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Now that you have removed the debris from your roof, you can examine the condition of the cedar shingles. Unless there is excessive damage, or your roof is leaking, you should not need to repair or completely replace your roof. In most cases, there may be some staining and discoloration, dirt, and/or organic growth (algae, moss, mold, mildew, fungi, etc.) that can easily be cleaned. Again, I do not recommend you clean the roof yourself. It is a job best left to a roof cleaning professional. While I may go into some detail in these posts, my intention is for you to be as knowledgeable as possible so you can hire a reputable roof cleaner.

Processes for Cleaning your Cedar Shake Roof:

At Sullivan Cedar Shakes Roof Cleaning, we use a proven cleaning solution that I developed after years of hands on experience and research. While I will not go into detail about our solution, I am happy to discuss what a professional roof cleaner should use, based on my research and manufacturer recommendations.

When you hire a roof cleaner, you will want to make sure he uses a non-pressure process, and cleans with a mild detergent solution containing wood preservative ingredients, as well as algaecide, mildewcide, and fungicide. The cleaning solution should also contain an oil to help rehydrate the shakes. Understand that their cleaning solutions may perform differently under various environmental conditions, so cleaning may be needed more often depending on the chemicals used, the amount of area precipitation, average temperatures, and roof conditions.

There are three base ingredients that can be used: sodium percarbonate, sodium peroxide, and sodium hypochlorite. Two of these base cleaners (sodium percarbonate and sodium peroxide) requires the cleaner to walk on the roof and to use a pressure process, which is not recommended.

A few key notes on hiring a cedar shake roof cleaner:

  • Hire someone that is experienced in the use of the above mentioned cleaning solutions. Have them provide examples of their prior cleanings/experience.
  • Have them explain the cleaning process they will use. Find out if they walk on the roof, or if they use a pressure system.
  • Do they carry liability insurance in the event of a fall or damage to your roof? Always have them provide you a copy with their cleaning quote.
  • There should be no need for return visits. Everything needed to clean, treat, and preserve your cedar shakes roof should be included within their cleaning solution.

All three of the above listed products will clean a cedar roof. However, each has its own form of application and cleaning process, so be sure to do your research to find the best cedar shake roof cleaner for you. In most cases, routine debris maintenance and regular cleaning is enough to properly care for your cedar shake roof, but sometimes it is necessary to apply preservative treatments to the cedar shakes. Part 4 of this blog series addresses these treatments.

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