Caring for Your Roof
There are many variables to consider when choosing your roof system and also regarding its care.
One of the main issues, if not the most important thing, is the amount of debris that collects on the roof surface from the trees surrounding the home or building. Needles and leaves can collect in bunches and cause the water to pond or run in an undesirable direction. Also, if the debris is left in place long enough, it will begin to decay and start to grow moss that is not only unsightly, but will also start to grow root systems that will eat away at the roof materials.
So, one of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your roof is to keep it clean!
How often you will need to clean the roof depends on how much debris collects on the roof from the surrounding foliage. As a general rule of thumb, it is our recommendation that, if you are going to do it once a year, the best time to have the roof cleaned is in the winter, after autumn leaves have fallen. The best method is to simply use a leaf blower or broom to simply blow the debris off the roof or into piles. This method is the most gentle to the roofing material and works well as long as it is done regularly and moss is not allowed to accumulate.
If the moss and algae are embedded into the roofing materials too much, then it may be necessary to use a pressure washer to remove the accumulation. Always use the lowest possible pressure when using this method, as higher water pressure will actually do some damage to the surface of the material. So prevention is the key. Try not to let moss get started, if you can! Another thing here is that we will almost never recommend pressure washing of a roof over 15 years old, no matter how much moss there is. The risk of serious damage is just too great. In that situation, the roof is best cleaned by hand.
Another way to keep the roof clean and the moss away, is with chemicals. There are various brands of moss prevention solutions and granules on the market. They use zinc and copper molecules to kill off the moss and algae, just as in the case of lawn treatments. We think it is best to apply them twice a year: once after the winter cleaning, and once in the spring, as the moss begins to bloom.
Safety Advisory: As with anything roof-related—for your safety—please do not attempt to do the work yourself. You will want to hire qualified, licensed, and bonded professionals to do the work!Check and clean the gutters and downspouts at least once per year, more often if you have a lot of trees. Keeping them flowing properly will save the fascia boards and siding from unnecessary moisture.
Flat RoofsFlat roof systems are a little more tricky, in some cases. It is our recommendation that you have the flat roof system checked every five years for signs of necessary repairs. Some flat roofs will have standing water, which they are designed to handle; but you just want to make sure that the penetrations and seams are sealed correctly. We have seen them work loose over time. UV rays also damage roofing over time. There are some good roof-coating products that work well to protect flat roof systems. In some cases, they can add years of life to the roofing.
Please contact us for a free quote, or to discuss your roofing needs.