Cedar Roof Shakes - Life Expectany & Maintenance

July 7, 2021
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Cedar Roof Shakes - Life Expectany & Maintenance

Cedar roof shakes are one of the most popular roofing materials because they give a scenic and rustic look to any property. They are long-lasting, natural, and have a lot of resale value. Most people associate them with the basic but classic Cape Cod appearance.

Life Expectancy

You may expect your cedar shake roof to last three decades if proper care is taken. If you invest in high-quality materials and live in a suitable location, you could get up to 50 years out of it.

Because cedar shake shingles are created from natural materials, there is no manufacturer warranty if they fail prematurely. You can only rely on the roofing contractor workmanship warranty if your cedar shake roof is ever problematic.

What Causes Deterioration?

UV rays from the sun are a primary cause of damage and significantly reduce cedar roofs’ life expectancy. According to a recent USDA study:

“At the surface, ultraviolet radiation from the sun destroys lignin. Lignin is the natural glue that keeps cellulose fibers together in wood.” Because it is impossible to completely minimize sunlight exposure on your roof, many people repair their shingles to avoid it. The issue is that the treatments themselves weaken the wood, hastening the need for your cedar shingles to be replaced.


Mildew, mold, and algae will build on the wood as the roof ages. However, because these do not harm the wood but rather impact its appearance, you will need to do regular maintenance to keep your cedar roof free of these cosmetic flaws and in good working order.

Remove the plants

As previously mentioned, algae and mold are the most common fungi that will develop on your cedar shake roof, but also other plants may thrive if soil is allowed to accumulate. If these plants' roots are not removed as soon as they sprout, they can cause major damage to your roof.

No Power washing

Power washing is not suggested since it can easily harm the wood and force water up under the shingles, allowing leaks to form.


A scrub brush and a light solution of sodium percarbonate or other oxygen bleaches are advised for cleaning a cedar shake roof since they do less damage to the wood. A mix of one part bleach to three parts water is recommended by the Cedar Bureau. Use a pump sprayer to apply it, then let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with a garden hose. To avoid sending water up behind the shingles, keep the hose directed downward.

Are you planning to replace your roof? Contact Roofing Contractor in Avon, CT.

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