A roof is designed to protect you and your home from various kinds of weather, pests, and falling debris. Unfortunately, roof systems can deteriorate for the same reasons. This can even cause roof failure, especially if your roof is neglected. Roof maintenance is essential for a longer lifespan and avoiding premature replacement.
Homeowners usually entrust this job to a professional as they have more knowledge and experience with dealing with roof issues. Attempting to walk on your roof without the proper training, equipment, and safety gear can only lead to more damage to your roof. There’s also the possibility of suffering to a severe injury if you fall.
However, some roof maintenance jobs can be safely undertaken by anyone. These simple maintenance tasks that you can do yourself can go a long way toward keeping your roof in excellent condition.
Removing Any Loose Debris
It’s often unavoidable for debris to get caught on your roof. There may be trees surrounding your house that drop leaves, pine needles, or branches on your roof. Storms and high winds can also bring piles of debris to this part of your home. Regardless of the cause, your roof can wind up covered in debris, and there’s a strong chance that it can do some damage.
Gutters that are filled with debris are a common cause of roof leaks, which can lead to expensive damage. When it sits on the gutters for a long time, it can impede water flow and encourage moss and algae to grow. Avoid these problems by cleaning and clearing the accumulated debris from time to time.
Removing debris is one of the easy jobs that homeowners can do without hiring a professional. You can start by setting up an extendable ladder to access the roof and remove the materials. Ask the help of a friend or family member when setting up the ladder for your safety.
You should also keep in mind that the combination of your body weight and pressure from the ladder can dent your gutters. An excellent way to prevent denting from your gutters is to place a piece of 2 x 4 between it and your ladder.
Remove the debris with the use of your hands or a small garden trowel, starting at one downspout before working your way around until you’ve reached the end. This task would be easier when it’s done on a sunny day after a rainstorm as the debris would be damp. Then, wash away any remaining grime with a garden hose.
If it doesn’t flow freely through your downspouts, it may be the time to call a professional.
Removing Moss and Algae
Moss and algae need to be removed from your roof as soon as you noticed it’s growth. While the green patches can create a pretty, fantasy world look, it contributes nothing else but problems to a roof.
Roof moss can infiltrate the roof structure underneath the shingles and make their edges lift and curl. This leads to cracking and blow-offs during high winds and storms. It can also form dams that can cause water to back up under the shingles and damage the roof deck. Eventually, it will result in holes in your roof and leaks into your home.
A roof that suffers from moss and algae growth only needs a moss remover spray that can be bought at any hardware store. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for performing this roof maintenance chore. Usually, this entails spraying the roof with the remover, then wait until it does its work. After, gently brush off the moss and algae with a soft-bristled broom or a wide handheld brush.
You can also make your own mixture of 50% of water and 50% bleach, but before using it, make sure the plants below are protected. Let the mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then thoroughly rinse your roof after you’ve finished. This treatment will cause the moss to loosen and make it easier to rinse away.
Never use a brush with stiff bristles or a power washer on your roof, as your shingles can lose a lot of granules. As a result, your roof won’t be as effective in protecting your home from the elements. This will make it easier for water to infiltrate your home and allow shingles to get blown off without much effort.
Looking for Signs of Leaks Indoors
Roof damage isn’t always visible but hides underneath the surface. If left unaddressed, these problems will only increase the possibility of danger and structural erosion. Roof leaks are typically signs of such issues. However, it’s often only discovered or noticed within the home once it’s already too late.
Many homeowners tend to ignore leaks or delay their repairs because of the expenses. The problem with this is that leaky roofs never get better on their own. In fact, they even get worse over time. Before they cause significant damage, you need to be vigilant and search for roof leaks.
When searching for leaks, take note that some signs of water damage are likely to appear in the attic or the top story of your house. Just make sure to keep on the lookout of the following warning signs:
- Bulging patches on the walls
- Dark spots on the walls
- Musty odors in certain rooms
- Sagging ceiling
- Water stains on the ceiling.
If you find any of these signs, you should start locating the source of the leak as soon as possible. You may also need to contact a professional as there might still be leaks that you missed.
Inspection of Shingles
Regular inspection of roof systems is essential to detect roof problems before they become worse. While most roof inspections should be done by professionals, you can also inspect the roof yourself, especially after every severe weather event.
You don’t even have to get on your rooftop to conduct an inspection. Start by walking around your home’s exterior and examine the roof from the ground with a pair of binoculars. Look for missing, lifted, or loose shingles.
Missing or damaged shingles can let water seep through your roof, which can lead to expensive water damage. Meanwhile, multiple peeling, curling, and partially lifted shingles can also indicate that the roof is almost at the end of its lifespan. Additionally, you should also keep a lookout for loose or missing flashing, nails, and metal roof bolts.
Make sure to take note of any possible problem areas or those in need of closer inspection. These areas should be left to professionals for further inspection and repairs.
Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. If you have more questions, visit our website today or contracts us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia and (740) 523-0380 for Ohio to learn more.