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Cedar Roofing Maintenance Tips for Lasting Durability

Cedar roofing offers a unique blend of natural beauty and durability, making it a sought-after material for those looking to enhance the aesthetic value and functionality of their homes. To maintain its attractiveness and prolong its life, effective maintenance strategies are crucial. This comprehensive guide provides detailed insights into maintaining cedar roofing to ensure it withstands the elements and continues to offer its distinct charm over the years.

Understanding Cedar Roofing

Cedar roofs are favored for their natural resistance to harsh weather conditions, insulating properties, and ability to enhance a property’s overall look. However, to maximize these benefits, a proper understanding of cedar roofing’s characteristics and needs is essential.

Types of Cedar Roofing

  • Cedar Shakes: These are thick, rough-split shingles that provide a rustic appearance. They are known for their robustness and greater dimensional stability.
  • Cedar Shingles: Thinner and more uniform than shakes, cedar shingles offer a more refined look but require more meticulous maintenance.

Key Benefits

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Cedar’s rich, warm tones and natural texture complement various architectural styles.
  • Durability: When maintained correctly, cedar can resist elements like wind and rain.
  • Insulation Quality: Cedar has natural insulating properties, making it energy efficient.

Regular Maintenance Procedures

To keep your cedar roof in top condition, regular maintenance is non-negotiable. Here’s what you need to integrate into your maintenance routine:

Biannual Inspections

Conduct inspections during the spring and fall. Look for damaged or missing shingles, moss and algae growth, and any signs of rotting. Early detection of potential issues can prevent them from escalating into costly repairs.

Cleaning Your Cedar Roof

  • Remove Debris: Use a soft brush or blower to clear leaves, twigs, and other debris. This prevents moisture entrapment, which can lead to wood decay.
  • Control Moss, Algae, and Fungi: Apply products designed for cedar that inhibit growth without damaging the wood. Regular cleaning will prevent these organisms from degrading the wood’s integrity.

Proper Ventilation and Insulation

Ensure your attic is well-ventilated and properly insulated. This prevents the buildup of heat and moisture, which can accelerate the deterioration of the cedar.

Repair and Restoration

Replacing Damaged Shingles

Promptly replace cracked, curled, or missing shingles to maintain the roof’s structural integrity. Use stainless steel nails to avoid corrosion and ensure longevity.


If your roof’s appearance begins to fade, consider refinishing with a cedar-approved preservative. This will enhance its resistance to UV rays and moisture, and restore its original beauty.

Long-Term Strategies for Durability

Choosing the Right Underlayment

Invest in high-quality, waterproof underlayment to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Regularly trim branches that overhang your roof to reduce the accumulation of debris and exposure to dampness, which can promote wood rot.

Use of Copper Strips

Install copper strips at the ridge of the roof to help prevent the growth of moss and algae. When rainwater contacts the copper, it releases particles that are toxic to these organisms, thus naturally preventing their growth.

Professional Maintenance and Care

While many aspects of cedar roof maintenance can be handled by homeowners, certain tasks require professional expertise. Here are situations when you should consider hiring a professional:

Comprehensive Inspections

A professional roofer can identify issues that untrained eyes may overlook. This includes checking for proper flashing and ensuring that the roof is structurally sound.

Installation of Enhancements

Professional installation of enhancements like copper strips or specialized underlayment ensures these are done correctly, maximizing their effectiveness.

Major Repairs

Significant damage or deterioration should be addressed by professionals to ensure repairs are performed safely and effectively, maintaining the roof’s integrity and appearance.


Cedar roofing requires a dedicated approach to maintenance, but the payoff in durability and aesthetic appeal is substantial. By following these detailed maintenance tips, homeowners can ensure that their cedar roof remains beautiful and functional for many years to come. Implementing regular inspections, timely repairs, and appropriate enhancements are all part of a robust maintenance strategy that will keep your cedar roof at its best.