Cedar roofs, whether they are constructed using shingles or shakes, provide a natural and luxurious aesthetic to your home that other types of roofing materials are unable to match. However, like all parts of your home that are exposed to the exterior, weather and temperature fluctuations can cause all sorts of damage and wear to your cedar roof. Understanding what the warning signs of cedar roof wear looks like can help you figure out when you need to contact a professional to replace your roof before it begins to cause problems for the rest of your home.
One of the main signs of wear for a cedar roof is if the edges of the shakes or shingles begin to warp or curl. This is a natural part of the aging process, and will occur due to water and UV exposure. This can be a serious issue for the interior of your home, as curling or warping edges can allow water to seep between your shakes or shingles and cause water damage and mold growth in your attic. If you see any signs of warping on your roof, you should contact a professional immediately.
In a similar vein to the above point, you should get up on your roof and inspect individual shakes and shingles for any signs of cracking. This can occur due to temperature fluctuations, which causes individual shakes and shingles to expand and contract. Even small hairline cracks can quickly expand and break individual shakes and shingles into two due to further weather exposure, leaving a large opening for the elements and water to enter your home and wreak havoc. Thankfully, if you see cracks on only a few of your shingles or shakes, you will only have to replace those specific pieces, not the entire roof.
While some form of fading in the color of your shakes is normal due to age and weather exposure, you should keep an eye out for any extremely dark spots that appear on your shingles. While the stain used on cedar roofing will help keep out water and prevent mold growth, such stains can point to mold or algae growth on your roof, which can quickly spread into your home through the attic if left unchecked. While you can clean the specific sections of the roof off, mold growth will have deteriorated the structural integrity of the shingles anyway, and the newly cleaned shingles will still be susceptible to further mold growth.