The Cedar Roof Company prides itself on providing home owners with information and options to care for their wood roofs
Six years ago Somerset lake homeowner John Knotts decided to have The Cedar Roof Company (CRC) clean and preserve the cedar roof on his home. Approximately 235 homes in this Landenberg, Pa. neighborhood were originally constructed with cedar shingle roofs. “Fortunately, my home was one of the last ones built in the neighborhood, and I made the decision to preserve my roof at a younger age than most,” Knotts says. “The effectiveness of preservation is evident when I visually compare the appearance of my roof vs. others in the neighborhood as well as on my own street that had not. The difference is clear and indisputable.” Mr. Knotts’ roof is on the CRC recoat schedule for this spring.
The CRC specializes in the installation, repair, cleaning and preservation of cedar shake and shingle roofs. “There are cedar roof homes scattered throughout the Delaware Valley where homeowners who chose to preserve and protect their wood roofs are avoiding costly replacement,” says CRC co-owner Brian Pott. “Their neighbors’ roofs never preserved—in many cases right next door and across the street are failing because their owners neglected this important care option.” He explains that preservation makes economic sense. In fact, one of his company’s mottos is “Preserve it now or replace it later.”
The Ageless Beauty of Protected Cedar
The preservation coating is specifically designed for both cedar shake and shingle wood roofs and comes in one of three natural cedar hue-selections, including a timeless Weathered Gray, a classic shade of Nantucket Gray and a Cedartone that beautifully enhances the look of “new” cedar. Preservation of a wood roof is a two-step process which should only be performed by skilled and experienced professionals who understand how to correctly clean and treat cedar. The process starts with a thorough cleaning of the roof ’s wood shakes or shingles to ensure product penetration, longevity and final aesthetics. In the second stage, the technicians operate a high-volume, low pressure spray unit to evenly and precisely coat the entire roof surface with the treatment. Preserving a roof offers ongoing protection from sunlight and moisture, a wood roof ’s two greatest enemies.
All preservation customers of CRC receive a Five-Year Limited Leak and Repair Guarantee which acts as a self-imposed cap relative to repairs with an added feature of real estate transferability. This Guarantee is automatically renewed for customers who, like Knotts, stay “in-cycle” with subsequent re-coatings, suggested only once every five to six years.
The degree of environmental exposure the roof has received may determine whether or not it is a candidate for preservation. Not all sections of a cedar roof weather at the same rate; a northern exposed or heavily shaded section of an unprotected wood roof creates a moist environment, allowing moss to grow and accumulate. Moss harbors moisture, which prevents the wood from thoroughly drying. In time, if left unprotected, the result is unavoidable decay and wood rot. A southern, sun-exposed section of an unprotected wood roof will accelerate in weathering due to ultraviolet exposure. This UV-generated weathering causes cupping, curling, cracking and/or splitting damage to both shakes and shingles.
The damage caused by the intensity of the sun in the Northeastern United States, is the primary factor for wood roofs becoming aesthetically compromised as they age and ultimately why they require premature replacement.
An Honest Assessment of Your Roof
Age alone is not always a death sentence for wood roofs. There are many other contributing factors affecting how a wood roof will age including: type, length, thickness and exposure of the shake or shingle, method of installation and environmental conditions. A home’s lot position with regard to the presence of trees as well as roof pitch can determine weathering and current condition. All of these factors determine the roofs life expectancy and dictate the options available. Every cedar roof, like every home, is unique and should be evaluated as such.
CRC’s installation manager, Mike Malone, suggests homeowners receive an evaluation of their wood roof, in order to help them assess its current condition and future progression. Both Pott and Malone encourage homeowners to be present during the assessment when, according to Pott, his company can provide insight and discuss the options available. “You will learn more about your wood roof by viewing it with a qualified professional than you would by reading any proposal.” However, both Pott and Malone stress the importance of a detailed estimate when considering any roofing company to perform work. According to Pott, CRC’s goal is to educate homeowners about the options available for their roof by providing an inspection that examines the quality of their cedar shakes’ or shingles’ current condition.
Although many homeowners panic when they see evidence of a leak, Pott, believes that the most important thing they should understand is that there is rarely pressure to make a quick decision about the replacement of their roof. “Even a visible leak can be repaired in order to allow a customer adequate time to consider their options,” he says.
This sort of thorough and honest assessment is one factor that sets CRC apart from other roofing contractors. With more than 2,800 active customers and membership in local business and industry organizations, CRC is, in fact, the only company in southeastern Pennsylvania with a service department dedicated to maintaining and repairing wood roofs.
Professional Cedar Roof Service and Repair
CRC offers any wood roof homeowner who does not hold an active CRC Guarantee or Warranty a straightforward pricing structure for all repairs, meant to provide customers with a clear understanding of the services and options. During the initial visit, a technician will provide an overall roof inspection and analysis. Service fees include the first hour of labor and standard materials. If a second hour is needed, an hourly rate will apply. Should the work involved require
more than two hours, the customer will not be charged for the initial visit. Instead, the repair technician will provide a written estimate—including all labor and material costs—explaining the problem and a remedy for repair.
CRC takes a conservative approach to roof repair since removing a cedar shake or shingle from a roof is an invasive process. In order to remove just one piece of wood, as many as six nails must be broken or ripped out of their setting, which includes the surrounding layers of wood and decking beneath. For a cedar shake roof—where felt paper is commonly used to create an extra layer of protection—some tearing is unavoidable. This work should be done only by an experienced technician. CRC is so confident in its conservative approach to repairs that if the repair is not sufficient to resolve the issue and the customer needs a return service call, the time is billed at an hourly rate without any extra service charge.
CRC provides continued education for home inspectors to help them correctly evaluate these often misunderstood roofs. Cedar shake and shingle roofs can be either a beautiful asset or a costly concern during the sale of a home. CRC understands these concerns and offers both Three- and Five-Year Leak and Repair Warranties. “We are the only local wood roofing company to issue home inspection certifications and warranties that assist in facilitating the sale of a home,” Pott says. “We not only document the condition of the roof but also accept the limited liability for its future performance.” He is passionate about this business: “We want to create a customer who will be with us for the life of the home.”