The roof may be the most important physical element of your home. It’s far more than just a nice visual pattern to match your paint job. It’s the one thing that actually makes your house a true shelter. The roof keeps the rain and snow out, it protects your home from the harsh heat of the sun, it helps ventilate the attic and all the floors below it, and if you’re lucky it will do this job without complaint for at least fifteen years. But that longevity won’t happen if you don’t take care of it. Roof maintenance isn’t the easiest of DIY jobs, and for some aspects you will have to bring in the professionals. But here are the top five roof cleaning and maintenance tips to help you know where to start.
Even though you aren’t a professional roofer, as the homeowner you should never be afraid to grab your ladder and head up onto the roof for a closer look. You’ll want to have professionals inspect your roof every couple of years, but you can prevent a lot of issues by giving everything a once over yourself. You’ll want to look out for shingles that are buckling, peeling or curling, as well as any cracks in the caulk, rust on the metallic surfaces or missing shingles. Any gaps should be addressed immediately, so call a roofing company if you don’t feel comfortable handling things yourself.
Next, give your gutters a visual review. Clogged gutters will destroy your roof like nothing else, and gutters are seemingly built to get clogged. Over the course of the year they’ll get packed with leaves, dirt, rotting roof materials and even bird and squirrel homes. When it gets bad, water will back up onto the roof and cause leaks and rot. You can clean these out yourself if you have the proper equipment. If not, call in the experts.
Next, head up into the attic and look for leaks. Grab a good flashlight, as you won’t always see dripping water when there are leak issues. Look for moldy or rotting spots, or those damp water spots that are the precursor. Dry everything out entirely, have mold professionally cleaned, and caulk up any seals that don’t seem to be holding. You’ll want to head up there again if you get hit with any major rainstorms, and check the attic out at the end of each season to make sure no issues have arisen.
Your roof may look impregnable, but it doesn’t deal with extra weight that well. It’s a complex latticework of small tiles, and it is only as strong as the weakest link. So even though it might be unpleasant, you may well have to clear your roof off even in the dead of winter. This is even more imperative if your roof doesn’t slope properly. If you notice any significant build up of leaves, water, snow, broken branches or anything else, get them off of there just as soon as you can.
Finally, know when you need to call in the professionals. There are no corners you should cut, and this is one problem that won’t be solved by a little bit of duct tape. If you have major roof repairs to contend with, make sure you get it done right the first time. That way you won’t have to repeat the work and end up spending more money than necessary. Ask the pros to recommend the best roof cleaning products while they are on the job. They may have added insight specific to your roofing materials that will help with your preventative maintenance.