Your home’s roof is one of the most important parts of the residence; it plays a pivotal role in keeping you and your family safe and comfortable. The roof protects you from the elements, and also stabilizes the temperature inside the residence. Damage from neglect is costly to repair but regular maintenance and roof cleaning services will go a long way towards preventing such future problems.
Regular Roof Maintenance
Ideally in California, you should clean and inspect your roof at least twice a year- spring and fall– when the seasons change.
If you live near trees, are in an area prone to storms, or experience large temperature fluctuations then you’ll want to clean the roof more frequently.
Due to the extreme heat that California sees, it’s important to check your roof regularly. Depending on your maintenance, the roof cleaning services you use for your roof will vary.
Here’s what roof maintenance tips to keep in mind:
Rainy winters and extra shade are factors that increase how frequently you should clean your roof. Rain allows water to accumulate on the roof.
Large trees or nearby buildings that provide lots of shade prevent water from evaporating and letting the roof thoroughly dry. These conditions make your roof become a prime breeding ground for moss and fungus.
– PLANT DEBRIS
Plant debris is a major culprit of roof damage because it not only clogs drains and adds weight, but it also causes the materials underneath to deteriorate faster, and allows fungus, mold, and algae to develop.
Leaves clogging the gutters and downspout keep water from draining off the roof. That water accumulates and seeps between broken tiles or missing shingles eventually causing lots of problems that are invisible until they become serious.
Physically inspecting the roof for structural and cosmetic blemishes make up a large portion of the roof cleaning routine, but that’s not the end of it.
You’ve probably noticed a dark green or black film on your roof; chances are you thought it was a natural part of the aging process or maybe a stain. That’s actually mold or algae growing up there, and it can do as much damage as the physical debris.
– MOLD AND ALGAE
Algae is a living organism that feeds on your roof material. It breaks down your roof as food causing it to deteriorate, leak, and otherwise not perform as well or for as long as it should. Other living organisms like fungus and moss impede the roof’s ability to block UV rays and cause temperature disruptions like increased power bills.
Roof Cleaning Services Based On Your Roof Material
Once loose debris such as brush and trash have been removed from the roof then one of two roof cleaning methods will be used to clean the area: pressure washing or soft washing.
1. PRESSURE WASHING
Pressure washing, sometimes called power washing, uses a high-pressure jet of water is sprayed on the surface to remove dirt, stains, and algae.
Chemical additives or heat can be used in conjunction with the high pressure to facilitate cleaning action, but pressure is largely responsible for removal of any debris.
2. SOFT WASHING
Soft washing, sometimes called chemical cleaning or chemical washing, uses a mixture of cleaning and microbial agents to produce a clean surface. Water still plays an important part of the process, but the additives are responsible for the final clean.
It’s common for the solution to include a chemical that leaves a residue on the surface that kills or slows the growth of new algae.
Both roof cleaning methods do a good job of removing build-up, stains, and other residues but they’re not equally appropriate for all roofing systems.
For example, you would never pressure wash a roof that has asphalt shingles. The high pressure damages the shingles by lifting them away from the roof and removing its protective granules. Pressure washing an asphalt roof would cause more damage than it would help.
Some chemical cleaning systems can be just as dangerous to asphalt roofs. Applying a solution containing sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide will deteriorate the asphalt and significantly decrease their life.
Asphalt roof material isn’t the only condition that requires individual treatment; moss is treated differently depending upon the roofing material. Tile roofs should be treated with zinc-based solutions while copper-based solutions are for cedar shake roofs.
Even household bleach can have a negative effect on the wrong materials. It causes lower grade metal screws to rust resulting in loose sections of roof. Loose sections allow water to penetrate the surface and damage the roof’s substructure.
Consult your manufacturer’s warranty or your original contractor if you’re not sure which roof cleaning services are appropriate. They’ll have the most current information about your roof’s proper care and maintenance. Also, sometimes regular cleaning is part of a maintenance package that can be purchased when your roof is originally installed.
Do-It-Yourself Or Hire A Professional
For most homeowners cost is the limiting factor that determines whether or not to hire a professional; it’s a common belief that doing something oneself is always less expensive than hiring someone to do it for them. In reality, though, that’s not the case.
Unless you possess advanced maintenance skills then it’s likely that you’re not too familiar with your roof. But professional roofers are accustomed to being up there.
The service hours they’ve spent working on different roofs means that they’re supremely equipped to handle whatever comes their way.
You can be certain that a professional will use the correct roof cleaning solutions and machinery for the work, and a professional usually offers extra peace-of-mind in the form of warranties.
Before having the work done, or doing it yourself make sure to check your manufacturer’s warranty or the warranty issued by the original contractor. Some warranties require that work be performed under specific guidelines or the warranty is invalidated.
Find and correct potential problems through regular cleaning so that they don’t turn into a costly mistake. Whether you do it yourself, or have it cleaned professionally, make sure that the most appropriate roof cleaning services and methods are used for your specific roof.