You just got a brand-new roof installed on your home and it looks amazing. But you want to keep it that way, right? Cleaning your roof twice a year is something that is relatively easy to do and will help extend the lifespan of your home. If you neglect to clean debris or moss, moisture can become trapped and start to damage your roof and shorten its lifespan.
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, so it is incredibly important to maintain it. Every spring and fall, you or a professional should get up on your roof and check all areas to make sure that there is nothing that needs to be repaired immediately. Assuming there’s nothing that needs an emergency fix, here’s what you can do to clean and maintain your roof.
How Do I Clean and Maintain My Roof?
Your roof is made up of various areas where debris can get stuck and algae can grow. These areas need to be inspected with particular care:
● Ensure that debris is removed from around the chimney and gutters
● Look for moss or algae buildup
● Check all caulked areas to ensure that caulking is still in good condition and not peeling
● Check your shingles to ensure that granules are still in place and that the shingles themselves are not warped, missing, or broken.
Here’s how to perform some more hands-on maintenance when required.
Keep Leaves and Debris Out of Valleys and Gutters
When you live in an environment that gets all four seasons, there is never a time when there is nothing to clean off of your roof. Leaves, branches, twigs, and animal waste all have a tendency to build-up on our roofs during the summer and fall, and during winter we end up with the dreaded s-word: snow. Being proactive and keeping your roof clear of these things will help elongate the lifespan of your roof.
Clearing debris off your roof can be a daunting job, so there are some things you should and should not do:
● Use a low-impact water hose or leaf blower to clear leaves and branches. You could also use a non-metal rake to gently brush off debris.
● Have someone with you when you venture up on the roof. Being up on a roof clearing debris can be a dangerous job, so having someone there with you can ensure your safety.
● Do not use a high-pressure water hose or a metal rake, because these items can cause damage to your roof.
Roof Cleaning Products
Sometimes the roof ends up with a build-up of algae and/or moss on it, although shingles on newer roofs usually have algae resistance built right into the shingles. Moss, a green, rootless substance, is known to grow on roofs in moister climates, along with algae, a black, streaky substance. There are solutions out there on the market that you can buy to help get rid of moss and algae but you need to be careful with what chemicals you use.
One way to safely clean these substances off of your roof before they cause damage is with a 50:50 solution of bleach and water. Apply the solution onto the areas of concern and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once time is up, spray it off with a low-pressure water hose.
Keep Trees and Branches Away From Your Roof
Trees are gorgeous and helpful for the environment in a countless number of ways. But honestly, they are no good for your roof.
Trimming trees back about 10 feet from your roof will help to keep your roof clean, and free of damage, algae and moss. Branches that rub against the shingles on your home can and will damage them much faster. Also, the water that gets caught there thanks to the tree will not only hurt your roof, but can start leaking down into your home, creating even more damage.
Another issue with trees being too close to your roof is that it gives way for those little outdoor creatures to make their way up and find a place on or in your roof to make a home. Of course, this is possible even with not having nearby trees branches, but why give critters a helping hand onto your roof?
Schedule Yearly Roof Inspections to Catch Any Problems Early
Your roof is your home’s protection. Taking care of your roof is of the utmost importance to allow it to last as long as possible.
When it comes to cleaning your roof to protect it from all of the hazards that life may throw at it, you can complete that job yourself if you wish. But if you want to make sure that it is done correctly and that your roof is 100% safe, getting a professional in is definitely recommended.
Roof inspections are important as your roof ages so that you know what to expect and when to expect it. After your roof is 10 years old, you should be getting a yearly inspection just to ensure that there isn’t anything happening to your roof that you can’t readily see. And after 20 years, it is time to start getting quotes together for the cost of a replacement so that when it is time to do a complete replacement, you are prepared for what is to come.
If you are in the Lansing, Michigan area, Brunette Home Improvement is here for you and your roof. We want to ensure that every roof is safe for all of our neighbors and friends. We are available to come in to assist with roof clean up, as well as inspections and quotes for replacement. We want to make sure that you get the most out of your roof!