How to Maintain Your Cedar Shake Roof

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Susan miller

Subject: cedar stain

two years ago the cedar mansard roof was cleaned. But the material that was then sprayed on it is a color that is bad. We want someone at this time to spray on a darker color to improve curb appeal.

Trevor Stricklin

Subject: Cedar Shake Maintenance

I've been in the cedar roof restoration and replacement business for 22 years and read where it says not to seal a wood shake roof. I would have to say that it isn't necessary to seal roofs but here in the south where the humidity is high it's a very good idea, highly recommended and very beneficial. The thing is most coatings on the market will not last on a wood shake roof, it has to be something made for the purpose. I have always used TWP 200 series, it's not a positive dry and is great at retarding mildew/fungus growth, it also replenishes the moisture in the shakes and can extend the life of the roof (if done every 5-7 years) by 10-15 years easily. Bottom line is 99% of sealers on the market are not good for wood shake roofs but there are a few things that work and work very well.

Marcy Holden

Subject: removing moss, etc from an old shake roof

My husband and I have just purchased a home in northern Alberta which has a 40 year old shake roof! The roof is covered with clumps of moss as well as fungi, etc. If replacing the roof is necessary, the cost must be factored into the purchase price. But if there is a method of removing moss and fungi, or a product to use, or a firm close to Edmonton in the business of cedar shake roof repair, could you pass on any information or suggestions you might have?

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.