DIY and Pro Help With Your Home Projects
Trim the trees surrounding the home
Overhanging branches should be remove around homes with cedar roofs. The shade produced by overhanging branches allows the shingles to stay wet longer allowing moss and lichens to grow that can permanently damage the wood.
Keep the gutter clean and remove any leave or debris from the roof. Any area that traps water will accelerate the decay of the wood and result in premature failure.
Cleaning the roof
If you see any moss or lichen growth, you should clean the roof with an mild solution of bleach and deturgent. WARNING: BOTH THE SOLUTION AND THE MOSS ARE VERY SLIPPERY AND DANGEROUS ON A SLOPED SURFACE. Mix 1 quart (1 liter) household bleach with 1 ounce (30 g) detergent, and 3 quarts (3 liters) warm water. Apply the solution to moldy areas of the roof using a brush to break loose the growth. Rinse will water to finish the job.
Periodic Surface Treatment
Routing treatment of the wood with a copper based solution will extend the life of the wood. Use a solution of copper naphthenate (with 3% to 4% metal content), copper octoate (with 1% to 2% metal content), and copper? 8? quinolinate with about 1% active ingredient content. This will help prevent moss and lichens. It will also reduce surface decay. The solution can be sprayed on but should be worked in with a brush. It can also be applied before the shingles are installed by dipping the singles in the solution.
Do NOT apply film finishes like paint, solid-color stains, or varnishes to a cedar roof. These finishes can restrict moisture release and they do not expand and contract with the natural wood. Adding these finishing may destroy the roof or cause an unsightly appearance.
Water repellent stains can be applied to a cedar roof but they usually only protect the roof for 1 to 2 years. These finishes contain waxes and other water based preservative that can not stand up to the intense sun and rain in many areas.
If is best to apply a semitransparent oil-based stain that penetrates the surface. The stain should contain a wood preservative and a water repellent. Some stains are specially formulated for use on shingles. Stains with the highest level of pigment will probably give the longest service life and provide the most protection.
A cedar roof is an expensive investment. Periodic maintenence including cleaing and treating, is critical to extending the life of your investment.
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