The roof represents a major expense when building or renovating a house. It is also the most vulnerable exterior surface, with constant exposure to bombarding by Mother Nature’s harshest elements: pounding rain, snow, ice, scorching sun, wind-driven falling debris, and growing and spreading algae or moss. Even so, the average life expectancy of a roof is 20 to 30 years, depending on the type of roof you have, and most homeowners want to make sure they get every year they can out of their roof.
The Top Tip for Extending the Life of Your Roof
What can you do to protect and prolong the life and look of your roof? The best step homeowners can take to extend the life of their roof is to have the roof cleaned annually. Annual cleaning keeps a roof looking attractive and allows warmth to penetrate in cold months and heat to reflect in summer months.
Consider, too, the damage that can occur from moss growth or algae, if not cleaned. It not only looks unsightly, but can contribute to roof damage, as these growths eat away at shingles. Over time, moisture can leak under the damaged roof, which, if left unattended, can lead to rotting of the roof supports which, in turn, can cause interior leaking on ceilings and walls.
Nearby trees, or trees that overhang a house, can cause significant damage to a roof even without storm conditions. Leaves and pine needles can trap moisture which seeps into shingles and creates warping, leaks, and rotting. Debris from trees needs to be regularly cleared off the roof and from inside gutters. In winter, especially, blocked gutters mean water from melting ice will not be able to flow out of the gutter system and can create ice dams that force roofing out of place and lead to water damage underneath.
Professional roof cleaners generally use two basic methods of cleaning. Both are effective at removing mold, algae, dirt, and grime from roof surfaces. One method, chemical cleaning or soft washing, is done on asphalt shingles by applying chemical solutions with a soft brush. The second method, pressure or power washing, is used on metal or concrete roofs, ensuring they get truly clean. Power washers use high-pressure water spray to force debris away.
Roof Cleaning Don’ts
If you are thinking of climbing onto your roof and cleaning it yourself, think twice about the dangers involved. A buildup of algae or moss – not always visible to the naked eye – can make a roof slippery underfoot, especially when the roof is already wet from a cleaning solution. Homeowners sometimes turn to power washing, but this pressure-based washing of an asphalt shingle roof can actually erode the shingles. Only a professional can properly and thoroughly clean all types of roofing by employing correct methods.
Annual roof cleaning, including removal of debris and problematic growth on shingles, will prevent all of these problems. Rather than pay for a costly roof replacement, pay now to have your roof cleaned – it is much less expensive and sure to prolong the life of your roof. A clean roof is a great investment that not only enhances your home’s curb appeal, it gives you peace of mind.
For more information about roofing and roof care or replacement, contact Steve Rush, owner of Sovereign Construction Services, at 610-639-2986. Sovereign Construction is a full-service building and remodeling company, and Steve is available to provide additional insights and information regarding the care of your roof.