Cedar Roofing Repair – What Every Homeowner Needs to Know
Cedar Roofing Repair: Known for its rugged natural beauty and rustic vibes, cedar roof has been used for centuries as a popular choice among homeowners. Cedar roofing is not only a strong choice in the aesthetic department but it is also reliable for its efficiency, durability and longevity. However, after years of providing you shelter and protecting you from the elements such as the sun, rain and hail; your cedar roofing would still show signs of aging and wear. Once your roof has aged or been damaged your roof will likely be in need of cedar roofing repair.
Possessing basic knowledge about cedar is key to understanding the types of damage that may have occurred to your roof. It is important to choose a roofing contractor that is honest, experienced, and comes with good references to make sure your roof is fixed with a fair price and good quality of work. As a professional cedar roofing company, we will discuss reasons and proper ways of repairing your roof. We are happy to help you understand how and when to fix them.
The first step of the cedar roofing repair process is closely inspecting and examining the current situation of your roof. What can you see from the ground? Are there obvious splits? Cracks? Missing shingles? Moss? If you see any of these call a roofing contractor to assess damage. It can be difficult for an untrained eye to determine the full extent of roof damage.
The best kind of roofing contractor is someone who will send you an experience, licensed, and insured team. Be wary of any contracting company that will not go on your roof to inspect it fully before providing you with a quote. There is no way to know the extent of damage to a cedar roof without seeing it up close. It is advisable that you are home during the roof inspection so you can speak directly to the contractors and ask questions if needed.
A thorough and detailed inspection of your roof is critical to making sure you understand the level of repair your roof will need. You may want to examine if there is evidence of damage due to hail, animals, and impact from debris. You may also want to look for related issues such as clogged gutters, and failing or wear and tear of the initial materials installed in your roof like roof flashings and accessories, and even issues of overhanging trees, chimneys or skylights.
If you want to, there is nothing wrong with examining the status of your cedar roofing on your own if proper caution is taken. To do so, climb up the roof and look closely for signs of damages. There are times when the cedar roof’s damages are mistaken for its rustic appearance. If you see cracks or splits with sharp edges coupled with light orange colors within them, the shakes or shingles was possible damaged by a sort of impact – most likely hail – and must undergo a replacement.
Walking on cedar can damage the shingles or shake so if you decide to go on your own roof be aware you can potentially cause even more damage and that it is advisable to call a professional.
Overtime, moist weather and contract in warm weather can cause the shakes or the roofing underlayment to deteriorate which often results in leakage. If your inspection has led you to notice water stains mostly at the areas near to a chimney or if you have leaks during rain, a professional must be contacted for your cedar roofing repair.
The most important question that you need to find an answer though upon inspecting the damages on your cedar roof is whether your cedar roof must either be just repaired, restored, or totally be replaced.
A quality cedar roofing repair contractor can help you make these difficult decisions, and give you a better idea of just how damaged your roof may be.
Moss growth is one of the basic, and more common problems encountered by cedar roof owners – especially in places that are shady and have lots of rain or high humidity. A typical cedar roof is comprised of roofing ingredients like shingles and shakes. Every shake is basically like a pre-cut tile-like roofing patch. Cedar shingles in particular, more often than not, are prone to developing deposits of moss.
Moss growth damages not just the aesthetic value of a cedar roof (because a cedar roof covered with moss will develop a dilapidated appearance) but it would also compromise its durability and longevity by weakening the wood and possibly destroying shingles from the inside out. The moisture that is retained by moss easily seeps into the cedar roof which would eventually lead to water leaks and damp patches along the inner walls, and possibly even damage to the main structure of your home.
There are also some telltale signs of moss growth or rot in your cedar roofing. Oftentimes, fungus appears as a fuzzy looking texture between the cracks of the shakes and on the edges. You may also notice discolorations on the wall of the house just below the cedar roof and shakes. The bottom edges of the shingles or shakes would also be frayed or split.
If this is the kind of damage that needs to be repaired, there are no other easy ways to do it than climbing up on top of your cedar roof and scraping off the moss. A cedar roofing repair contractor will come to your home and use a metal brush or a metallic scraper to carefully remove moss as to not further damage your roof. After scrubbing off the moss, a contractor will cover the scraped area with metallic strips. Metal strips will be efficient in helping to strengthen aged cedar roofs, and induce a chemical reaction along the cedar roof’s surfaces that neutralizes any further growth of moss.
However, if the cedar roofing is comprised of treated shingles, metal strips will not be used because a treated shingle should not develop moss in the first place. Treated shingles are pre-treated with a special solution that prevents or negates the growth of moisture. Therefore, if your cedar roofing is made up of treated shingles but still developed moss growth, a warranty-back replacement should be an option for you – so make sure you mention this to your cedar roofing contractor.
When the metal strip installation is complete, your contractor will spray your cedar roofing with a fungicidal solution if they believe it is necessary. These chemicals will ensure that the inner lining of the metal strips will not be attacked by fungal growth and the moss growth would be impeded.
Learn How To Maintain Your Roof and Prevent Damage Here >> The Ultimate Guide to Cedar Roofing Maintenance
Curling or Cupping
Another common problem encountered with cedar roofing is displaced or distorted shakes. A shake is basically a rectangular shaped wooden shingle made from logs. They are mostly installed in cedar roofing in either sideways or overlapping pattern. Rough weather conditions are the often cause of shakes displacement. Shakes that are wobbly can allow moisture to seep in which in turn, causes the entire roof to be compromised and easily damaged.
In repairing the shakes of a cedar roofing, identify first the specific condition of each damaged shakes. Upon inspection, you may notice some shingles or shakes which are curled, warped, or may look distorted as opposed to the normal flat or straight appearance of a new shingle or shake.
Surprisingly, this curling process is just normal and is commonly known as cupping. It is a natural process caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and natural events like the effects of rain on wooden materials. Since cedar roof is made mostly of natural materials, it is just normal to experience consequences such as curling or cupping. The more elements your cedar roof must protect you from, the faster it will show signs of aging such as curls.
However if the shakes are totally bent or have developed a stiff and hard-to-repair curvature, your contractor may end up replacing them instead.
If the shake’s core has worsened and the damage is too severe, you must replace it. A cedar roofing repair professional will be able to remove the damaged and cupped shakes and replace them with new ones.
Cedar roofing repair professionals will measure and cut a replacement for the replacement spot that will fit just right with enough clearance for the wood to expand during times of high humidity. This kind of replacement is vital to protecting your house and should only be undertaken by a professional as it is possible to damage surrounding shakes, the flashing, or even your roof structure by improperly reinstalling cedar roofing.
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In repairing leaks in your cedar roof, you may want to have your entire roof examined first as one leak can often lead to another. These holes can be quite hard to look for in broad daylight because unlike rainy times, there will be no water leaking during inspection. One tip for tracing the location of a leak is to inspect the pipe risers or air-conditioning exhaust ducts that ends above the roof. Some attics have these and they may be used as references in locating a leakage spot.
Another trick you can use is to check if there are rays of light peeking through a pinhole. You may also look for water stains and damp spots around the rafter or beneath the sheathing. Trace the moisture or stains back to the point of origin if possible to do so.
Sometimes these leaks are caused by loosened shingles that can be easily nailed back down, and other times they are caused by larger underlying problems and require a more intensive approach. By calling a licensed cedar roofing company you can be sure that all the symptoms of this problem will be handled and repaired properly in a way that will extend the life of your roof.
Upon discovering or experiencing a roof leak, it may be tempting to plaster the spot with sealants or other easily accessible quick fix treatments. While there are sealants and other treatments that may improve water resistance, it is important to keep in mind that cedar roof is a natural and organic building material and therefore needs to breathe.
Cedar roofing should never be completely sealed and applying plasticizers or clear sealants will only cause further damage your roof by not allowing it to expand and contract, and even shorten the lifespan of your investment.
Cracks and Splits
All types of cedar shakes and shingles are prone to cracking and splitting naturally over time. However, the speed at which they may crack or weather varies and depends on several factors. Cedar roofing of homes that are located in climate zones which often experience severe weather conditions will likely crack faster than those in areas of mild climate zones.
Splits which are caused by normal and natural weathering are typically wider at the base of the shingle. The base is where the splits will usually begin to develop. Upon inspection, you may notice splits that have rounded edges on the upper surface. These are the kind of splits that have been open and exposed to the weather. The interiors of these splits have also the same color with the upper surface.
While cracks and splits that are roughly uniform in width are caused by the weight of a person who walked on the roof – another reason why only a professional should be allowed on your roof – you can end up causing your own roof cracks if you’re not careful.
If you notice cracks or splits that have sharp edges and with interiors that are more orange in color, this indicates that the damage is much newer and was likely caused by impacts such as hail strikes, tree branches or mechanical damage. Over several weeks or months, the wood will turn into gray due to UV radiation exposure and oxidation.
If the crack or split extends the length of the shake or shingle, it will cause loosening and the shake or shingle might be easily blown off or displaced especially if someone attempts to walk on the roof. If the splits are wide enough to expose the felt underlayment into direct sunlight, ultraviolet radiation will deteriorate the felt and would eventually allow more moisture to seep deeper in to the roofing system.
To avoid bigger problems in the future, it is best to immediately repair cracks and splits of your cedar roofing. Your cedar roofing repair contractor will remove and replace any shingles or shake that need replacing and make sure that no further damage has been done to the surrounding areas of your roof as sometimes these problems spread.
Cedar roofing repair contractors may use a variety of techniques to repair these problems including: total shingle replacement or even metal patches to prolong the lifespan of your roof and keep it at its best.
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Along with the repair-inducing damages mentioned above, you may also experience extractive bleeding on your cedar roof. Extractive bleeding is not a manufacturer’s defect but is simply a natural phenomenon that occurs with wood. Especially during winter season, there is usually an overwhelming increase of reports from concerned homeowners regarding extractive bleeding on wooden materials including cedar roofs. While there are many reasons for this, it all boils down to the most common one which is moisture.
Extractive bleeding is commonly characterized by the tannins in the wood being dissolved in moisture and migrating to the surface of the wood, creating a stained or discolored appearance. While it is not a factor that affects efficiency and performance of cedar roofing, it can be an issue of aesthetics.
When you notice extractive bleeding upon inspection of your cedar roof, the best thing to do is avoid acting too quickly. Easy solutions might pop up in your mind but some of these might even cause more damages to your cedar roofing.
Avoid applying a topcoat because most topcoats are typically water-based or latex and do not have the ability to repair extractive bleeding. The water in latex paints would simply activate the stains causing them to re-appear on the surface of the coating. You may want to wait for the next rainfall and observe if the stain will be washed off. There some cases when the rain carries away the stain over time especially if they are not locked into the coating.
The most advised repair or treatments for extractive bleeding are compounds containing oxalic acid. They appear to be the most effective treatment for such stains. Ask your professional cedar roofing repair contractor about washing down your roof with special chemical solutions to reduce extractive bleeding and other aesthetic defects during your roof inspection. As this is often considered optional and not crucial to the functionality of the roof some contractors do not list it as a priority so if you are concerned about stains speak up!
Cedar Roofing Repair Is Crucial
While not every sign of a problem is cause for grave concern, it is imperative that you keep an eye on your cedar roof and get it repaired when needed. Without these necessary repairs you can shorten the lifespan of your roof and end up spending much more money on a roof replacement and repairs for your roof structure. Getting issues treated early and often can help your roof last up to 50 years!
So at the first sign of damage or if there’s a leak, call a cedar roofing repair contractor to ensure you are still getting the most out of your cedar roof and to ensure it lasts for years to come.
A.B. Edward Enterprises Inc. is a locally owner and family operated cedar roofing repair company. We have served over 5500+ happy customers since 2003 and always put our customers first. If your cedar roof looks like it could use a repair, contact us today!