Tricks to Keep Your Roofing System Maintained
Performing roof repair might seem difficult, but it’s a necessary skill to have, if you want to save money and avoid large scale home renovations in the future.
Renovating your roof can be a costly endeavor. Basic roof repair can cost thousands and even more if a full roof replacement is needed. Once you've made such a significant investment, it makes sense that you'll want to protect it.
Even if your roof is several years old, keeping it in good condition will extend its life and prevent you from having to replace it too soon. Putting in the effort to maintain your roof now will save you money by reducing the risks of other damages to your home.
Here are some essential tips you should know about roof repair.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
You're probably wondering what clean gutters have to do with a well-kept roof. Clogged gutters cause ruined siding and a soggy basement, but the overflow can also move upward. Water can leak into the material of your roof and destroy it, or even rot roof rafters if leaves pile up too deep in the gutters. It can be messy work, but take the time to regularly clean your gutters, or consider hiring someone to do it for you. Paying to keep your gutter clean can be more cost-effective in the long run.
Clear Away Leaves
Standard downward sloping roofs found atop most properties across the country generally do a good enough job keeping clear of leaves. But unique roof structures can cause leaves to pile up, especially if tall trees surround the property. If you don't get rid of them, these leaves will trap moisture and decompose slowly over time; it may not seem like a significant issue at first, but allowing water to build upon your roof can lead to the growth of weeds and even fungus.
Regularly clearing away leaves That pile up on your top can prevent more severe decay later on.
If you live in a one-story house with a downward sloping roof, clearing away leaves should be simple enough with an ordinary broom or brush with a long handle, but a leaf rake is ideal if you happen to have one.
If you need to go up onto your roof and clear away those hard-to-reach leaves, your best bet is a leaf blower. Damp leaves can get deep between the shingles of your roof, but a water hose should clear them right out. Make sure you don't use a pressure washer; the pressure can damage the shingles. Be careful while working on your roof; falling off such a height can lead to severe injury. You might end up saving on medical bills if you decide to hire a pro to clean those gutters for you.
Get Rid of Moss
It's surprisingly common to see roofs across America develop moss and algae. This moss is unattractive to look at and can ruin the aesthetic of your house, but it does not damage the roof. Algae is also pretty easy to kill; a little chlorine bleach or detergent mixed with water should get the job done, but it's safer for you and the roof if you leave it alone. If you absolutely must clear the algae away, consider hiring a professional.
When using chemical products to clear out algae, it's recommended that you use products made with potassium salts of fatty instead of more toxic chemicals such as zinc sulfate. Be careful; these chemicals can still damage the surface of your roof and degrade the shingles, apply the soap only to areas where algae are growing, and try to prevent chemicals from leaking into storm drains.
Once your roof is algae-free, it's recommended that you use zinc strips to keep it from coming back. You can even hire a roofer to install strips along your roof. The drainage from the strips prevents moss from growing when it rains. It is best not to use these strips if you live near a stream or a lake where the runoff may affect aquatic life, but it's still more effective and ecologically friendly than spraying the entire roof with pesticide.
Overhanging Branches Should Be Trimmed
We mentioned early how the presence of tall trees could ruin your roof over time. A little tree pruning goes a long way toward keeping leaves and moss off your roof and keeping your roof safe from harm. Abrasion from branches and leaves touching your top can cause shingles to deteriorate over time, especially in severe winds.
Squirrels and other rodents can potentially reach your roof through overhanging branches; they may nibble on your top and damage the shingles. To keep these pests away from your roof, make sure branches are at least 10 feet away from your roof. If that isn't practicable, wrap a sheet metal bank around the tree trunk to keep them from climbing it.
Branches should only be removed by a professional; otherwise, you risk causing more damage than you avoid in the long run.
Clear Away Built-Up Snow
During the winter months, snow can accumulate on your roof (Remember Snowmageddon?). As this snow melts, it can soak through your roof, damaging the shingles until it leaks its way inside. Once ice freezes onto the surface of your roof, trying to pry it off can lead to further, often permanent, damage. Instead, wait for it to melt just enough that you can use a rake to dislodge the snow without damaging the shingles of your roof.
If you need to get up on your roof, take necessary precautions, but it's always safer to work from the ground, using a long rake.
Efficient roof maintenance requires that you be proactive. Working to prevent damage can often save you money on roof repair once the damage is already done. Regularly inspect your roof; look for loose, damaged, or even missing shingles. Replace them as soon as you can. Look for damage that may occur around vents, skylights, satellites, chimneys, and other openings featured on your roof.
If anything on your roof is damaged or otherwise deteriorated, contact Doc's Roofing as soon as possible for a Free inspection.
Hopefully, this article has been informative and helpful in helping you understand the importance of roof maintenance, and teaching you what measures you can take to prevent damage to your roof. Basic roof maintenance is an essential skill to have, but for the more skill-intensive tasks, don't hesitate to hire a professional; you may end up saving money in the long term by making a clever investment today.
If you are interested in a Maintenance Service plan, give us a call today and we will get you the details.