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Shopping For Shingles? The 101 On Cedar Shingles

As a homeowner, you probably understand the importance of your home's roof. From actual appeal and value to privacy and shelter, replacing worn shingles is an imperative part of maintaining your home's exterior. Unfortunately, the large selection of shingles can make the replacement process overwhelming. Thankfully, investing in cedar shingles is a smart decision considering the enormous benefits they offer. Using this guide, you will understand the appeal of cedar shingles and learn the best techniques to maintain your new roof.

Cedar Benefits

Due to their affordable prices and ease of maintenance, asphalt shingles are common roofing materials. However, asphalt shingles are traditional options and do not offer much personality for your home. Using cedar increases the architectural appeal of your home, but the shingles also offer the following benefits:

  • Lifespan – Due to different manufacturers and local climate, estimating the exact lifespan of your cedar shingles is difficult. However, you can expect an average lifespan of 30 to 40 years.
  • Strength – Cedar shingles are resistant to decay, so you do not need to worry about extreme temperatures or excessive moisture wearing down your roof.
  • ROI – Compared to asphalt shingles, cedar is a more expensive option, but the increased lifespan and durability ensure you receive a larger return on your investment.
  • Curb Appeal – The natural beauty of cedar roofing enhances your home's curb appeal.

General Cleaning

Once you replace your worn shingles with cedar shingles, you may be wondering how to clean and maintain your new roof. Since they do not require a unique method of cleaning, cedar shingles are rather easy to maintain.

To get started, visit your local home improvement store to purchase trisodium phosphate, or TSP. This cleaning agent is effective for removing light dirt and debris from your roof, but prolonged exposure to the chemical can be hazardous to your health. Even though you are working outdoors, be sure to wear safety goggles and rubber gloves.  Once protected, combine the following ingredients into an outdoor pump sprayer:

  • 6 ounces of TSP
  • 6 quarts of warm water
  • 4 ounces of liquid dish detergent

Mix the ingredients by shaking your sprayer bottle. Then, pump the handle to create pressure in the spray nozzle. Spay a generous amount of the solution onto soiled areas of your cedar shingles and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Use your garden hose to rinse.

Mold, Mildew, and Algae

While most common in warm, moist climates, mold, mildew, and algae can develop on homes in any environment. Unfortunately, it can also develop on your home's cedar roof. If left untreated, these unhealthy patches of growth quickly wear down your shingles, leading to leaks and expensive repairs.

A thorough cleaning is imperative at the first sign of mold, mildew, or algae. Use the following natural solution to remove these dark green and brown patches from your cedar shingles:

  • 2 gallons of water
  • 2 gallons of white vinegar

Be sure to wear rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator mask to protect skin, eyes, and airway from mold spores. Place the ingredients in an outdoor sprayer and douse patches of growth on your roof. For stubborn patches, use a soft-bristled brush. Then, rinse with your garden hose.  

Many homeowners opt for bleach when cleaning mold, but natural ingredients are safer for the environment and your health. While surprising to hear, vinegar contains acidic properties that are naturally antibacterial and antiviral. Using a vinegar solution will remove mold, mildew, and algae in a non-toxic manner.

Replacing your roofing shingles is an essential part of maintaining your home. By using cedar, you are not only improving the quality of your roof, but also increasing your home's overall appeal and value.