Cedar Roof Restoration
We love cedar because it is the only roofing material in the world that you can maintain in a meaningful way. Want your cedar roof to last forty years? Put money into maintenance. Moving in a couple years? Let it rot. It’s up to you. Most people see the wisdom in getting as many years as possible from their cedar roof. That is where our cedar cleaning and restoration services come into play.
Since 1987, we have repaired and restored more cedar roofs in Minnesota than any other company. The strongest testimony to the success of our cedar restoration work is that we seldom advertise. It’s true. Almost all of our business comes from our history of good work in this community. Our references almost certainly include someone you know and there is a good chance we have worked in your neighborhood.
Our process for cedar roof cleaning, repairs and restoration has been developed over the past 20+ years to achieve one simple goal: to maximize the remaining life of your cedar roof. Here are the four steps to our process:
On the surface, our cedar roof cleaning and restoration process looks almost identical to the methods employed by our competitors. It’s not rocket science after all. We wash, we repair we preserve. The basic procedures for cleaning, repairing and sealing a cedar roof have not changed in the past 40 years. To find out what distinguishes us from other outfits, you need to look at the details.
Cedar roof inspection
There is a good reason why some companies don’t care if you are home during your cedar roof inspection. They prefer you don’t witness the relative inexperience of their ‘inspector’. Also, they frequently don’t even to bother getting up on your roof. They may even claim you need not be around for the sake of your convenience. We insist that you are home and we promise you will receive the most detailed, professional and informed analysis of your cedar roof available. Conducting an expert cedar roof inspection from the top of a ladder or from the ground below is like getting a medical examination over the phone. Not terribly valid in reality. Steve Kuhl has taught hundreds of home inspectors how to inspect cedar roofs and is a certified cedar roof expert used as an expert witness in contested insurance claims to arbitrate.
Your cedar roof will be inspected area-by-area, element-by-element. We are looking for a number of things including evidence of wind or hail damage, animal damage or infestation, quality of initial materials and installation, related issues like overhanging trees, clogged gutters and the integrity of all roof flashings and accessories. We will, above all else, determine where your cedar roof is in its lifespan so that you know what should be done to either repair, restore or replace your roof. Have we mentioned that we are the only company in Minnesota the does high volumes of all three?
Cedar Roof Cleaning
Most roof washing companies in Minnesota use dinky pressure washers. This isn’t to say you want high pressure machines on the job. In fact you want the opposite. Without getting too geeky, it all comes down to the ratio between p.s.i and volume being generated by the pump. Their machines, which are store bought for about $1500, frequently operate at 3000 p.s.i and 3 gallons a minute using a 11 hp gasoline engine. Our pressure washing units use 30 hp gasoline engines to drive double headed pumps that produce 1500 p.s.i at 12 gallons a minute and cost us over $25,000 to build from the ground up. What’s the difference? High p.s.i and low water volume = more damage to your roof. Our equipment is expensive because it is custom built for the very purpose of washing cedar shake and shingle roofs.
Cedar Roof Repairs
Your cedar shake or shingle roof doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a part of a larger system. Unlike other cedar roof cleaning companies in the Twin Cities, Kuhl’s Contracting employs professional, year-round roofers. Yep, we have roofers working on your roof. We are skilled at every aspect of roof repair including the areas where your cedar roof interacts with other materials, like siding, skylights, chimneys, and flat roofs. You will never receive an estimate from us that has a shake or shingle allowance (Kuhl Case Study #31 and Kuhl Case Study #39). We think your roof deserves a specific report and recommendation to address the areas of concern. Your cedar roof is a very expensive thing and it is a part of the larger envelop that makes up the exterior of your home. We understand how it all goes together because that’s part of what we do.
Cedar Roof Preservation
After your roof has been inspected, washed and repaired, we allow it to dry adequately before applying our wood preservatives. We saturate your roof with a generous coat of wood preservative to help delay the effects of organic rot and deterioration cause by the sun. After your roof has been preserved you can look forward to years of successful performance. Note: We generally do not recommend using pigmented products or stains on cedar roofs as their performance over time is unpredictable. Here is a Kuhl Case Study that describes what we are talking about. Click here for another photo of a cedar roof staining disaster we came across recently.
Why should you care that we replace roofs too? (Check out this Kuhl Case Study)
- We have no inherent bias towards either replacement or restoration. In other words, we will tell you what is best for your roof, not just what we hope to sell. Other companies have never met a roof they wouldn’t wash and washing an old, crispy cedar roof is a total waste of money. Again, see Kuhl Case Study #23, which illustrates how easy it is to damage cedar roofing with pressure washers.
- We have actual professional roofers on staff. We are a full time, year-round roofing company, not just a roof washing company.
- Many years from now when your cedar roof needs replacing, we want to be your roofer. We will do everything we can between now and then to keep you happy because we have long term goals for our relationship with you.
- Your roof is really expensive and it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is a part of a larger system of materials that keep your home dry. As experienced, licensed residential construction contractors we understand how it all works together (Kuhl Case Study #24).