Cedar Shake Mansard Roof Cleaning

Cedar shake roofs, with their distinctive charm and robust durability, are a popular choice for many homeowners, especially when it comes to the unique architectural style of a mansard roof. These steep-sided roofs not only add an elegant aesthetic to any building but also provide additional living space. However, maintaining the beauty and functionality of a cedar shake mansard roof requires regular cleaning and maintenance. In this article, we explore the best practices for cleaning cedar shake mansard roofs, ensuring they remain in pristine condition for years to come.

Understanding Cedar Shake Mansard Roofs

Mansard roofs are characterized by their four-sided design, featuring two slopes on each side with the lower slope being steeper than the upper. When covered with cedar shakes, these roofs offer a timeless appeal but also present unique challenges for maintenance due to their design and material. Cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insulating; however, it is prone to moss, mold, and mildew buildup, particularly in damp climates.

Why Regular Cleaning is Crucial

Regular cleaning is essential for prolonging the life of a cedar shake roof. Organic growth like moss and mold can retain moisture against the roof surface, accelerating wood rot and potentially leading to leaks and structural damage. Additionally, the buildup of debris can block proper water drainage, creating further moisture issues. Regular cleaning not only prevents these problems but also enhances curb appeal and maintains the value of the property.

How to Clean Cedar Shake Mansard Roofs

  1. Inspection: Before any cleaning begins, conduct a thorough inspection of the roof to identify any damaged shakes, areas with significant moss or mold growth, or other concerns like loose shakes.
  2. Choose the Right Cleaning Method: The unique structure of mansard roofs demands specific cleaning approaches. Soft washing is recommended over pressure washing for cedar shakes to avoid damaging the wood.
    • Soft Washing: This method uses low-pressure water combined with special cleaning solutions designed to kill and remove organic growth without damaging the cedar wood. It is effective at reaching all angles of the mansard roof, ensuring a uniform clean.
  3. Apply the Cleaning Solution: Using specialized equipment, apply the cleaning solution evenly across the roof shakes. The solution should have enough time to act on the organic growths without drying out.
  4. Gentle Rinsing: After the solution has done its work, gently rinse the roof with low-pressure water. This step removes all the moss, mold, mildew, and cleaning solutions from the roof.
  5. Post-Cleaning Inspection and Maintenance: After cleaning, inspect the roof again for any signs of damage or missed spots. If necessary, apply a cedar preservative to enhance the roof’s resistance to moisture and UV rays, which can also help prevent future growths.

Safety Considerations

Cleaning a mansard roof, especially one covered with cedar shakes, can be hazardous due to its steep slope. It is crucial to use proper safety gear and consider hiring professional roof cleaners who have the experience and equipment to handle the job safely and effectively.

Hiring Professionals

Given the complexities and safety issues associated with cleaning cedar shake mansard roofs, it is often advisable to hire professional roof cleaners. Professionals have the necessary tools, cleaning solutions, and expertise to perform the job efficiently, ensuring that every part of the roof is adequately maintained without any risk to personal safety or damage to the property.

Maintaining a cedar shake mansard roof requires diligence and the right approach to cleaning. Regular soft wash cleanings can significantly extend the life of the roof, prevent costly repairs, and keep the roof looking beautiful. Homeowners should consider establishing a regular cleaning schedule and consult with professionals to ensure their roof remains a lasting investment that continues to enhance the beauty and value of their home.