Cedar Shake Input

I’ve been walking away from every cedar shake job I’ve been offered but it has become too much to continue saying no. There are areas in my region where at least 50% of houses have cedar shake roofing and are in desperate need of a clean.

I’ve spent hours researching on here, reviewing Youtube (Everett Adams, Sullivan Roof Cleaning) and there seems to be no consensus on the proper way to clean them.

Some say SH, some say no SH, some say sodium percarbonate, some even say high pressure (?!?!) and others just say “their proprietary solution”. The only universal agreement seems to be to apply oxalic post-clean.

Have a large house looking to get this done ASAP so I am hoping someone may be able to point me in the direction of some factual advice. I’ve asked around in my immediate network and with people in my region from this forum but they do not do cedar shake.

House is all cedar shake roofing, has copper eaves (warned the homeowner about expectations already here if SH is used), some areas have a rug of moss, while others are just starting to go green. Attached pictures for reference.

I would sincerely appreciate any advice or even being pointed in the right direction to find an expert who may be able to assist here. Thank you in advance.



I think the sheer fact that that list of experts differ in how to clean it says that there are several viable options…with the exception of oxalic being an apparent non-negotiable. I don’t think anyone can ever say, “this is your answer.” You can’t even get a 100% consensus on what tip, mix, pre/post treat to use on a concrete slab most of the time, so I’d never expect one on such a niche market.

I think you’re on the right path by gathering as much expert advice as you can, but in the end you’re probably going to have to do test spots on several until you get a handle on the typical other factors involved (like the copper you mentioned, etc).

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Absolutely fair enough - I guess what throws me off is that there is more of a debate on how to do it, rather than a suggestion of multiple options. The adamant group of pro-SH vs. no-SH on cedar is what really gets me. Whereas other surfaces that we clean, it seems to be agreed that multiple different options work and it comes down to preference.

I appreciate the response and will continue to seek out as much advice as possible!

and don’t take what I say as any insight into the processes (admittedly, I have none regarding cedar, esp. roofs). Just maybe a change of thought process, and trusting in what experience you have too. Gather all the info you can, and let the customers know, but let them know from a position that if you’ve been washing a month, you already know probably 100x what the customer knows. You are the expert in their mind. :wink:

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Does anyone on here clean cedar shake roofs? Jacob’s a good guy, I’m sure a response or a DM would be greatly appreciated if anyone has experience dealing with them.

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