A Quick Guide to Taking Care of Your Roof 

A new roof is considered a very expensive investment. According to a roofing expert, you will need to invest an average of $18,000 for composition shingles and as much as $35,000 for high end roofing materials. Once you have made this kind of investment, the first thing that comes to your mind is to care for it and protect it. Even though your roof is old, maintaining it in good condition will help prolong its lifespan and keep you from spending too much like having to replace your roof prematurely. Whether your roof is years old or brand new, here are the things you need to do in order to keep your roof in the best possible condition for the longest possible time and get the most out of it.

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1. Clean the Gutters

A wet basement and ruined paint on your roof’s siding are typical problems resulting from clogged gutters. However, it might shock you to find out that its overflow can go upward too. The moment the leaves are piling too deeply and accumulating in gutters, water might wick into the sheathing of your roof and rot it, or can even rot the rafters of the roof. Repairing that kind of roof damage could actually cost you thousands of dollars, yet you can also avoid spending that much by cleaning your roof gutters each spring and fall. Spend a few hours in doing it yourself and if you are comfortable climbing up the roof or using the ladder. If not, you can also hire a professional roofing service since they have the proper equipment to this task and they might also conduct other roofing inspections to see if your roof is in a good state.

2. Remove Leaves

If your roof is a simple peaked one that is surrounded by lower landscaping, then your roofing probably gets rid of leaves on its own. However, if the roof is a bit complicated or if there are towering trees nearby, piles of leaves can probably collect near chimneys or in roof valleys. If you do not remove them, the leaves will soon trap moisture, leading to gradual decomposition that allows moisture to accumulate in the roof – or worse, produce fertile ground where weeds can grow.

If you have a one story house and a low slope roof, you can pull the leaves down using a soft brush used for car-washing placed on a telescoping pole. In addition to that, you can also use a specialty tool such as a roof leaf rake, which only costs around $20. A leaf blower can also get the job done, especially on dry leaves; however, you or a professional roofing service needs to climb up the roof in order to use it.

If the accumulated leaves are too deep or too wet, you might need to wash the leaves off using a garden hose. Never use a pressure washer since it can force water up under your roof’s shingles.

3. Get Rid of Moss

In most countries, composition roofs usually become covered with black algae. Though unsightly, this filmy growth does not hurt the roof. A little detergent or chlorine bleach mixed with water can kill it. However, it is much safer for you and your roofing material to just leave it alone.

If you are living in the Northwest, you are likely to find moss accumulating on your roof, particularly on composition shingles or on wood. Compared to algae, moss looks more three dimensional and it needs to go since it can trap water. If you notice moss accumulating on the surface of your roof early enough, you can simply sweep it off. However, if there is a lot of buildup, you will have to kill the moss first. According to a roofing expert, it is best to use products based on fatty acids and potassium salts rather than more toxic formulas that has zinc sulfate. Even so, you should only apply the soap or solution only where moss is accumulating, and try to keep the water used in washing moss from getting into storm drains.

If your roof is already free of moss and you were able to clean the surface thoroughly, consider investing in zinc strips in order to prevent it from coming back. Professional roofing contractors can be able to install strips near the rooftop. When it rains, the strips’ runoff inhibits the growth of moss. It has already been proven effective and even more environment friendly compared to treating the whole roof using a pesticide. On the other hand, it is not idea to use this method if you live near a lake or a stream where the runoff of the strip can harm aquatic life.

 

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