Maintaining a clean, well-cared-for roof is an important part of your home’s curb appeal, and one that an unfortunately high number of homeowners neglect. It’s not just about the visuals either. A poorly maintained roof will have a shorter life span, and a lack of maintenance can increase the likelihood of a catastrophic failure, which can end up costing you a great deal of money.
If you’re on this page, though, you probably already know all that. And you already know that regular cleaning and maintenance of your roof is one of the wisest choices you, as a homeowner, can make. Exactly what this involves and how often you need to have your roof cleaned and cared for depends on the type of roof you have. It also depends on the climate you live in. For example, if you live in a place like Tigard, Oregon, your roof will receive around 41 inches of rain every year—well above the national average. It will also have to weather snow, hail, sleet, and the blazing sun of the summer. In a climate like that, roof cleaning for Tigard, Oregon, homes might need to be more regular than in other places.
Read on to learn more about what roof cleaning and maintenance involves.
Cleaning Your Roof
The first step in keeping your roof clean is an obvious one. You’ll need to make sure your roof is free of debris, such as leaves, sticks, and branches. This is especially true if a buildup of material has begun to clog your rain gutters. If water can’t properly flow off your roof, it will eventually back up and begin to leak into your home. This can ultimately cause thousands of dollars in property damage as rainwater drips into your home, ruining everything in its path.
Regularly clearing your roof of debris is something you can do on your own, without the help of a roofing professional, provided you have the right equipment. As with any big job in the home, always think of safety first. Don’t attempt to climb onto your roof without the right ladder. You should have one that can be secured to your roof so that you can move safely. Make sure you have a pair of gloves as well, and be aware of where all power cables and other hazards are located. You should never climb onto your roof alone either. Always have a spotter to help keep an eye on your safety.
When it comes to keeping your roof clean, you can take preventative steps as well. For example, you can help to avoid getting a lot of leaves and branches on your roof by keeping nearby trees regularly trimmed and cared for. Unhealthy branches should be removed, and dead trees should be cut down before they pose a hazard to your property.
Moss and Algae
Especially if you live in an unusually wet area, your roof may be vulnerable to the growth of moss, mildew, and algae. Roof cleaning for Tigard, Oregon, homes, for example, involves a good deal of moss killing and/or removal because of the extra moisture in the climate. At first, moss and algae are simply unsightly, but over time, they can cause catastrophic damage to your roof. That’s why it’s important to nip the problem in the bud.
Moss spores are carried to your roof by the wind. If your roof happens to be wet and dirty (as most roofs are at some point in time), they’ll find ideal conditions for their growth and begin to spread. Over time, this moss will degrade shingles and allow water to track in unusual ways it wouldn’t ordinarily.
Cleaning moss off your roof is simple enough, even if it is a lot of work. Industrial products that kill moss are only available to those that are trained, tested, and certified by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In most cases, you’re better off asking a professional roofer, such as the ones at Interstate Roofing, to do this maintenance for you. If you hire a professional, make sure they’re licensed to apply the product they’re selling. There are only a small handful of contractors in the state that are.
Of course, there’s more to maintaining a roof than simply cleaning. As with any part of your home, you’ll want to have regular inspections performed in order to discover if there are any repairs needed. A well-cared-for roof can last for many, many years, but only if problem parts are replaced before they cause further damage. In addition, all manufacturers’ material warranties require roof maintenance.
First, you’ll want to contact a trustworthy roofer, like the ones from Interstate Roofing. Your roofer will look for any signs of moss, leaks, exposed sealant, or damaged shingles. They can clean any moss growth, remove any debris that has accumulated, and check vents, gutters, and other openings to make sure there’s no blockage.
Damaged nails, screws, flashing, and bolts will be removed and replaced by your roofing contractor. They may also make upgrade recommendations. For example, you may have the opportunity to switch your flashing to a higher quality material. If your roofer discovers any damaged shingles, they may replace them. In some cases—depending on how well your roof was maintained before—this may be a huge project. If it’s been a while since your roof was last serviced, your roofer may find that many of the shingles need to be replaced. They’ll also check the wooden parts of your roof to discover any signs of rot or other major damage.
In extreme cases, the entire roof may need to be replaced. While this isn’t common, it shouldn’t be put off, because if a roof becomes too far gone, it may collapse completely. It goes without saying that this will be a financial disaster.