It’s always right to think whether you are offering the right maintenance and care for your roof since it’s the most essential barrier between your home and external elements. Neglecting your roof can make it start being damaged slowly, and some of these damages can be expensive to repair and can lead to property damage because of water leakages and mold growth.
Performing an annual inspection and cleaning can significantly prevent long term damage to your roof. In addition to this, a well-maintained and cleaned roof can increase the value of your home.
Inspecting and cleaning your roof
The most important and common task when it comes to roof cleaning is to remove debris from rain gutters. This exercise is essential as it allows rainwater to flow well, and also assists in preventing water from damaging both the interior and exterior of your home. It’s important to note that gutter cleaning is essential when it comes to the inspection and general health of your roof. Spring and fall are the best times when one can do roof inspections and cleaning.
Whenever possible, make sure that you use a ladder when cleaning your rain gutters. While cleaning the gutters, perform a visual inspection of your roof in all the areas that you can see. Check the condition of the gutters, downspouts, shingles, and skylights. You should not ignore any discolorations or dark stains, like water stains—always do an extra inspection when you note such kind of signs. These can be possible signs of areas that require additional inspection or repair, or indications of water infiltration.
The following are a few things that you should include in your roof cleaning and inspection:
Remove the debris from the gutters and downspouts
You can use gloves, a broom, or any light tool to clear the debris out of these two essential systems that direct water away from your roof. The sloping design of a roof, together with the roof valleys allows them to direct rainwater to the gutters. Accumulation of debris on your roof affects the entire roofing system. You should make sure that broken or loose gutters, as well as downspouts, are repaired to make sure that they don’t direct water to the foundation of your home, which can damage it.
Trim all the bushes and trees surrounding your home
Trimming the plants surrounding your home at least twice a year can assist in preventing roof damage. All large bushes and tree limbs should be at least 2 feet away from your home. In addition to this, they should be as far as possible from your gutters to reduce debris. You should not allow climbing plants to grow on your walls or roof. These plants can easily infiltrate the roofing system, cause water blockage, and thus lead to water damage like rot and mold growth.
All the dead branches on the trees surrounding your home should be removed before they become a potential hazard to the roof. A tree with poor health must be removed to prevent it from falling on your roof in the event of a storm. You can consult an arborist for expert advice if you are in doubt about this.
Check for blocked or clogged vents
This will assist you to make sure that the ventilation system in your roof is functioning properly. To do this, you must ensure that you perform a visual inspection of all the ventilation and fixtures in your roof. You shouldn’t forget to inspect the soffit vents, which are vertically located on the sides of your home, or horizontally under your roof’s eaves.
Blockage on your roof’s vent openings can lead to rotting, warping, on the walls or roofing, as well as moldy eaves. If this issue is left unattended for a long period of time, it can lead to costly repairs, or demand a new roof to be installed, which can also be expensive.
Check for bent, broken, or loose flashing
Now, if you are wondering what flashing is, it’s the metal that’s used to close the gaps in between the components of your roof. Mostly, flashing is used around the edge of the vents and chimney, the roof’s ridge, as well as along the gutters and eaves. Flashing serves a very important role in your roof, as it makes it resistant to water and wind intrusion.
If you realize that any of the flashings are not property function, make sure that they are repaired immediately to avoid any additional damage during rain, wind, or heavy snowing. If the flashing is loose, it can be easily secured back to its place. However, you should always contact an expert in roofing to work on your flashing to avoid damaging them further.
If you own a home with two or more stories, it can be impossible to see the rooftop with a ladder. If you realize that you cannot inspect your roof or work around it personally, the best thing to do is to contact an expert in roofing to perform the inspection on your behalf.
Important things to consider during roof maintenance and cleaning
Once you clear your roof from debris, you can test the entire roofing system with a water hose. You should avoid using the hose if the system has debris to avoid clogging the entire drainage system. The aim of this test is to check whether the water is flowing into the gutters as it should and whether the downspouts are functioning well. If you notice water pooling on your rooftop, then the system is not yet clear.
Is your roof still dirty? If that’s the case, it will require more than a hose-cleaning. The following are a few things that you should put into consideration:
- The roofing materials will start to show signs of weathering over time. You need to look for areas that look warped or moist, instead of weathered or aged. The greatest enemy of your roof is long term localized moisture, and you should always check your roof for this.
- If your roof has algae, moss, or stains that make it appear unattractive you can clean it gently with a biodegradable cleaner to prevent moss from growing and also assist in extending the lifespan of the shingles. If you have asphalt shingles, you can clean them using normal household cleaning items, but you can also consider hiring a cleaning expert to clean the roof. You should note that installing zinc or copper flashing can assist in reducing algae and moss growth since they naturally have antifungal components that protect it from such growths. Stains caused by algae are common in areas with high humidity.
- Certain roofing materials come with the manufacturer’s guidelines in regards to regular maintenance and cleaning. It’s advisable to follow these guidelines if you want your warranty to be valid.
- Today, we have modern roofing materials that are more durable, weather-resistant, and last for long. Most of today’s roofing materials are mold, algae, moss, and mildew resistant. For instance, metal roofing lasts for long, requires minimal maintenance, and resists mold, algae, and moss growth naturally. However, it’s a good idea to make sure that you enquire about the durability and maintenance of your roofing material before buying it.
You should note that roof work is risky and dangerous, and its work needs a person to climb to the roof. Therefore, it should only be done by a person with proper safety equipment, as well as one who knows how to avoid damaging the roof. The best way to keep your roof in good condition is to hire an expert in roofing services, who should offer regular maintenance and scheduled inspections to assist in protecting your valuable investment.
Never pressure wash your roof
Certain roof cleaning companies normally promise their clients that they can pressure wash their roof, and give it a brand new look. However, pressure washing can cause significant damage to your roof, especially when you’ve used tiles or asphalt for your roof, as their components can be moved out of place by the strong pressure. When you spray pressurized water from your roofline edge can lead to an uplifting force of water below the tiles. Even though pressure washing can be an effective method to clean your roof, it can lead to costly benefits, in the long run, particularly the substructure of the roof.
If you need to wash your roof, look for a roof cleaning company, such as Rain-Go Exteriors, that uses biodegradable cleaning solutions, with normal water pressure only.