Professional Roof Cleaners Association


Cedar Roof Cleaning Before&After

What You Should Know About Maintaining Cedar Shake Shingles

  • Do you have a cedar shake shingle roof?
  • Have you looked at it and seen your shingles curling or cupping?
  • Do your cedar shingles look black, gray, or mossy?
  • Are mildew or fungi growth damaging your roof?

Regular professional roof cleaning can maintain your roof in peak condition and extend its life for many years, saving you thousands of dollars you would have to spend to replace your roof. The first thing a professional roof cleaner will do when advising you whether or not you should get your roof cleaned is look at the felt layer beneath your roof shingles — the first layer of your roof. If the felt layer is not cracking, dried out, or inflexible, there is no reason the felt won’t last for many more years. So long as the felt is in good condition, you won’t have to worry about water damage or leaking roofs. The only time you need to consider a total roof replacement is when the felt layer beneath the cedar shingles has deteriorated to the point where water damage may occur. Professional roof cleaning will remove mold, mildew and fungi to give your roof a brand new appearance and let your roof breathe again. The main reason your shakes must be maintained is that the under felt protects your home and the shakes protect the felt.

Let’s take this a step further. Does your shakes have that grey to white color look? Does your shakes have that black to dirt brown look? If so, these are signs that your shakes are in a deteriorating stage known as ” white rot fungi ” or ” brown rot fungi “. Thus the color(s). Of all the infestations, moss, mold, algae, mildew, fungi, which every shakes roof has if they have not been regularly maintained/cleaned, these two fungi’s spread at a very rapid rate and left untreated will cause shakes failure in about half-life of the shakes. Let me explain why.

White Rot Fungi:

White rot breaks down all major wood components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) more or less simultaneously, and commonly causes rotted wood to feel moist, soft and spongy, or stringy and to appear white bleached. Wood affected by white rot normally does not crack across the grain and will only shrink and collapse when severely degraded. The strength of the infested wood decreases gradually until it becomes spongy to the touch and stringy when broken.

Brown Rot Fungi:

Brown rot primarily decays the cellulose and hemicellulose in wood, leaving a brown residue of lignin, the substance which holds the cells together. Wood affected by brown rot is usually dry and fragile, readily crumbles into cubes because of longitudinal and transverse cracks (tending to crack across the grain). Infected wood may be greatly weakened, even before external evidence of decay can be seen. Brown rot is generally more serious than white rot. Old infestations of brown rot which have dried out will turn to powder when crushed. They are often labeled as “dry rot”. This common term is deceiving, because dry wood will not rot. Actually, wood kept dry will never decay.

If for no other reason, as stated above, all cedar shakes homeowners need to maintain their shakes roof or be faced with premature repairs or roof replacement.


Cedar Roof | Adel, Iowa