Oh dear. Your roof just collapsed in during the middle of a storm and you don’t know how to react. The ‘lid’ of our house isn’t something we think about all that much with regards to home maintenance. However, it needs just as much attention as you give your car when you wax it lovingly on the weekends! In fact, because it is one of the most important elements of your house, it needs more attention than your latest vehicle upgrade.
When a crisis occurs and you find yourself in a situation where you need major roof repair or even total roof replacement, you might see yourself asking “should I have been cleaning my roof this whole time?” aloud. Well, the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why:
Why Your Roof Needs Cleaning
There are a number of reasons why your roof needs to be cleaned. For example, there are various organisms that like to live and feed off your roof. If you have shingles, prepare yourself because shingles are the food source of many nasty creatures including algae, lichens, and moss.
Ignore these organisms at your own peril: your home can quickly go from immaculate to a spitting image of Frodo’s house in Lord of the Rings if you let these little scoundrels fester. If you’d prefer immaculate however, do yourself a favor and have your roof cleaned.
You should also take note of your house insurance policy too. If you have a homeowners policy and forget or refuse to get your roof cleaned, they can actually cancel your policy. This is because roof repair or replacement after harsh weather is one of the most common things an insurance company has to dole out cash for. If you do need roof repair, make sure to reach out to a professional roof repair contractor right away.
If your insurance company can threaten to do away with the policy you pay hundreds for every month, why on earth would you let your roof stay dirty? You’re spending a little to save a lot.
How Often You Should Clean Your Roof
The frequency of cleanings needed depends on the type of roof you have. For example, if you have a concrete roof, you should clean your roof every two or three years. This applies if you have brushed concrete tiles, because these have a rough texture and require more cleaning. If you have flat, barrel, or s-tile concrete on your roof, you don’t need to clean it as often as they are often coated and are less porous than the brushed version.
Next, if you have a roof that’s made of asphalt composite shingle, the cleaning of it depends on when you got it installed. If it’s newly or recently installed, you might be able to leave it to its own devices for up to nine years. This is because it’s much less absorbent than concrete tile and doesn’t sit around forever waiting to dry.
The bad things about asphalt roofs, however, is that they are incredibly delicate. Even a power rinse will damage the shingles. This means that if you’re a genius procrastinator who likes to get away with doing as little as possible, a shingle roof will be your dream come true.
This doesn’t mean they don’t need to be cleaned at all, however. You just have to learn about safe cleaning techniques in order to clean it. For example, pouring the cleaning materials into some sort of sprayer that is gentle (never, ever power wash your shingle roof: it will ruin it) and covering the roof with it will work. Let the cleaning material sink in, wait around half an hour, then rinse gently with a normal hose (again: never a power hose).
Ideas to Help Maintain Your Roof
There are a number of ways you can maintain your roof. First and foremost, you should find out specific details about your roof. How old is it? What material is it made of? If concrete, what kind of concrete? Has it ever been repaired or replaced? Has it been on your house since you moved in? These are just some of the questions you need to find out so that you can maintain your roof in the correct way.
Once you familiarize yourself with your roof specifics, it’s time to get to work. Your roof has to do a lot to protect the rest of your house: shield it from rain, snow, and wind for example. Because of this, your roof needs to be pampered sometimes. Start by clearing debris from your gutters and the valleys of the roof. Any debris stops the roof from doing its work properly, so pretend you’re brushing the kitchen floor and make sure it’s all gone.
Next, remove any moss from your roof. Moss loves hard surfaces and moisture, so your roof is the perfect breeding ground for this little critter after it rains. Moss will wreak havoc with the roof tiles by growing in any tiny gaps and pushing them here, there and everywhere. Get yourself roof chemicals that kill moss before it’s too late.
Another idea to help maintain your roof is to keep an eye out on your attic. Keeping your attic in good condition lends a helping hand to a healthy roof. For one, you can spot roof damage from the inside of your attic much easier than trying to examine it step by step with a heavy ladder.
Any leaks or cracks in your roof will show up nice and bright in your attic as a patch of sunlight. Not only this, but making sure your attic insulation is up to scratch helps to extend the longevity of your roof. Therefore, if it’s looking thin or patchy in areas, it’s time to update your attic insulation which will directly improve the condition of your roof, too.