Doing-It-Yourself Cedar Shake Roof Care - On the House

Doing-It-Yourself Cedar Shake Roof Care

By on April 17, 2014
cedar shake roof care

Question

I have questions about cedar shake roof care:

1. When power-washing a roof, do I add anything to the water, i.e. bleach, soap, etc.?

2. What pressure should I use on the power washer?

3. What type of sealant should I use on the roof, and, if possible, where can I purchase the product?

Lois

Answer

First, it isn’t necessary to add anything to the water when pressure washing the cedar shakes on your roof.Second, the 2500-3000 psi (pounds per square inch) produced by the pressure washer will be more than enough to strip the roofs surface of dead wood and debris. Pressure washing devices are available for rent at most equipment rental or paint stores. You should look for a 6-3000 machine which is rated to produce a volume of 6 gallons of water per minute with a maximum pressure of 3000 psi.

Third, there are an almost infinite number of chemicals and chemical combinations that are used to preserve the life of a cedar shake roof. Some are oil-borne others are water-borne. Many of the chemicals have an anti-fungal agent added to ward off mildew and fungus, which are second only to the sun in the level of damage inflicted upon this type of roof. Many of the firms that restore roofs professionally tell us that they always mix a pigment into their preservative in order to protect the roof from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the Sun.

Many of the chemicals used by professionals are not readily available to the consumer. But there is one preservative that is used widely by professionals and is available for consumer use as well. Chevron Shingle and Floor Oil from Chevron Chemical Company. It may be purchased in five-gallon containers.

The chemical can be applied to the roof with a plain old garden sprayer. Chances are, though, that you may need to retire the sprayer once you’ve used it for this nasty task.

And remember, safety first! Working up on the roof, especially when the surface is wet or oily, can be a very dangerous task. The professional wears boots with specially constructed soles. You should exercise extreme caution and be sure to follow the chemical manufacturer’s instructions on the label.

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