May 2016

Cedar Shakes: The why and how of cleaning and maintenance

Cedar Shakes and Shingles have always been popular roofing materials across the United States because of their rustic appeal, durability, resistance to severe climatic conditions, and energy efficiency. Cedar has a lifespan of more than 10 years when compared with common roofing materials like asphalt, and with proper maintenance, you can add a decade more to its life. That’s precisely why Cedars have been around for centuries. Cedars are expensive, costing you more in installation. But then, your home is a lifetime investment, so it makes sense to opt for high quality and long-lasting roofing materials when you build your home. Having said that, let’s now focus on how to prevent inflated expenditures over maintenance and care of your Cedar roof. Cedar roofs demand regular maintenance for prevention of moss, mold and mildew growth. Though Cedars contain several chemical extractives which help in preserving the wood, these extractives dissolve easily in water, and rainfall can leach these chemicals in less than 10 years. On the other hand, the Sun’s ultraviolet rays can weaken the surface of cedar shakes, leading to layered breakdown during rainfall. This in turn can cause leaching of the extractives of the Cedar Shake. Put it simply, the wet and dry weather spells will cause swelling and shrinking of the Cedar Shake, making it warp, split or crack. Cedar maintenance is a delicate process and it involves a lot of diligence. It shouldn’t be treated as an easy DIY exercise as any misadventure on your own could lead to material losses and injuries. In fact, you need to exercise extreme caution and leave the task of cleaning your Cedar roof to professionals. How and what do the professionals do? East End Long Island/Riverhead-based professional soft/power washing company Absolute Clean Inc follows an eight-fold approach while cleaning Cedar Shake homes. Step 1: We conduct an on-site inspection to evaluate the wear and tear of the Cedar Shake roof and prepare an estimate, detailing the work targets. Step 2: We remove the old sealer/stain with a stripping solution as moisture would have penetrated the stain, causing growth of mold, moss or mildew. Our process complies with environmental laws and guarantees no harm to pets, wood, plants or grass. Step 3: We use a power washer at low pressure (known as soft wash) to clean your home to avoid damage to your siding. Step 4: Your home is treated with a neutralizing agent that will bring shine to the wood. Once this is accomplished, the wood is ready for restaining with our sealer/stain. But there’s more to be done and achieved before the re-staining is carried out. Step 5: Your wood siding has to dry up to a moisture content of 12% or less. This takes a few days, depending on the weather. Step 6: If required, we will undertake re-caulking around windows, doors and other entry points. Step 7: We will inspect all chinking and re-chink wherever required. Step 8: We seal/stain your Cedar siding with a penetrating oil-based sealer/stain that will never crack or peel. The sealer/stain will protect your wood from ultraviolet rays, resist algae and mildew, and repel water. On top of all this, we give a 5-year warranty for the siding. Call us for an inspection of your Cedar Shakes You need to carry out a certified roof inspection to know whether your Cedar Shakes are in fine condition. Such inspections should be carried out at least twice a year. If you need to schedule roof inspection for your home, just give us a call. We know how to make Cedars long-lasting.