2 Common Cedar Shake Roof Issues with Gutter Covers

Cedar shake roof issues can crop up with both gutters and gutter covers.  If you have a cedar or wood shake roof, you’ll have to check your shingle installation to see if these two common issues may apply.

Cedar Shake Roof Issues:  Shingles Extend into Your Gutter

Gutter Guards for Cedar Shake Roofs

Avoid cedar shake roof issues with gutter guards by not extending your shingles into your gutters and by installing pretreated shakes.

While we aren’t going to second guess how roofers install cedar or wood shakes, it seems like common sense that you’d create cedar shake roof issues if the first row of shingles extends down and into the gutter.  All wood is porous and if the gutter was to be left to fill with debris which then traps water, the shake edge that extends into the gutter gets put at risk.  Cedar isn’t rot resistant, and its side edge will act like a straw and wick moisture up through its pores.  To the extent you can keep your shingle edge out of your gutter, you eliminate the problem from occurring.

Cedar shake roof issues are particularly a problem when you have fascia gutters on your home.  Cedar roofs and fascia gutters are quite common on the West Coast of the United States.

Fascia gutters are installed virtually even with the roof deck (the wood under the shingle, whether shake or asphalt), which is to say that the front lip of a fascia gutter often sits even with the roof edge.  When cedar shakes are used as your choice of shingle, they will often sit down in the gutter.

To install gutter covers, cedar shakes often have to be cut back so that there is enough room to install the gutter covers. Installing gutter covers that sit flat or just inside the gutter only serve to move the debris that would have dropped to the bottom of the gutter right up against the cedar shake.

Hire a professional roofer to make any adjustments to the roof edge to allow for gutter guards.  Often, shake roofs have a very natural look to them, such that, to the eye, the roof edge does not look like a crisp line.   Cut the shingles back to install gutter covers and the roof line might not look as natural as before.

Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance Can Affect Gutter Covers

For cedar shake roof issues not to occur and last for as long as 50-60 years, a lot of maintenance is required.  The roof must be kept free of debris so that it doesn’t attract moss or mold.  It is common to treat shakes with oils and products designed to waterproof the shingles.

Waterproofing materials and oils typically aren’t compatible with gutter guards, particularly sponges, screens and microfilter style products.  That’s because the very same chemicals or oils that are designed to waterproof the pores in the wood will also waterproof the gutter guard.

If you have a cedar roof, you’ll have to pay particular attention to how you maintain it if you also have or want to install a gutter guard, since your future actions may impact the manufacturer’s warranty on your choice of gutter guard.

MasterShield can be installed with cedar shake roofs, but we recommend only installing it with pre-treated shingles.  Any ongoing maintenance with the roof that involves treating the roof to seal it in any way would have an impact on our manufacturer’s warranty.

Have another type of roofing material that you’re not sure works with gutter covers?  Let us know, we’ll try to help.


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MasterShield manufactures gutter guards and gutter heaters for your exterior home improvement needs.
Our innovative microfiltration technology saves homeowners time, effort and money from cleaning out, repairing and replacing unprotected gutters.
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