Cedar is a beautiful material to use in a home. For one, it is natural material, and when harvested in a sustainable way, it will not create problems for the environment. Moreover, when your roof reaches the end of its purpose life, you can use the shingles for other projects like bird houses or folk art, but you can also put them in a landfill with the knowledge that they are completely biodegradable. Cedar is beautiful and durable, but for all the strengths that a cedar roof has, they will not last for ever and will occasionally require repairs.
Recognizing Damage to a Cedar Roof
Cedar is prone to splitting especially along the grain, which extends from the top to the bottom of the shingle. A constant cycle of heating and cooling will cause the wood to expand and contract, which can cause the shingles to split. Thin shingles are also susceptible to impact damage. Thus, you should frequently check your shingles for damage, especially after hailstorms or windstorms that could break off branches of any trees overhanging your roof.
Repairing a Split Shingle
If you have a shingle that is partially split along the grain, you can prevent further splitting by driving nails on either side of the split. You can then caulk the split in the shingle to prevent leaks. For further protection, cover each nailhead with roofing cement to prevent water from seeping into your home around your shingles.
Repairing Badly Damaged Shingles
If you have a shingle that is split from top to bottom or a shingle that has cracked across the grain, you have no choice but to remove the shingle and replace it. Use a hammer and chisel to break up the shingle, then pull out the strips of shingle. You can then use a nail puller to remove the nails that held the old shingle in place. Slide a new shingle into place and nail it down. Cover the nail heads with roofing cement.
Although cedar roofs will require occasional repair, the good news is that you should be able to handle the repairs on your own and save yourself a little money. If you do not feel comfortable working on your roof on your own, you can call in roofing professionals to do the work for you, especially if there is extensive damage to your roof. You may also want to go to sites of local services to check your options.