Basic Guide For Cedar Siding

Hello everyone,

I’ve been getting more and more cedar shingle and shake cleaning jobs and would like to get those that specialize in cedar/wood to provide a basic guide to cleaning cedar.

I personally have found that cleaning the cedar with medium to low pressure first then doing chemical washes (SH, SodiumH, or Brightener) works the best. Also it seems doing the chemical wash after the cedar surface has dried from your initial cleaning it holds a color better when dry after the treatment.

So just a simple step guide to the best process would be appreciated.

Thank you

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I am in the same boat but have stayed away from cedar for now, We just need a step by step guide that would help lots of us guys out.


I’ve looked every where for information , I’ve watch every YouTube video, there are so many thoughts & opinions on the subject of cedar cleaning … It’s truly difficult to know which method is correct. I watch videos of Bruce Sullivan out of Des Moines Ia , he applies his solution with a 12 volt system , and rinses with a water hose… There’s a company in the Milwaukee Wi area they blast the roof with medium pressure. Both of the companies are doing great, and if you talk to either , they both say the other is doing it incorrect …

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I am still as confused as you Bonefish.
Just need a simple guides as the are for Roofs and Stucco.


I’m going to with sodium percarbnate & light pressure , it’s what most guys use on deck cleaning.

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No one who knows what they are doing is able to give a simple step buy step guide, because when working with cedar there are too many variables. We have done cedar jobs that took only a light house wash mix and low pressure and we have had jobs that took a HOT Hydroxide/butyl mix with several applications.

Cedar is not vinyl. There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for working with it. This is why, those who do regularly work with it, tend to be experts…or at least very knowledgeable on the topic; and also pretty tight lipped about their methods. It takes a TON of practice and trial and error to get a good feel for what you are doing with it.

We do quite a bit of cedar work.


Couple more…

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That’s some beautiful work. But are roofs cleaned in the same manor. With S/H or sodium hydroxide and low pressure

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Thank you very much.

As far as cedar roofs, that is a highly debated topic. The simple answer is yes.

Some will say not to use sodium hypochlorite on a cedar roof. The major argument there though, is that it breaks down the fibers of the wood and causes premature deterioration.

The simple fact is, if you don’t neutralize and then most importantly, oil, it will break down. However, if you you take the time to follow the proper steps, it will last for many many years.

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I should add that most cedar roofs do not require sodium hypochlorite. We only use it when there is a major moss issue. A weak Hydroxide mix is normally more than enough.

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Thank you Ryan

I appreciate your help.

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Interesting. LOL

Trying to take jabs now? Go ahead…obviously you know everything. I ran into you a while back. I remember now. You’re the one that wanted me to pay to come out and train with you.

This industry is full of vultures.

Are you paranoid or something.

I have no idea who you are or even if you are a cleaner.

You sound very immature and I rather just agree to disagree and move on.
How can you draw conclusions without any factual basis?
That’s not very professional or respectful

Anyway, there is nothing to be gained in all this.

This will be my last response to you.

Wish you the best.

Guys lets keep this professional please.

The point is that yes the conclusion is that every cedar job
Is different. A step by step guide as to how you test/ discern what chemical is working best… I personally have tried most processes/tricks Im sure is possible to clean cedar and they all tend to work/clean but in there own reaction and effect.

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Thank you jfsbuilder

I appreciate the simple answers . I’m very interested in doing cedar . I know there’s all types of trick each trade … But I would hate to use the wrong product or method on a cedar roof or siding and have a major insurance claim.

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I think with cedar siding there are too many variables to make some kind of one-size-fits-all step by step method.

I’m not looking for a one size fits all . But proper technics & chemicals, I was ask last fall to clean & oil a cedar shake roof. I had never done cedar, so I started to research everything thing that could find. I found a lot of videos on YouTube , which was very helpful, but there is a lot of controversy over chemicals & methods. I watched one video , the guy showed several different types of cleaners , but he never spoke about the oiling of cedar. I seen a roof where I live that had been oiled, it looked like hell . The cedar looked like it was soaked in oil, you could see dark blotchy spots & you see where oil had run off into the gutters.

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I am also doing my first cedar roof in two weeks. Is there a basic way to oil it? What kind of oil? And lastly the shameful question: what to charge for oiling?? I’ve done many roofs but this will be my first cedar. Any help would be great.

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Whats your ratio to a weak hydroxide mix?