Wood shakes are commonly seen on roofs of quaint houses including: bungalows, cottages, ranch-styled houses and even town homes. The most popular wood shakes come from large old cedar trees, but they can be made from pines and redwoods. People fall in love with the natural beauty of a wood shake roof and admire the aesthetic qualities of its color as it ages. Since wood shakes are hand cut, owners can request different thicknesses and widths. This type of roof is highly energy efficient because wood is a great insulator, and therefore, it will help save on energy bills. Cedar shakes can withstand harsh weather conditions including strong wind and rain.

Although wood shake roofs can last anywhere from 30-50 years if properly maintained, cedar shakes tend to be the more expensive than other roofing materials. Without proper care or maintenance, wood shakes can split, crack, and grow mold. High sun exposure increases risk for splitting and cracking of the shakes. It is important to monitor for these issues and repair as needed.

This eventually can lead to holes in your roof and leaks into your home. It is also dangerous to walk on a moss covered roof because it makes surfaces very slippery when wet. It’s very important to monitor for moss growth and treat as needed. If you live in an area that is frequently damp or in the woods, you should take steps to prevent moss growth on your roof.

Treat Moss Roof Problems

  • Remove moss with a garden water hose and by hand scraping. Using a pressure washer can cause even more damage to your roof, so unless you’re a skilled professional, stay away from the pressure washer!
  • Bleach moss away. Bleach will kill moss but is extremely corrosive, will damage vegetation and discolor your roof. If you choose to use bleach, make sure you wear proper protective gear, i.e. mask and goggles, and dilute
  • You may need to hand scrape the moss off.
  • Moss control powder. This is one of the best ways to remove moss from roofs. Made from zinc sulfate, these powders do not damage the structures of roof, but can potentially harm wildlife and vegetation. Use caution if living near a habitat that contains aquatic wildlife. Many roofing companies offer this option as a treatment for moss covered roofs.

Prevent Moss

  • Trim tree branches from the roof area to prevent further moss growth.
  • Keep your roof free of debris from leaves and sticks
  • Keep your gutters free of leaves
  • Zinc Strips. This is one of the safest methods to prevent future growth of moss. Nail zinc strips along the ridge caps along the peak of the roof. When it rains, zinc is released onto the roof and powerfully inhibits moss growth. Zinc strips usually last for 1 year and work best if started in a moss-free environment.

Remember that moss growing on your roof can cause damage down the road and is best treated in the early Stages. It’s much easier to remove new moss growth, than moss that has grown for 10 years. If you are in the Fredericksburg or Stafford, VA area and are experiencing issues with moss growth, please give us a call to come out and give you a roof assessment. We would be happy to recommend changes to keep your roof moss-free and extend the lifetime of your roof.

Most wood shakes are not fireproof, and therefore, we highly recommend that you spend the extra money to have your wood shakes treated with proper fire retardant.

Wood Roof Maintenance and Care

  • Repair splits and cracks
  • Treat mold growth
  • Keep gutters clear to allow water to properly drain
  • Trim tree branches to avoid contact with the roof to help keep the roof dry
  • Pressure wash as needed by professionals to remove moss and lichen
  • Treat stained areas with bleach solution

Wood shake roofs are beautiful and can really add great quality and character to your home. If you have questions regarding care for your shake roof or would like to schedule a roof assessment, please give us a call or email and we would be glad to provide assistance.