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How To Keep A Cedar Roof In Good Condition

24 August 2017 by ROTban Services Corp.
2017 08 24 1507

My cedar roof is 4-1/2 years old. It is made of 7/8″ gold standard tapersawn. Do I require any kind of roof maintenance work?

There is no visible moss growth on it, but I do hear birds pecking on the roof from time to time, as if they are trying to get at something to eat.

I’m trained by the Roofing Contractor Institute of BC in cedar roofing and have been involved in cedar maintenenace starting in 1984. Cedar is a beautiful product, and you have chosen a high quality cut. Here’s my advice.
Regarding the birds pecking on the roof, it’s probably just taking food up there and eating it. Crows do that, and also, they sometimes just play with items. I have personally witnessed a crow taking a jar top and using it as a sled, down a frozen sloped roof. I saw a you tube video of this happening, but didn’t believe it. Then I witnessed it happening on a neighbour’s roof!
There would be no motivation to peck into the wood, as there would be no bugs at this age. Woodpeckers sometimes use the metal vents like drums to attract mates. That can be really weird sounding inside. But there’s a fix for that. Let me know if you have a metal rat a tat sound and I’ll tell you what to do.
The thickness of your shakes is a great ally for long roof life. The first thing to go is always the ridge cap, and if you want the roof to last over 20 years, generally, you should do some preventative maintenance.

Your enemies to roof life are as follows:

1. Algae, fungus, lichen, moss and other microbe growth. They rot the wood. Think of a rotten log on a forest floor. Most of that happened because of the fungus, lichen, algae, mold. Your roof will grow a layer of algae, which will be seen as a darkening of the wood. You can prevent that from even starting by having your roof treated with ROTban. Or you can wait till it happens, and do it as soon as you start to notice the change, which will tend to happen before the roof is 5 years old. If you do the ROTban treatment every 5 years, you’ll add years of roof life, and keep the original beauty of resilient wood.

2. UV rays. The sun’s rays break down the fibre of the wood. Where the roof is sloped so the sun’s rays hit it directly and there is little or no shade, that’s where the breakdown is the worst. Preventing this is very difficult. Close-up inspections for that should be done every couple of years once the roof is about 12 years old. Don’t be fooled by companies that offer to powerwash and preserve your cedar roof. They put a stain onto the cedar. At best, it gives you better resistance to UV rays, but at the same time, the extreme wear and tear that the heavy work does to your roof means the process does more harm than good.
Just ask for any clarification on the above. If you are in the Lower Mainland of BC, or Fraser Valley, I’ll email a quote to you within two days, including lots of information about our service.