Roof Maintenance FAQs: How to Care for Cedar Shakes & Shingles

Roof Maintenance FAQs: How to Care for Cedar Shakes & Shingles

Cedar Roofing Basics

There are two types of cedar roofing: shakes and shingles. Shakes are rougher and more dimensional than shingles because they are split. Shingles are smooth on both sides and cut on the ends. Consequently, cedar shingles are typically thinner and more regular in appearance than cedar shakes. Additionally, cedar shakes tend to be made out of a higher grade wood than cedar shingles.

Typically, cedar shakes will be more expensive and longer lasting than cedar shingles. However, both offer many benefits, including a traditional look and excellent protection from the elements.

Some of the benefits of cedar shingles and shakes include:

  • Long lifespan
  • Pest-resistant
  • Durable
  • Weather-resistant

Another benefit to cedar shakes and shingles is that they are environmentally friendly. Not only are they cut from old-growth trees, but they are also compostable. This means that once they have outlived their lifespan, you do not have to worry that they will clog up landfills like other roofing materials.

Review our blog to learn about the differences between cedar roofing and asphalt roofing.

Tips for Protecting Your Cedar Shakes & Shingles

Though significantly more expensive than asphalt roofing, cedar roofing will last for over 30 years when well cared for. If you've chosen to install cedar shakes or shingles on your Arizona home, you may be wondering how best to protect your investment. Below we offer our top three tips for protecting your cedar roofing.

Tip #1: Have Your Cedar Shakes or Shingles Installed by a Professional Roofer

The first step in keeping your cedar roofing looking beautiful and in good condition is ensuring the roof is installed correctly from the start. Working with an experienced roofing contractor experienced in installing and repairing cedar roofing, like ours at Lyons Roofing, makes a world of difference. Not only can you rest assured that your roof starts with a good foundation, but you get peace of mind knowing that you have someone to go to when you have a question or need maintenance.

Tip #2: Don't Skip Your Yearly Inspection

Routine maintenance is incredibly important if you want to get the most out of your cedar roofing. Though durable and long-lasting, cedar shakes and shingles are more likely to suffer from moisture issues, such as rot, mold, mildew, and algae or moss growth. Additionally, once their integrity is compromised, they may become more prone to heat-related problems. Bearing this in mind, we recommend that you schedule a professional roof inspection and maintenance with a professional annually.

During your annual maintenance visit, the roofers at Lyons will thoroughly inspect your cedar roofing inside and out. We will pay careful attention to any signs of wear and tear. If we encounter a repair problem (such as cracked or missing shingles or shakes, damaged flashing, or signs of a leak), we will provide you with a full report and your repair options.

Note: a professional roofer like Lyons Roofing should always perform roof maintenance. Walking around on cedar shingle or shake roofing can be dangerous, especially if the roofing is in poor condition or if shingles/shakes are loose or missing. Additionally, inexperienced homeowners have been known to damage their roofing by walking on it, which can be costly to repair. We recommend speaking with us before attempting any DIY repair work or before going up on your roof.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to Landscaping & Pest Issues

Though cedar roofing is pest-resistant, that doesn't mean it's impervious. You want to watch squirrels, birds, and other wildlife roosting or nesting on your roof. This can create a health hazard for you and significantly damage your roof. On the bright side, cedar shingles and shakes are naturally termite-resistant due to a naturally occurring chemical in cedar. However, you should still keep an eye out for other insects and similar pests.

Relatedly, you want to keep bushes and trees trimmed back, especially if they overhang your roof. Trees often drop seeds or fruit onto roofs, creating debris buildup that will clog your drainage system and attract pests and wildlife.

Though cedar roofing may take a bit more TLC than the average asphalt roof, it is a beautiful roofing option that is well worth the effort. For help keeping your cedar shakes or shingles in good condition, reach out to Lyons Roofing online.