Roof cleaning can seem an arduous task, but it’s a hugely important part of roof maintenance. Keeping your roof clean is perhaps the best preventive measure against expensive repairs or even premature replacement of your roofing. While it’s common knowledge that roofs don’t last forever, there are steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your roof.
For many homeowners, there are many questions in mind when it comes to roof cleaning:
- When is the right time to clean your roof?
- Why is roof cleaning important?
- How should your clean your roof?
To answer these questions, here are a few points that every homeowner should know.
When to Clean Your Roof
Experiencing the four seasons each year may be great, but not for your roof. Ice, rain, fog, and even shade from large trees can create a perfect environment for fungi, mildew, and moss to grow on your roof. Additionally, leaves from trees and other debris may collect on your roof.
So how often should you clean your roof? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. When to clean and how often depends on various factors:
- Weather conditions in your area
- The condition of your roof after inspection
- How often debris collects on your roof due to the surrounding trees
- The type of roof you have
According to roofing experts at Custom Home Remodeling & Roofing, Inc. the best time to clean your roof is when your roof needs it. That means you have to regularly inspect your roof to identify any problems, like moss growth, dark spots, or accumulation of debris, so that you can get rid of them as early as possible to avoid gradual roof damage.
It’s best to gear up for winter by getting your roof cleaned at the start of fall. Summer months also offer ample time to clean your roof when there is more sunlight and a dry surface to walk on, reducing safety hazards. In areas that experience extreme weather, roof cleaning will have to be done at any time of the year, probably by a professional.
Why You Should Clean Your Roof
Whether you have a concrete tile, asphalt shingle, clay tile, or membrane roof, there are various reasons why you should clean your roof.
Get Rid of Algae and Moss
Algae and moss are perhaps the greatest threat to any roof if not taken care of. They can both start growing on a brand new roof in as little as one year when conditions are right. In the early stages, algae growth in roofs is invisible. With time, it eats through your shingles and into your roof deck, eventually causing wood rot.
With wood rot, moisture finds its way through cracks and creates an environment that promotes mold growth, which poses a serious health risk to people and pets in homes. If you see any stains on your roof, don’t ignore them. That’s why professionals recommend you have a roof inspection at least every one or two years to identify such issues and have your roof cleaned.
Prevent Roof Damage
Roof staining organisms or pools of water on your roof or gutters can cause serious damage. The longer you go without cleaning your roof, the more the damage that organisms like lichens and moss will cause.
Taking preventative measures like regular roof inspection and applying biodegradable chemical cleaners on your roof every 18-36 months will help protect your roof. That will help remove the staining and restore the roof back to its natural look and state.
Your Insurance Company Could Cancel Your Homeowners Policy
Nowadays, insurance companies are more concerned about how homeowners take care of their roofs. Your homeowner’s policy could be canceled due to a dirty or stained roof. Instead of risking losing your insurance coverage, be proactive and have your roof professionally cleaned.
Insurance companies know that stains on roofs could mean mold growth in your home. That is seen as major ‘risk’ that could cost them money in case a claim is made.
Prevents Premature Roof Replacement
Roof cleaning, when done right is a cost saving alternative to roof replacement or re-roofing. Following simple roof maintenance tips will save you money, time, and energy in the long run.
Give Your Home a Better Curb Appeal
Most homeowners will clean their porches, walkways, and siding but forget to clean their roofs. Sprucing up your garden and lawn, but ignoring those ugly roof stains, will distract from the overall curb appeal of your home. You can improve the look of your home’s exterior by getting rid of those stains and debris to give your home a more polished look.
How to Clean Your Roof
Accumulated snow and ice on roofs, leaves, twigs, bird droppings, and other debris are common issues homeowners deal with when cleaning roofs. With the development of organic growths, you’ll have an even bigger problem that needs to be addressed appropriately.
Follow these steps to ensure your roof is in good condition:
Take a Visual Look from the Ground
Before you take out the ladder and climb up the roof, consider doing a visual inspection of your roof from the ground. Look out for obvious signs like gutter blockages, debris, and roof damage. You can use a pair of binoculars for a close-up view without necessarily having to climb up the roof. This will work best if your roof slope or house height is a bit lower.
Conduct a Thorough Inspection
If you’ve decided to use a ladder, safety is of great importance. You just have to get high enough to see the roof surface from each side without putting yourself at risk. Look out for any hidden spots, tree branches, debris and blockages in roof gutters, bubbling on the surface, curling or missing shingles. Buckled, missing, or curled shingles will need replacement.
If you can do it safely, get on a ladder and remove debris that may have collected during the summer or winter months. This includes pine cones, pine needles, leaves, branches, and anything else that shouldn’t be on the roof.
Trim Your Tree Branches
If there are trees around your home, you’ll obviously have some leaves and broken twigs on your roof from time to time. It’s best to trim your trees regularly to reduce accumulation of leaves and also prevent the dangers that come with swaying tree branches in storms that can cause damage to the roof. The close shade of a tree can also promote moss and mildew growth.
Do the Cleaning Yourself or Hire a Professional
To get rid of moss or green growth from your roof, you can use environmentally friendly products that are formulated to kill plant life. Fill out a pressure washer with the right fungicide or moss killer cleaning solution and mix it according to the instructions. Use a low pressure to spray your roofing shingles or tiles with the treatment, starting on the sides and slowly working your way to the other side of the roof.
When cleaning the roof yourself, it’s important to take safety precautions by having the right cleaning and safety gear. Wear a safety harness, the proper clothing, skidproof shoes, and safety goggles. Consider working with a partner to reduce the risk of accidents. If you can’t do the cleaning yourself, it’s always recommended that you hire a professional roof cleaner.
The Bottom Line
Roof cleaning is probably never on any homeowner’s top things to do in their free time, but it certainly is important. Just like other maintenance routines around the home, it’s crucial to regularly inspect and clean your roof to prevent damage and keep your home damage-free.