Preserve and Protect
The Cedar Roof Company prides itself on providing homeowners with information and options to care for their wood roofs
by Sharon A. Shaw


Local residents with wood roofs have an expert they can turn to with all of their questions and concerns. The Cedar Roof Company, of Malvern, specializes in the installation, repair, cleaning and preservation of cedar shake and shingle roofs.


With more than 2,800 active customers and membership in local business and industry organizations, they are, in fact, the only company in southeastern Pennsylvania with a service department dedicated to maintaining and repairing wood roofs. Unlike other roofing contractors who attempt to offer multiple material options, The Cedar Roof Company works exclusively on cedar shake and shingle roofs. Its principals are the experts in this field.


“We deal only with cedar,” says Mike Malone, head of installation for The Cedar Roof Company. “The competition is not as knowledgeable about the product because they do not specialize.” The Cedar Roof Company regularly services clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York and Connecticut, but its reputation and qualifications have earned it satisfied customers in several additional states. Loyal clients have even asked The Cedar Roof Company to care for their vacation homes as far away as Maine.


Though many homeowners panic when they see evidence of a leak, The Cedar Roof Company’s co-owner Brian Pott believes that the most important thing they should understand is that there is rarely pressure to make a quick decision about the replacement of their roof. “Even a visible leak can be fixed temporarily in order to allow a customer adequate time to consider their options,” he says.  


An Honest Assessment

The Cedar Roof Company takes a conservative approach to roof repair. Most times the trained technicians can pinpoint and fix damage with minimal labor, materials and time. Removing a cedar shingle or shake from a roof is an invasive process. In order to remove just one piece of wood, six nails must be broken or ripped out of their setting, which includes the layers of wood and decking beneath. For a cedar shake roof—where felt paper is commonly used to create an extra layer of protection—some tearing is unavoidable. This work should only be done by an experienced technician.


The Cedar Roof Company offers a straightforward pricing structure for all repairs, meant to provide customers with a clear understanding of the services and options. All of its repairs begin with a flat basic service fee. For this, a technician will come to the home for up to one hour to provide an overall roof inspection and analysis, labor and standard repair materials including metal shims, cedar shingles or shakes of a similar type as the existing ones, silicone products and Geo-cell, if needed. Most repairs can be completed within this one-hour visit.


If the repair requires additional time, an hourly rate is charged for the second hour. If The Cedar Roof Company feels that a repair will require more than three hours to complete, the customer will not be charged for the service call. Instead, it will provide a written detailed estimate encompassing all labor and materials required so the homeowner can make an informed decision about their roof. The workmanship on any of The Cedar Roof Company’s repairs is guaranteed for a minimum of three years.


If the conservative repair provided by the Cedar Roof Company is not sufficient to resolve the issue, though, and the customer needs to call for a return service, the time is billed at an hourly rate. The company is so confident in its conservative approach to repairs, that if after attempting to repair the problem it determines that section replacement is required, the customer is sent a check for 50 percent of what was spent on the repairs—up to $500—followed by an estimate for the section replacement. This policy is in effect whether the customer chooses to have the replacement completed by The Cedar Roof Company or someone else.


This sort of thorough and honest assessment is one factor that sets The Cedar Roof Company apart from other roofing contractors. “Even an older roof whose care has been neglected may still be functional,” Pott says. “We are not just selling for today, but are trying to provide customers with the information they need to evaluate their situation and make educated decisions.” Both Pott and Malone suggest homeowners receive an evaluation of their wood roof whether they are having a problem or not, in order to help them assess its current condition and future progression. They encourage customers to be present during the assessment when, according to Pott, his company can provide insight and discuss the options available to the homeowner. “We believe that providing education about our services, products and the contracting industry is the honest and professional way to assist homeowners. You will learn more about your wood roof by viewing it with a professional than you would by reading any proposal.”


Preserve Now, Replace Later

According to Pott, The Cedar Roof Company’s goal is to educate customers about the options available for their roof by providing an inspection that examines the quality of their cedar shake’s or shingle’s condition. The degree of environmental exposure they have received may determine whether or not it is a candidate for preservation. Preserving a roof not only slows the aging process, but it also offers ongoing protection from sunlight and moisture—a wood roof’s two greatest enemies. Water penetrates the wood and causes swelling, then the sun dries it, causing damage including cupping, curling and splitting. Moss harbors moisture, prevents the wood from drying correctly and leads to rot, which in time can require significant repair or even replacement. Preservation makes economic sense. One of The Cedar Roof Company’s mottos is “preserve it now, replace it later.”


The two-stage preservation process starts with a thorough cleaning of the roof’s wood shakes or shingles to ensure product penetration, longevity and final aesthetics. In the second stage, experienced and skilled technicians operate a high-volume, low-pressure spray unit to evenly and precisely coat the entire roof surface. This preservative-based coating is specifically designed for both cedar shake and shingle wood roofs and comes in one of three natural cedar color selections. It provides protection from ultraviolet light and moisture to prevent damage and control decay.


Treatment can begin as early as 10 months to a year after installation and needs to be repeated only once every five to six years. Proper maintenance will preserve the condition and appearance of a wooden roof, thereby protecting the investment. All preservation treatments performed by The Cedar Roof Company also come with a five-year transferable limited-leak repair warranty.


The Cedar Roof Company also provides continuing education for home inspectors to help them correctly evaluate these often misunderstood roofs. Cedar shake and shingle roofs can be either a beautiful asset or a costly concern during the sale of a home. To alleviate this apprehension, The Cedar Roof Company offers three- or five-year leak and repair warranties. “We are the only local company to issue home inspection certifications and warrantees that facilitate the sale of a home,” Pott says. “We not only document the condition of the roof, but also accept liability for its future performance.”


Pott is passionate about this business: “We want to create a customer who will be with us for the life of the home.”


The Cedar Roof Company

185-1 Lancaster Ave., Malvern

Phone: 610-647-0399



Rob Hall is a photographer based in Plumsteadville.