How to Protect Cedar Shingles

Опубликовал Admin
22-08-2021, 15:50
It’s tough to beat the rustic, natural look of cedar shingles. Because your shingles are exposed to the outside elements and the sun’s rays, they can break down over time. Fortunately, you can protect your cedar so it continues to look vibrant and lasts for a long time. To help you handle the job, we’ve answered some of the most common questions that people have about what they can do to protect their cedar shingles.

Do you need to seal cedar shingles?

  1. Yes, if you want them to last longer. A transparent stain or clear waterproofing treatment will give your home a more rustic look while a colored stain offers lots of customization options. However, both options seal the wood and keep it protected from the outside elements.

How long do untreated cedar shingles last?

  1. Untreated cedar shingles will start to rot after about 5 years. Over time, exposure to rain and sunlight will start to discolor and soften the wood. Eventually, they’ll start to rot and break down completely.
    • The time it takes for your untreated cedar shingles can vary depending on the climate you live in. For instance, they may start to rot quicker in more humid areas.

What do you put on cedar to protect it?

  1. Treat cedar shingles with a water-repellent preservative. Water-repellent preservative (WRP) is a generic term for a clear finish that penetrates the wood to create a protective layer that helps prevent water damage. Applying a layer of WRP can help keep your cedar shingles protected from the elements.
    • WRP doesn’t contain any pigment and adds a shiny layer over your cedar’s natural appearance.
  2. Use a semitransparent or a solid-color stain if you want to add color. Semitransparent stains are oil-based stains that penetrate the wood to protect it from water and UV radiation. Unlike WRPs, they do contain pigments that can alter the color of your cedar shingles. Solid-color stains contain even more pigment, but also provide more protection against UV radiation from the sun. If you want to both protect your cedar shingles and add a darker color to them, go with a semitransparent or a solid-color stain.

How do you seal cedar shingles?

  1. Dip bundles of shingles into a water-repellent preservative. If you’re using a clear coat WRP to seal your cedar shingles, the most efficient way is to dip-apply the preservative. Take a bundle of shingles, dip them into the container of WRP, and then allow the preservative to fully dry according to the directions on the packaging. Once they’re dry, your cedar shingles are sealed and ready to go.
  2. Use a brush or pump sprayer to apply stains. If you’re using a semitransparent or a solid-color stain, you can use a paintbrush to apply the stain, or you can use a pump sprayer to apply the stain to multiple shingles at once. Apply an even layer of the stain and allow it to fully dry according to the directions on the packaging.

How do you keep cedar shingles from turning gray?

  1. Apply a pigmented stain to the shingles. Cedar absorbs the harmful UV rays from the sun, which can turn the wood gray over time. By applying a pigmented wood stain, you can both revitalize the look of your cedar and protect the wood from the radiation that can affect its color.
    • The pigment in the stain will help absorb the UV rays and keep them from turning your cedar shingles gray.

How much does it cost to treat a cedar roof?

  1. It costs between $2,500 and $4,000. Treating your entire roof can help protect it for years and years. The total cost can vary depending on the size of your roof and the amount of labor it takes, but in the long run, it’s worth it.

How do you maintain a cedar roof?

  1. Clean your gutters and clear debris off of your roof. Clogged gutters, branches, and leaves can cause water to pool on your roof which can break down your cedar shingles more quickly. Once in the spring and twice in the fall, clear out your gutters and remove any branches, leaves, or any other debris from your roof to help keep it healthy.
    • In the fall, you may have more leaves and branches on your roof, so it’s a good idea to get up there and clean it up at least 2 times or more if needed.
  2. Replace any damaged or rotting shakes. Shakes are the individual cedar shingles on your roof and sometimes 1 or 2 of them can wear down more quickly than the others. If you notice 1 or more of your shingles are looking discolored or rotten, contact a professional to have them properly replaced to help keep your entire roof healthy.
    • Mold or mildew on 1 rotten shingle could potentially spread to others.
    • It generally costs about $60 USD per hour to replace cedar shingles.


  • You can often choose pre-treated cedar shingles which will have a factory coating already applied to the wood, which will help them last longer.
  • You should also remove leaves from a shingle roof's gutters regularly.


  • Wood stains and finishes can put off noxious fumes, so make sure you work in a well-ventilated area when you’re using them.
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