Property maintenance is just a routine part of being a homeowner. Unlike other exteriors, cedar shake siding requires a significant amount of attention to keep the outside of the home looking great. Whether you’re considering cedar shake for your next home or you’re already committed, it’s important to know that cedar shake siding maintenance is a task that requires homeowners time and attention for the long haul.
Take a look at some common repair strategies (and a much easier solution!) for dealing with cedar shake siding maintenance:
Dealing with Mildew Damage
It’s ugly, it’s stinky, and it can do serious damage to cedar shake. Mold and mildew spots are a sign of bacteria growth, and though it may develop slowly over time, fungus can wreak havoc on wood siding, creeping into the crevices and becoming a bane to remove. Mildew can destroy the pleasing color of cedar and turn it into a pale gray hue, which can stand out and cause curb appeal to plummet.
Part of cedar shake siding maintenance is coming up with a strategy to deal with mildew. Though there may be moisture-resistant products that can help prevent mildew growth, once it’s there, it needs to be removed effectively. A combination of bleach and water may do the trick, so long as the homeowner has an infinite supply of elbow grease. Scrubbing with a nylon brush can get exhausting, so it’s common to supplement scrubbing with power-washing to help remove mildew.
Concerns over Color Fading
If you’ve noticed parts of your cedar siding starting to fade, don’t worry — it’s normal for cedar shake shingles to fade in color over time. Whether they’ve turned a pale gray color from mold and mildew or certain shingles have faded as a result of consistent sun exposure, it can be tricky to have a uniform look — especially when some walls get more sun exposure than others.
Painting is one preferred means of restoring color consistency, but staining is also a great task to add to the list of cedar shake siding maintenance chores. Adding several coats of oil-based stain every few years is a good start for taking preventative measures. Natural wood is incredibly vulnerable to UV rays and other environmental factors, so every coat counts when it comes to getting added protection.
Replacing Damaged Shingles
Unfortunately, dealing with damaged shingles is inevitable for most homeowners who install real cedar shake. Even when cedar shake siding maintenance is carried out flawlessly, natural wood is simply more susceptible to damage, which can occur in several ways. Moisture is one of the biggest culprits, and it can cause warping and rotting. Insects, rodents, and woodpeckers can also leave holes or gnaw marks in wood siding. If the sunlight is particularly concentrated on a certain area of the home, it’s not uncommon for individual cedar shingles in that area to flake up, break, and chip.
In the best case scenario, only a few cedar shingles will require replacement, rather than the entire exterior. Learning how to remove damaged shingles and replace them with new ones should be an important part of ensuring quality cedar shake siding maintenance.
Cedar Shake Siding Maintenance Equipment to Keep On Hand
Repairs and general upkeep are a regular part of cedar shake siding maintenance, so there are a few key items that homeowners should have on hand. Nylon scrubbers, power-washers, power-sanders, and basic toolkit items should cover most tasks. In addition, bleach, paint, and oil-based stains made for exterior use are also helpful.
Fire can also be a big concern for homes that feature natural wood elements, like cedar shake siding. It’s no secret that natural wood is particularly flammable, so homeowners need to recognize the inherent risk of cedar shake. For this reason, homeowners may want to consider an additional fire retardant coating that can help protect the cedar shake siding from going up in flames too quickly. It certainly won’t eliminate the flammability risk, but any little bit of protection can help.
An Easy Alternative to Cedar Siding Maintenance
There’s a lot to think about and plan for with cedar shake siding maintenance. With serious dedication and monetary investment in the best products, it’s certainly possible to enjoy a long-lasting exterior that showcases cedar shake shingles in their best light.
However, some homeowners ultimately opt for an easier siding solution that is more durable and dependable — without all the laborious upkeep! Fiber cement is one such product that offers virtually no maintenance, yet still offers premium protection and reliability. Homeowners can now invest in fiber cement shake siding that mirrors the beauty of natural cedar by replicating the look, color, and texture of real wood. These “wood-look” shingles made from fiber cement essentially cut out the traditional maintenance chores and allow homeowners to enjoy the look of cedar shake siding without the hassle.
Contact the fiber cement specialists at Allura today for more information on low-maintenance shake siding.