"Renovate" my roof?

Last week a guy came to my door offering a free roofing inspection. He is a licensed roofing contractor. I took him up on it as I can see that my shake roof (22 years old) has some problems - though no leaks.

Tonight we met to go over the results. He said my roof qualifies to be “renovated” - they basically pressure wash it, replace curling and burned-through shingles, then “paint” it with their fireproof coating. They offer a 12 year warranty; 6 years of 100% material & Labor, then 6 more years 100% labor & 50% materials.

Price is $7400 for my 3000sf of roof area. Includes “restoring” gutters (basically recaulking, I think.)

Tell me, guys, of your professional opinions.


The life of a shake or wood shingle roof can be from 12 to 50 yrs— if I am not mistaken. It depends on a lot of factors. Anyway I’m no expert, just shooting from the lip.

We will shortly be tearing off a 28 yr. old shake roof installed over plywood. There is no “renovating” this one at all.

$7,400 is a lot of money to put into a 30 sq. detiorating roof. If indeed it is. I’d get a 2nd opinion. I’d easily pay $2-300 for an un-biased 2nd opinion.

He knocked on your door? I’d check his references, and more importantly, his past work up close. Licensing doesn’t mean much in most areas.
Not that there is anything wrong w/ knocking on doors…

power washing a roof is not recommended, all sorts of bad things can happen.

Can you post some pics of your roof?
If it needs $7400 worth of “restoration”, it probably needs to be replaced.
A properly applied cedar roof with quality shingles/shakes will last a very very long time…

My professional opinion is to get a second, third and maybe even a fourth opinion. 8k is a lot of work.

For that amount of money for a “restoration”, I would spend just a little more and have it torn off and replaced, making sure you have the cedar breather product installed under the new shakes if you decide to stay with the same type of roof.

Power washing, if not done carefully, can destroy the wood fibers of the existing cedar.

I dont know which grade of cedar you currently have, but if the materials cost around $ 200.00 per square and tear-off is abot $ 100.00 per square and labor to install should be avbout the same, they\n you have $ 400.00 per square X 30 squares = $ 12,000.00. Plus, if you do the cedar breather ventilation under the new cedar roof, you will need to add in that cost too.

This does not include any roofing ierregularities or additional steep pitch factor, but I would prefer a new 50 year or life-time architectural shingle roof instead of cedar for a significantly lesser cost.


Thanks, guys - this is all very good information.

I’m in California, the nicest part, where we get a handful of nights each winter that freeze, a handful of humid and/or over 90 degree days in the summer, 12" of rain each year and, well, eat your hearts out. Oh - but all this makes labor here VERY expensive.

My cedar shakes are medium, not heavy, and I had several estimates done over the summer. I got up there with each of them. One guy pointed to “burn-outs” (holes in the shingles) but he later gave me some brown sheets of metal that he said I could just tuck under those shakes. My ridge cap needs some work, etc. And I’m inadequately vented from the top, though I have plenty of eave vents. And one guy said that my shakes had been installed not quite up to code - overlap was short by an inch or so on most rows. Annnnd…
I have “Dutch gutters” which have a few years left in them but which do a lousy job. Two of the roofers recommended having the tails cut off and hanging new 6" gutters. Prices ranged from $17k-25k depending on the roofing product used. (Without gutters was $13k-17k) All were reputable companies. And sooo…this “renovation” thing seems tempting. But the “pressure-wash with acid” part does sound like something to avoid. Thanks in advance!

I’d show photos but I still haven’t figured out how to get them anywhere but to my monitor…

Don’t fall for the power blasting/washing. It will harm the shakes, not repair them. Cedar shakes on spaced sheathing, as is common in California, do a great job of breathing. Unless they are on plywood, you don’t have to worry. During the summer you may notice they curl slightly. They’re breathing now. If the job was “track grade” medium shakes, they are getting to the end of their lifetime. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Same story with shakes. If they aren’t leaking, don’t mess with them. Every time you get on the roof you are harming the old shakes. Repairs to the ridge are common and sometimes necessary.

Thanks, Donl. I can live with that!

got the site admin out on that one.