A quick guide to roof maintenance

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A quick guide to roof maintenance

16 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog

The condition of a roof can play a significant role in the condition of the rest of a house. Without a solid, well-maintained roof, a property is more vulnerable to the elements and is at risk of sustaining water damage which, in turn, can lead to structural problems. Given this, it really is crucial to take care of your roof.  Read on to find out how you can do this.

Wash it regularly

Excessive amounts of dirt, grime and algae can make a roof more susceptible to damage and thus end up shortening its lifespan. Additionally, if your roof is covered in dirt and debris, it can detract from your property's overall appearance. As such, it's important to wash this area of your house on a regular basis. Whilst you can hire a professional tradesperson to do this job for you, it is possible to clean your roof by yourself. However, you should only attempt this task if the slope of the roof is relatively gentle and you feel comfortable working at a height.

Make sure to check the weather forecast on the day you intend to tackle this chore. Ideally, you should wash your roof on a mild, overcast day when no extreme temperatures or rainfall are predicted.  Working outdoors in hot weather can be exhausting, whilst cleaning your roof during a rain spell will increase the chance of you slipping and potentially injuring yourself.

Do not use a pressure washer to clean your roof,  as this piece of equipment can dislodge shingles, remove asphalt granules and even cause dents in metal roofing. Additionally, if you accidentally run the pressure hose over an area of the roof where there is a small hole or missing shingle, you could end up flooding your attic.

Additionally, whilst many people choose to use bleach to lighten stains and kill algae, it should be noted that the corrosive properties of bleach can damage both asphalt and metal roofs. In most cases, a mild solution of sodium hydroxide (also known as lye) in a spray bottle is a far gentler, but equally effective option. Spritz this across the roof to kill off algae and wash away any stains.

Moss can be scraped off using a small metal trowel. If your roof material is prone to scratches, you can use a rubber scraping tool instead to prevent scuff marks.

Inspect it often and carry out repairs promptly

It's important to realise that, should your roof sustain damage and you either fail to notice it or simply choose to ignore the problem, its lifespan could be drastically reduced.  For example, a seemingly small patch of rust on a metal roof may seem insignificant; however, if this issue is not dealt with promptly, the corrosion will almost certainly begin to spread to other areas of the roof. This could compromise the roof's structural integrity to the extent that the entire thing has to be replaced.

As such, it's sensible to inspect your roof for signs of wear and tear on a regular basis. Look for curled, chipped or missing shingles,  sagging areas and holes. As mentioned above, in metal roofs, you should check for patches of rust. It's also a good idea to examine your roof from the inside; that is, go into your attic to see if there is any water leaking through or if there are rays of sunlight streaming through missing or cracked shingles. Should you spot any of these things, contact a reputable roofer immediately to have them repair the damage.  

If you feel confident in your DIY abilities and want to attempt the repair work yourself, take every possible safety precaution to ensure that you do not get injured during the process. Use a strong ladder and make sure that there is someone at the bottom of it, holding it is place whilst you climb up and down the rungs. Additionally, wear footwear with a strong grip, to reduce the chance of you slipping, and wear heavy-duty gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes, respectively.