Sunday, July 22, 2012

Should You Get Your Roof Cleaned By A Professional?

Perhaps needless to say, the roof is an essential part of one's home. It protects the interior from rain and snow as well as contributes to a home's energy efficiency. But few homeowners really think about the roof until something goes amiss and it needs repair. A new roof is meant to provide many decades of worry-free service, yet it is wise to consider some preventative maintenance to ensure the long term integrity of the material.

With constant exposure to the outside elements and the heating and cooling cycles from inside, an aging roof can develop points of failure over time. The most important thing one can do is to regularly take some time to inspect the roof of one's home and outbuildings. While one may not be able to see every bit of the structure, taking a regular looks up to see if there are any obvious problems is a good practice. Any damaged shingles, flashing that has gone awry or any other obvious signs of problems should be taken care of immediately. Not only do problems subject one's home to moisture and the elements, but left too long the issues can escalate over time.

It is also good practice to have one's roof inspected by a professional every few years as well. With this type of examination the inspector will actually get up on the roof to uncover potential problem areas. This puts the structure and material under closer scrutiny and can help nip things in the bud.

For a roof that otherwise is sound, but has accumulated grime, moss or other debris, a cleaning might be in order. Our wetter climate itself is not necessarily the issue, but the preponderance of trees and greenery. Shade from overhanging trees blocks sunlight which helps inhibit organic growth. Trees are the basis of algae spores that land and spread on roofs. Tree leaves pile up in roof valleys and clogs gutters which retains moisture or inhibit proper drainage. All these conditions result in a lower lifespan for one's roof. These things also make a home look run-down and affect value.

Depending on one's roofing material, cleaning can take many forms. Sometimes a simple sweeping or hard spray with the garden hose can break up dirt accumulation and solve the problem. If there is organic growth present, one can apply a purpose-made cleaning solution that loosens algae and inhibits further growth. For some surfaces or more stubborn grime, a power wash may be necessary. This latter approach is best done by an experienced professional as the high pressure water, if not handled correctly, can cause damage and result in moisture getting into the interior.

It is also wise to consider carefully the cleaning agent that is used. Not only is it important to use an effective cleaner, but using the wrong type can stain one's roof, potentially leaving unsightly streaks. It is also important in so far as environmental hazards. While no solution on the market will be environmentally toxic, one must consider surrounding plants and animals that may be exposed to the run off. Many brands now feature organic and natural formulas that eschew any chemical additives. If this is of great concern, one can simply opt for manual cleaning without any solution applied.

Re-roofing a home is a major expense, so it is important to do regular preventative care to get maximum longevity. Regularly performing an inspection and having small problems fixed quickly are important. For a roof that is accumulating dirt, leaves and other grime, a cleaning should be planned. This will help the longevity and maintain the look of the roof for many years.

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