Give Your Cedar Roof Some TLC With These Great Tips

Cedar roofs are prized by homeowners for their great looks, but what really makes them attractive is the amazing longevity they offer. It's not out of the ordinary for a cedar roof to last for 50 years or more. But for your cedar roof to stand the test of time, it needs the proper care and maintenance. If you're looking for a few pointers on how to care for your home's cedar roof, then look no further.

Dealing with Debris

Roof debris can easily get in the way of how your roof sheds moisture. Leaf litter is not only capable of trapping water that would normally be shed, but it can also feed destructive moss and other fungi as it slowly decomposes. Conifer needles can also find their way in between the shakes and shingles, as well as within the valleys of the actual roof structure.

It's always a good idea to manually remove any and all debris on a regular basis. Don't forget to carefully inspect the roof for any needles that may have become trapped within the cedar roof.

Dealing with Moss Buildup

Although it gives older roofs a natural and rustic appearance, moss growth is actually something you should take steps to avoid. Moss and other fungi can play an active role in destroying the cedar roof, namely by retaining excess moisture that often leads to wood rot.

You can use a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush to break up light moss growth. Blasting away moss growth with a power washer usually isn't recommended, as the process could easily result in serious damage to the roof.

Pesticides are another way of dealing with moss control, although you'll want to be careful around surrounding vegetation. Here are a few examples of effective moss control products:

  • Zinc sulfate is particularly effective against moss, but it also has a tendency to corrode copper gutters, downspouts and flashings.
  • Soap-based potassium and ammonium salt pesticides are a noncorrosive alternative to zinc sulfate and present little harm to people and animals.
  • D-Limonene, commonly found in household cleaning products, can also tackle moss growth.

Zinc strips are also an option if you don't want to use potentially harmful pesticides on your cedar roof. Zinc's natural antimicrobial properties work to suppress active mold growth and keep areas immediately below it moss-free.

Moss growth is common on heavily shaded roofs, as well as in areas with exceptionally humid climates. If your home has a lot of tree cover, you may want to consider trimming nearby branches in a way that allows for less cover and more air flow.

Dealing with Weathering Issues

Constant exposure to winds, precipitation and sunlight can slowly do a number on a cedar roof. Abrasive particles carried by wind can slowly, but surely, expose the surface of the wood and leave it more vulnerable to water absorption. Wood finishes and preservatives can help prevent weathering issues from taking hold by providing an effective barrier against erosion and the loss of the natural oils often contained in cedar roofs.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can also be exceptionally harmful to your cedar roof. Not only does it rob your roof of its natural reddish-brown color, but the effects of UV light also create microscopic cracks that allow fungi, bacteria and moisture to get through.

To mitigate the damage caused by exposure to UV light, consider using a UV inhibitor treatment on your cedar roof. Some preservatives may already offer a UV inhibiting chemical as a part of their ingredients, so it pays to check out the labeling on your wood preservative prior to purchase.

For more information, contact a local cedar roofing company.