The Pacific Northwest throws homeowners a few challenges when it comes to maintaining their roof. Algae and moss are a common site, which will lead to problems if not addressed. The good news is that you can avoid problems with regular maintenance. The frequency in which you should have maintenance performed on your roof depends on a few factors like sun exposure, foliage around your home, and the type of roof your home has. This article will focus on the most common type of roofing, the asphalt composition shingle.
- Keep the roof free of organic debris. This is the most critical and often most overlooked maintenance to your home and roof. If all you do is keep the leaves and pine needles off of your roof, your roof will look new for many years. Why is this critical step so overlooked? Because it is hard work, and many homes need this performed many times a year, not just once. The longer organic debris like leaves and pine needles sit on your roof, the more likely moss will start to grow. Some homes need this maintenance five or more times per year.
- Clean out the gutters. Keeping the gutters cleaned will have a dramatic effect on your roof’s lifespan. Clogged gutters will lead to a backup of water running off of your roof, and can cause rot at the gutter edge of your roof if water is left to sit.
- Treat your roof with zinc. The frequency this maintenance task is performed depends heavily on the location of your home and the number of trees and foliage around your home. On average, this step should be performed every three years. Zinc powder will help to kill moss and algae.
Bonus: 3 Steps to Avoid When Maintaining your roof
- Pressure washing the roof. Never use high pressure washing equipment to clean your roof. As tempting as it sounds, this will destroy an asphalt composition roof. That being said, exterior cleaning companies often have washing equipment that will not harm your roof.
- Using a broom or brush to clean the roof. Composition roofing is all about the quality of the granules. Using a brush or broom on your roof is too abrasive and will remove granules causing a significant shortage in your roof’s lifespan.
- Cleaning the roof from the ground. Avoid this temptation at all costs. Spraying the roof with a hose, or blowing the roof with a high-powered blower from the ground can cause failure points. The danger is that you break the seal between the shingles and expose the nail heads which will lead to leaking. Your roof should be maintained from the rooftop itself.
Keeping your roof looking new is relatively simple, however, it is also extremely dangerous. Working from rooftops is the most dangerous job in the general trades. We recommend that you call on professionals to perform the work, and make sure that you are protected financially by hiring a licensed, bonded and insured company.