that the roof is cleaned first to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Do It Yourself Vs. Hiring a Professional

When it comes to hiring a professional, there are several factors that you should consider before attempting to do the job yourself. Some of these factors you should consider are your comfort with heights, physical condition, and the slope of your roof. If you are unsure of any of these conditions, make the safe choice and hire a licensed, bonded, and insured professional. If you chose to do the work yourself, you would need the proper equipment and safety gear. These costs add up quickly and it is often wiser to hire a professional power washing service that has the equipment and expertise to get the job done right.

Contact a local pro today to find out more about properly maintaining your cedar shake roof. With ongoing maintenance, our roof will stay functional and beautiful for years to come.

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We are a family operated business that specializes in roof repair, conversions, over layment and replacements. We take pride in the services that we provide and make sure that all of our customers are satisfied before the project is complete.

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Pressure Washing
Americas best pressure washing is a family owned and operated business that specializes in cedar shake roof maintenance, repair and treatment. We take pride in the services that we provide and make sure that all of our customers are satisfied before the project is complete.

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(503) 259-0538

4145 SW Watson Ave Ste 350
Beaverton, OR 97005
America's Best Contractors, Inc, Roofing Contractors, Beaverton, OR