Two Treatments You Need For Your Cedar Roof

If you have cedar residential roofing, then you have stylized and beautiful shingles covering your house.  These shingles can last for hundreds of years as long as you provide proper care.  Power washing and the application of waterproof materials and stains are all things not suggested for cedar shingles.  There are a variety of treatments that are suggested to keep the wood roof in good shape, though.  Keep reading to learn about a few of these treatments.

Linseed Oil Treatments

The shingles on your roof will be exposed to ultraviolet rays throughout the day.  These rays will cause the water content within the shingles to evaporate quickly and the natural cedar oils that lie within the wood will dissipate as well.  Also, the sun will cause the color of the shingle to fade from a light amber color to a gray tone.  This fading process is photodegradation.  When photodegradation occurs, chemical bonds are broken between the coloring pigments in the wood.  

All of these things mean that the sun weakens and dries out the shingles over time.  This can lead to cracks and warped shingles.  You can help to both reverse and prevent sun damage by adding an oil based coating to your roof.  Waterproof sealers and oil based stains are not good choices though, because the cedar needs to breathe to retain its strength and durability.  A linseed oil treatment is a good idea to replenish moisture and to protect the surface of the shingles from extensive sun damage.

Using Linseed Oil

Linseed oil treatments are best added to the surface of your cedar shingles when you notice significant fading, cracking, or drying across the wood.  The timeframe between treatments can vary significantly depending on the weather conditions in your area.  Before you can add the oil, use a broom to clear all the dirt and debris away from your roof.  Afterwards, mix the linseed oil solution.

To make your treatment material, you will need to buy boiled linseed oil from your local home store.  You will also need a thinner material to add to the oil.  You can use acetone, turpentine, or another solvent.  The solvent will help the oil absorb into the wood.  Mix one cup of thinner for every four cups of linseed oil you add to a large bucket or container.  When the mix is ready, use a large paintbrush or sprayer to add the oil to your roof.

Copper Naphthenate Treatments

Your cedar shingles will be exposed to rain as well as high humidity levels during the spring and summer months.  The moisture will be retained by the  shingles for some time until the air dries out and allows for evaporation.  Your roof may be covered by large branches or it may sit in an area where it does not receive a good deal of sun exposure during the day.  These conditions can allow mold to grow on the surface of the shingles.

When mold grows, your roof will remain wet for an extended period of time.  The moisture as well as the expansion of the mold spores across and within the shingles can cause substantial deterioration, rot, and decay.  You can and should reduce these concerns by adding a copper naphthenate mixture to the surface of your roof.  The copper will kill and prevent mold and it will also keep insects and other microorganisms from affecting your roof.

Using Copper Napthenate

Consider purchasing a ready to use type of copper treatment or preservative from your local home store and clean your roof thoroughly.  The preservative can be applied with a brush or roller.  It is not wise to use a sprayer to add the material to your roof, because the pre-mixed solution is thin and it can blow away if it is windy outside.  Add one or two thin layers of the copper preservative.  Repeat the treatment if mold does not die or fall off the roof within a week or two.

If you have a cedar roof on your home, then it is wise to add treatments to the surface of the shingles.  Linseed oil and copper napthenate are two types of materials that can help retain the appearance and longevity of your roof.


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