Cedar Siding – Maintenance and Care
on April 17, 2014
Is there a chemical available that will fade new cedar shingles to match the aged ones on a 1915 brown-shingle bungalow? Do translucent stains allow natural aging to occur. How can you get a uniform look when you patch outside house walls with new shingles? Letting them age naturally will take years, especially since the roof overhang protect some of them from the elements.
The key word in your question is aging, and it also is the key to a big misunderstanding about cedar (and redwood) on the exterior of our homes. Unlike fine cheese and wine, aged cedar does not get better.
In fact, the opposite is true. The gray-black color that results as cedar ages is actually wood-cell breakdown caused by the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays like oxidation of the paint on your car.Another misconception is that raw cedar on the exterior walls of a home doesn’t require staining, and that stain doesn’t require as much maintenance as painting. Actually, stain and paint require similar attention, and the attention will result in superior quality and durability compared to raw cedar.
Both paint and stain filter ultraviolet rays.A cousin of ours sprays oil on the cedar roof of his mountain cabin every couple of years to protect it from snow-melt moisture.
Chevron Shingle Oil is great for this purpose. Linseed oil also works, but it is not as effective. Although practically any oil reduces damage from moisture, it doesn’t prevent UV damage. When a tree fell on the roof, and repairs had to be made, our causing blended lamp black with the oil treatment, and the resulting appearance was simply beautiful. Now his cedar not only is moisture-resistant but UV protected as well.We know of no chemical that can be used to age shingles.
But pigments are available, which, when blended with oil, can be relied upon to match your existing color scheme and improve lasting quality at the same time. Look under Roof Care Contractors in the yellow pages.
Caution: You probably will find it smart to perform a pressure washing on the exterior of your home prior to applying (rolling, brushing or spraying) the oil-pigment formula. By the way, for best color match, the oil-to-pigment ratio is best determined at the work site by using the “mix-n-test” method. The pressure wash will remove dead wood cells, expose bad shingles (which should then be replaced), and will provide a properly cleaned working surface.