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Cedar shakes and shingles have been used for hundreds of years. They have proven their longevity in actual weather conditions, in all types of climates.

Certi-label™ cedar is naturally long-lasting

Cedar shakes and shingles have been used for hundreds of years. They have proven their longevity in actual weather conditions, in all types of climates. Cedar shakes and shingles contain oils that make them naturally decay resistant. High humidity areas can get added protection with Certi-Last® pressure-impregnated preservative treated material. Cedar's insulative quality, aesthetic appeal, and wind and impact resistance make Certi-label cedar shakes and shingles the natural choice for your roofing and siding material.

Longevity starts with a quality manufacturer

Not all cedar products are alike. Purchasing cedar products with the "Certi" brand name on the bundle label guarantees you that the mill undergoes inspections by an independent third party inspection agency. Only Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau ("CSSB") member mills are allowed to label their products with the Certi-label. Each member mill's bundles will have the distinctive Certi-label tucked under the bundle strap. Locating Certi-label products is as close as your nearest computer or telephone. Contact the CSSB for more information.

Longevity continues with a quality installation

Roof construction plays a major role in determining the lifespan of cedar roofs. Proper design is absolutely critical to ensure long-term roof integrity. Proper installation will help maximize the life of cedar products. CSSB Approved Installers have met membership criteria and continue to prove themselves with each job they complete. Approved Installers offer a workmanship guarantee, references, and are the only contractors authorized to give homeowners the Member Manufacturer’s Lifetime Limited Warranty administered by the CSSB. Locating Approved Installers is as close as your nearest computer or telephone. Contact the CSSB for the names of members in your area.

Experienced care and maintenance professionals can make recommendations based on:

  • Zinc or copper strips nailed at the ridge cap and on the field of the roof can be effective to control moss and algae. The optional use of these strips can be eliminated by using Certi-Last® preservative treated products.
  • Overhanging branches should be kept trimmed away from the roof. This will prevent leaves, small branches and other debris from building up and keeping the roof wet.
  • Gutters and downspouts need to be cleaned regularly, usually in the spring and fall. Downspouts (leaders) should run directly to the ground or to another gutter below. Never let a downspout drain directly onto a lower roof surface.
  • Cedar needs to breathe, and therefore needs to be kept clean. Do not allow leaves, branches or other debris to build up on the roof. Both surface areas and keyways (spaces between shakes and shingles) need to be kept clear.
  • Ensure ventilation is available, year round. Areas with louvers, ridge vents, roof vents, and soffit vents need to be kept clear and never blocked off. Adequate ventilation ensures that heat and moisture do not build up in the attic area. Adequate ventilation also prevents water from accumulating at the bottom of the roof and then freezing (ice damming).

Certi-label™ cedar is also available with a pressure-impregnated treatment process

For even longer life span, where climate is a factor, CSSB members offer Certi-Last® pressure-impregnated preservative treated shakes and shingles. These products are ideal for areas of high humidity. The CSSB recommends using Certi-Last® products in the following areas: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi,North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas (in the counties of: Angelina, Austin, Brazos,

Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington), Virginia and West Virginia. Read the Member Manufacturer’s Lifetime Limited Warranty administered by the CSSB for more details.

Certi-Last® products are cedar shakes and shingles that are factory pressure-treated by quality treaters who are members of the CSSB. Contact the treatment company for warranty details.

Pressure-impregnated treated Certi-Last® (preservative) or Certi-Guard® (fire-retardant) products should not receive after market roof treatments without written permission from the manufacturer of such products.

A word about topical treatments for installed roofs

There are hundreds of companies offering topical roof spraying and cleaning services. The CSSB has conducted an in-depth study of care and maintenance systems, and provides the following summary:

  • Avoid the fly-by-night operation that has no permanent office, no workmanship guarantee, and no local references. Fly-by-night operations often gouge consumers for thousands of dollars beyond the value of their service, leaving them with damaged roofs covered with unsuitable and sometimes dangerous treatment products.

If you elect to have a topical treatment applied to your cedar roof, the CSSB recommends the following:

  • Check references including consumer, Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce.
  • Ask about the treatment product that is being used.
  • Ask to see the company's workmanship guarantee, license and workers' compensation coverage.
  • Ask to view roofs that the company has treated, both recently and a few years prior.

Topical treatment products

It is not within the CSSB's mandate to recommend brand names of topical roof treatment products. The CSSB does, however, recommend the following:

DO use a topical treatment product that:

  • Offers a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet that lists product ingredients and safety precautions).
  • Is labeled as a cedar roof treatment product or has a letter from the manufacturer stating that treating cedar roofs is an appropriate use of this product.
  • Is a water repellent, UV inhibitor, and/or EPA registered wood preservative.
  • Has a manufacturer's performance guarantee.

DO NOT use a topical treatment product that:

  • Makes outrageous claims (such as a 10-year effectiveness).
  • Makes fire-retardant claims.
  • Is a sealant, waterproofer or plasticizer.
  • Contains unfortified linseed oil, diesel fuel or crank case oil.

The CSSB is aware of numerous bleaching and cleaning agents. Many claim to be effective on moss/mildew removal or accelerating cedar's change to the weathered gray color. Consumers are advised to heed the preceding topical treatment precautions before allowing such products to be applied to a cedar roof.


This is the most controversial issue in the care and maintenance industry. It is a fact that high pressure washing by inexperienced people will cause significant damage to any material. Some debris can easily be removed with garden hose pressure. Some contractors powerwash to clean roofs, while others do not. If powerwashing is used, the roof should receive a topical treatment to restore the roof. The CSSB recommends having a professional assess each job on an individual basis. A professional should consider the following factors to determine if powerwashing is appropriate or not:

  • Age, condition and environment of roof • Gallons sprayed per minute
  • Fan tip size
  • Distance spray nozzle is held from roof • Pressure per inch and others...

The beauty of cedar

Another good thing about cedar is that it is possible to replace and repair parts of the roof, without worrying that the replacement shakes or shingles are significantly different in composition from the original shakes or shingles. Over the hundreds of years that cedar has been used, the product has remained's still cedar. As cedar advances to its mature stage, it is natural to expect some pieces to require replacement. Individual repairs are possible, and with prompt attention, proactive repairs can extend the life of your wise Certi-label cedar investment.

Repair overview

The following diagrams give an overview of correct repair tools and methods.

Tools to repair cedar shake or shingle roofs

1. Slater’s Ripper

  • for pulling and cutting nails under shakes or shingles
  • use as pry bar

2. Hack Saw Blade Saw

  • for cutting nails under shakes or shingles

3. Pry Bar

  • for prying up shakes or shingles
  • for pulling nails out from under shakes or shingles using nail hole in bar

repair cedar 2Repairing a cedar shake or shingle with a metal shim inserted under the defect

repair cedar 1The dark corrosion resistant metal shim should be about 2 1/2" wide and be about 1/2" longer than the weather exposure of the product it is to repair. The bottom two corners should be bent down at a 45 degree angle to keep the shim from sliding out of repair. The shim should be slid all the way under the course to be repaired and out of sight. If well done, this type of repair should last as long as the roof.

repair cedar 3Removing a damaged cedar shake or shingle from an existing roof

Pry up the shake to be removed and the shakes directly above the shake to be removed so that the nail shafts and heads can be accessed under the shakes. Pull out or cut nails using hack saw blade saw, pry bar or slater's ripper.

Use hooks on the side of slater's ripper or hole in the pry bar to hook nail heads under the shakes to pull the nails. The shake can then be pulled and wiggled out of the roof.

repair cedar 4Replacing a missing shake in the roof field, ensuring that the nails are not exposed

Slide a shake fitted to the empty area into the empty area. Hold the shake 1/2" below the final fitting position. Install two of the proper nails at a 45 degree angle at the butt of the covering course. Drive the shake up the last 1/2", covering the nail heads, using a wood block against the shake butt to reduce splitting.

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