TIPS FOR A LONG LASTING ROOF
A properly cleaned and maintained roof can shelter you and your family for years. However, if you don’t properly maintain it, you could be forced to purchase a new one, which is an expensive endeavor. The average cost of composition shingles is $18.800 and can be as much as $36,000 for high-end materials.
If you haven’t had your roof cleaned in a while, you should call the professionals from Roof Cleaning Pros & Pressure Washing to ensure a safe and thorough cleaning. Having it professionally cleaned will go a long way to ensuring that your home stays in good shape and will keep you from needing an expensive replacement prematurely.
Apart from a professional roof cleaning, there are some things that you can do yourself to help extend the life of your roof. Here are a few tips to help.
Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters are a common cause of ruined paint on siding and wet basements. But overflowing gutters can cause problems to your roof by going upward. If the leaves in your gutter pile up too deeply the water can wick into the sheathing causing it to rot. Even the rafters can rot.
If your house has a peaked roof and is surrounded by low landscaping, leaves will probably stay off of your house. However, for more complicated structures or if you have towering trees nearby, leaves probably collect rather easily in the valleys and near chimneys. If these leaves aren’t removed, they will trap moisture and gradually decompose. This will allow moisture to accumulate on your roof, or worse, create fertile ground for weeds to grow.
You may be able to pull the leaves down with a soft car-washing brush on a telescoping pole if you have a low slopped roof on a one-story house. You can also use a specialty tool like a leaf rake, which you can get for about $20 or a leave blower, which will be especially effective if the leaves are dry. If the leaves are too wet or too deep, you can wash them off with a garden hose. Make sure not to use a pressure washer to get them off as this can force water up under your shingles.
Get Rid of Moss
For much of the country, composition roofs have the ability to accumulate black algae. While this may look ugly, it doesn’t do any actual damage. You can clean this off with a little chlorine bleach or detergent mixed with water but it’s safer to leave it alone.
In some areas of the country, you can find moss growing on your roof. This is particularly so if you have wood or composition shingles. Moss is easier to see than black algae as it has more of a three-dimensional look to it. It’s dangerous because it traps water. If you take care of this early enough you can sweep it off but if there’s a lot of build up, you may need to kill the moss first. It’s recommended that you use products that are based on potassium salts of fatty acids rather than using toxic formulas with zinc sulfate. When performing this task, make sure to only apply soap where moss is growing and try to avoid any wash water from flowing into storm drains.
Once the moss is removed, you might want to consider using zinc strips. These will keep the moss from growing back. You can get a roofer to install these strips for about $300. The strips function by hindering the growth of moss when it rains. This is an effective and much more environmentally friendly method to treated your roof than using pesticide,
Trim Any Overhanging Branches
The scraping or wearing from limbs or leaves on the roof can damage shingles, especially in high winds. Trimming any trees that may be hanging over your house can prevent leaves from falling onto the roof helping to keep it damage free. These overhanging branches also give animals like squirrels and other rodents the opportunity to jump onto the roof and gnaw on it or the siding.
Look and Listen
After a big windstorm, hail storm, or if you hear something on the roof, you should give it a quick glance to see if there’s any apparent damage. You should be looking for curling, loose, or missing shingles or damage around the vents, chimney, skylights, or other openings. If you spot something wrong, you should contact a roofer to inspect. Most problems will be easy to fix so long as it’s taken care of quickly.