A cedar roof installation is a beautiful choice for a roof. While you can find metal or cement tiles which are molded to mimic the grains you see in a wood roof, there really is nothing you can do to improve on the real thing. Cedar is a beautiful wood. It will fade from a white or red to a silver grey or deep brown color. The depth of the grain and the variations in color from piece to piece create a unique-looking roof.

Furthermore, a cedar roof can last for fifty years or more. Just because cedar shingles are long lasting does not mean that you can ignore your roof. You should inspect your roof frequently—especially after extreme weather—and make repairs when necessary:

What Does a Damaged Cedar Shingle Look Like?

You will see two typical signs of damage in a cedar shingle.

1) Sometimes a cedar shingle will split along the grain. in this case, you will see a crack that runs from the top of the shingle to the bottom. If the crack extends all the way to the top of a shingle, water can leak through the crack, and under your shingles.

2) Sometimes a tile will break. In this case, the broken end may fall above the underlying shingle and cause leaking. 

How to Make a Repair?

When you make repairs to a damaged shingle, you only need a hammer, a cat's claw, nails, roofing cement, and some idea of how to use them:

1. Gently raise the shingles from the row above the damaged shingle and use the cat's claw to pry out the nails that hold it in place.

2. Slide out the shingle.

3. Measure the gap between the shingles on either side of the hole you have made and cut your new shingle so that it is a half-inch thinner than this gap.

4. Slide the shingle up until the bottom edge extends about a quarter of an inch below the others in the same row. 

5. Drive two roofing nails into the top of the shingle as close as you can get to the shingle from the row above without damaging it. 

6. Cover the nail heads with roofing cement.

7. Tap the bottom edge of the shingle with your hammer until the nail heads are covered and the shingle is even with the others in the same row. 

Working on a cedar roof is not really all that difficult. If you know how to use a few basic tools, you should have no problem making repairs. You do, however, need a head for heights. If you are at all uncomfortable up on your roof, you should call a roofer to make the repairs for you.

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