How to Approach Roof Maintenance:
Roof maintenance is part of taking care of your home, whether you like it or not. You put time, energy, and money into maintaining your precious investment in a variety of ways. Cleaning your gutters, staining your deck, patching holes in your fence, are all examples of diligent maintenance for your home. But what about your roof? It is part of your home, after all.
Roofs should be built to last, there’s no question about it. However, as with anything else, a little bit of maintenance can help extend the life of your roof. But what should you do?
There are many misconceptions about how to properly take care of a roof. A roof is an important part of your home and while some care is essential, it’s imperative that you aren’t doing things that could hurt the longevity of your roof.
Let’s start with what NOT to do.
Cleaning Your Roof:
Many people think that a high pressure wash is the best way to clean mold and mildew off of your roof. However, a pressure washer can ultimately damage the top layer of your shingles. It can also trap water under your shingles, causing leaks.
If you have algae, mold, or mildew on your roof, consider brushing it off and spraying it with a solution of bleach and water instead. Additionally, look into cutting trees and plants back from your roof. Excess shade and the additional moisture from trees encourage algae growth. Your bleach solution will kill the mold, and new-found sunshine will keep it from coming back. If cutting back trees isn’t an option, consider installing copper or in strips near the top of your roof. As rain washes over the metal strips, tiny molecules of the metal will trickle down and ward off any new growth.
If you’ve noticed a roof leak and are attempting to find it, don’t remove your existing shingles. Pulling up shingles can only damage your roof further and will cause additional leaking. Instead, call for a professional roof inspection. Many companies will give you a free assessment and estimate on any damage.
Certain roof-top installations seem simple, but might actually be more trouble than they’re worth. Solar panels, for example, are a great energy saver for your home, but if you aren’t sure what you are doing, installing them yourself can dramatically affect your roof. Professional installers consider both the structure and performance of your roof, and will use specialty brackets to keep your roof protected.
Additionally, satellite dishes and other large equipment features should be left for professional installation. The last thing you want to do is be liable for damaging your own roof.
We’ve discussed a few things to avoid when caring for your roof. While some things are best left to professionals, there are things a homeowner can (and should!) do to take care of and protect their roof.
If you’ve had a recent roof replacement, be sure to have an inspection as often as is required by the roof’s guarantee. Additionally, keep a record of all inspection reports. Read over them to stay informed, and discuss any problems with your inspector.
If you have equipment installed (like satellites dishes, or solar panels), keep a record of those too. Unfortunately, when heavy tools and gear is brought up to your roof it can sometimes bring shingle damage with it.
Clean Gutters, Rooftop, and Drains:
Trimming trees should be another step your roof maintenance process. Trees drop leaves, branches, and even limbs. If you have overhanging trees above your roof, it is best to have them trimmed to prevent potential damage.
You should also keep an eye out for any problem areas on your roof. Missing, damaged, or loose shingles are a sign of worse to come. In addition, check your downpipes and drainage pipes. Make sure you monitor their structural integrity, as well as ability to flow.
Another prudent roof maintenance move is to always keep your roof and gutters free of debris. Built up debris can lead to excess moisture retention and shingle breakdown. Clogged gutters are an unnecessary weight on your roof’s structure and cause will dam pools of water on your roof.
Being proactive is key to your roof’s long life. Protecting your roof is an important key to protecting your home. While there are some things best left to professionals, there are also many things to knock out for yourself.
As always, give Charm City Roofing a call with your roof maintenance and roof repair questions. We’re Baltimore’s hometown roofer and are happy to help.