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Cedar Roof Cleaning Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Updated on March 22, 2011

Cedar roof cleaning is to the roof stain removal industry what high-end kitchen remodeling is to the construction industry.  It demands a high level of skill and an unusual attention to detail.  To be frank, it should only be attempted by the best of the best.  Cleaning a wood roof brings with it a whole new set of hurdles that traditional roof cleaning does not.

For starters, cleaning a cedar wood roof will most likely require at least some power washing.  This differs from cleaning asphalt shingles which should require only a chemical cleaning and zero pressure.  This is because wood is more susceptible to heavy moss growth.  Now chemical cleaning will kill most moss growth, but if it’s severe (as it often get in the Northwest) it could require some pressure cleaning.  Using a power washer 40 feet off the ground is difficult and dangerous work and should only be attempted by the most experienced of roof cleaners.  Add to that the fact that you’ll likely have to haul away several garbage bags worth of carpet moss, which is a real pain in the butt.

Another concern is safety.  Wood roofs can be particularly slippery, especially when covered in chemical or water.  This is due to the fact that they don’t have shingle granules to help provide traction to roof walkers.  No traction means a very dangerous situation.  Couple this with the fact that you’ll most likely be using a bleach solution at some time during the cleaning and you’re looking at an ice rink up there.  In other words, you better have your safety harness on and you better make sure it’s secure.  Many a roof cleaner has tried to clean cedar shingles without safety precautions in place only to break a leg, snap a neck, or worse.  I think you get the gist here.  Use some common sense. 

If you’re hiring it out just make sure to find a roof cleaning contractor that has experience cleaning cedar shingles or you could be in for a rough experience.  If you plan on doing it yourself (what are you, crazy?) please do yourself a favor and contact a local professional who can offer you some roof cleaning tips for your particular situation and location.  There are different methods for different regions of the country, and there are certainly different steps that must be taken if you’re attempting a cedar roof cleaning.


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