One of the most desired roofing systems for residential homes is the cedar shake roof. Compared to regular asphalt shingles and steel roofing systems, a cedar shake roof can offer better insulation value to your home, which helps keep your home cool during the hottest summer months. Not only is the style elegant and timeless, but the lifespan of the roof can surpass other materials and add value to your property should you decide to sell. Of course, the lifespan of any roofing system can be significantly shortened when not properly cared for.
Cedar shake roofs require maintenance like any other roof, however there are different options that homeowners can consider when deciding how to prolong the lifespan of the cedar. The most important decision for this style of roof is whether or not to stain the cedar shake. Many homeowners love the natural look of unstained cedar, but don’t realize that they are jeopardizing the integrity of their roof over time. In climates where humidity and rain are common, staining your roof is crucial to protecting it from the elements as well as invasive molds and algae.
If you are someone who has decided to leave their cedar shake roof uncoated or perhaps you have recently purchased a home with a bare cedar shake roof, it is important to realize that staining your roof doesn’t always mean that you will lose the natural look that made you fall in love with the style in the first place. A professional roofing company can help you select a transparent stain that will not only maintain the natural appearance of your roof, but it will also protect it from water, mold, and the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. In extreme cases, mold can even work its roots right through the cedar and completely ruin a section of your uncoated roof. The moss will prevent the cedar from ever drying properly, regardless of how much sun you get during the day, and can allow rot to set in.
An untreated cedar roof can deteriorate in less than 15 years when in a damp climate or a climate with lots of intense sunshine. A stained or treated roof can last 50 years or more. Unlike asphalt shingles, cedar shingles are able to absorb moisture from rain and morning dew, causing the wood to swell and shrink every single day. Cycles of rain followed by intense sunshine are the most damaging elements to a cedar shake roof. Over time, the cedar can even crack, warp or split. This type of damage is no longer fixable by a simple cleaning or staining. The clear staining is a simple step towards making sure that you get to enjoy the look of your roof for years to come without worrying about this destructive cycle of swelling and shrinking.
Colored stains are also available and can add a nice touch to an otherwise plain home. Take the opportunity to add a splash of colour to your property, perhaps matching the stain of the roof to the stain of your shingles or outdoor patio. A garden bed with lots of red flowers can suit a property that has a red stained cedar shake roof, for example. Many stains for your roof add only subtle shades of colour to the cedar as they are semi-transparent, so feel free to experiment with more bold choices. Wood-tones are also available if you simply want to create a more rich wood look. A professional roofing company can help you choose a suitable color because the color swatches you will see in stores don’t necessarily represent the way the color will appear when applied to the cedar itself. If possible, request an oil-based stain instead of a latex-based stain since they oil-based product tends to be more durable over time.
You can decide to have your cedar roof stained at any point during the lifespan of your roof, but it is always best to apply stain to shingles as the roof is installed whenever possible. This allows the roofing company to apply stain to the entire shingle, not just the exposed surface. For an older cedar roof, the shingles may have already discoloured to a silver-gray. If this is the case and the cedar is otherwise in good shape, simply keep in mind that any color you choose may be more vibrant than when applied to a darker wood. If your roof is damaged, it will need repair before any color can be successfully applied. When it comes to protecting your cedar roof, late is always better than never!
Before staining a cedar roof, unless the roof is being stained as it is installed, the roof will need to be professionally cleaned for the stain to be applied evenly and to have maximum durability. This cleaning step absolutely requires a professional, as cedar roofs are much more slippery than a standard asphalt shingle roof. Once the stain is applied, the only maintenance you have to worry about is keeping the roof clean and recoating the stain every few years to ensure it is still vibrant and protecting your cedar. Roof staining is a cost-effective way to keep your roof looking its absolute best and in good condition for many, many years.
We offer free roof staining estimates! Give us a call at 407.877.3210 or contact us online here and let us help you and your roof out.