Common Problems To Watch For With Your Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake roofs give your home a natural look that can be quite attractive. Cedar is also naturally rot resistant, which means it can provide a durable and long-lasting roofing option. Like any roof material, however, cedar isn't without issues. The following are some common problems that could necessitate a roof repair.

Moss and Mildew

Although cedar is rot resistant, it is not rot proof. Moisture trapped on the roof can cause the shakes to eventually develop rot issues and leaks. Moss, lichen, mildew, and algae growth are one of the more common ways that trapped moisture occurs. A roofing repair service can wash existing growth off the cedar shakes. Once clean, the service will then treat the shakes with a fungicide or moss-killing treatment that will prevent future growth. Cleaning and treatment will need to be scheduled every few years to ensure the problem doesn't return.

Tree Cover

Trees may shade your home and look beautiful, but they can pose a risk to the roof. The most obvious danger is from the branches. Overhanging branches can scrape against the roof on a windy day, breaking or loosening the shakes. Branches may also break and drop, which can puncture the roof or result in broken cedar shingles. Another issue is leaf litter. Fallen leaves and needles that collect on your cedar shakes also trap moisture, much like moss does. Keep trees trimmed back to prevent damage and allow air circulation. You may also need to have the roof cleaned each fall if dropping leaves tend to accumulate on the roof.

Roof Seals

It may seem counter-intuitive, but sealing the shakes against moisture can actually lead to more moisture problems. This is because it is nearly impossible to seal a cedar shake completely, plus sealant will wear off over time. If moisture makes its way into a shake that is mostly sealed, that moisture will have trouble escaping. The result is moisture trapped in the shingles and eventual rot. Instead of wasting cash on sealing the shingles, plan to spend on periodic deep cleaning instead.

Ignored Damage

Don't make the mistake of ignoring a loose shake. Because of the way they are affixed, a cedar shake may stay mostly in place but still show some movement—particularly during wind and storms. Even a slightly loosened or cracked shake can let water into your home. If you notice any damage, call a roofer for a prompt repair before leaks become a problem.

Contact a roofing repair contractor in your area for more help.