Cedar shakes make fine roofing material, but require a surprising amount of upkeep for homeowners who have previously had metal or asphalt roofs. In order to preserve the integrity of the cedar shakes, it is important to keep the cedar roof clean and free of debris. Mold and mildew should be addressed as soon as it is spotted, and leaf litter should be removed to inhibit possible rot.
Step 1: Clean the overall surface of the roof using a garden hose with a simple, low pressure spray head. A pressure washer is too strong for the roof, and could unintentionally damage the cedar shakes. The goal with this initial cleaning is to remove any dirt or other debris from the surface of the roof.
Step 2: Mix a cedar shake cleaning product with the correct amount of water in a bucket. Fill a pump garden sprayer with the mixture.
TIP: A commercial cedar shake cleaner will be harsh enough to kill mold and mildew without harming the roof.
Step 3: Apply the cedar shake cleaning product mixture over a small section of the roof. Start from the bottom corner of the roof furthest away from the ladder.
TIP: The commercial cleaner, coupled with the wet roof can make the roof incredibly slippery. Exercise extreme caution and be sure to wear proper footwear while working on the roof.
Step 4: Scrub the section with the cleaner using a small, medium bristled hand brush. This will allow you to remove any mold or mildew that you see, as well as any stubborn leaf litter that will not detach from the surface of the cedar shakes.
TIP: Wear gloves and eye protection to prevent irritating your skin or eyes with the cedar shake cleaner.
Step 5: Rinse the section you have cleaned by hand with your garden hose.
Step 6: Clean all of the roof using the same methods used to clean the first section of cedar shakes.