With warmer weather just around the corner, now is a great time to get a head start on some spring cleaning. Many people may not think that a roof needs some TLC but after an Oklahoma winter, taking assessment of your roof's shingles and gutters is imperative. Not only will it help extend the lifespan of your roof, it will also maintain your home's curb appeal. Below are some tips on what to look for during spring cleaning your roof and easy ways to spot problems when they first arise.
Spring Cleaning Checklist
After a long winter season, the first step you should take is to look at your gutters. A leak can easily occur from clogged guttters and worn sealant. So it is important to clear any debris that is visible and check that water is properly flowing, especially before the spring rainstorms. Worn sealant occurs from general wear and tear so be sure to check in the corners and end caps for any signs of leakage. It is also important to check that the gutter itself sits tightly on the roof line as heavy snowfalls and ice can separate the gutter from the fascia.
Trees that are near your home need to be trimmed back so they are not touching the roof. Over time, limbs and branches can damage the shingles by scraping and loosening the protective shield on the shingle itself. Large limbs can easily puncture a hole in your roof if it breaks off from the Oklahoma wind and storms. It is also worth noting that limbs that are not maintained properly can overgrow and create a mositure-rich environment atop of the roof so it is important to trim these back so that infestations do not start to grow.
A few leaves here and there are fine but if you see large piles of leaves, pine needles, and other debris on top of your roof, it needs to be removed as soon as possible. If there is debris on your roof, the most simple and effective way to clear the debris is to use either a leaf blower or a broom. If you are planning to use this method, be careful not to damage any of the shingles in the process. If you are comfortable getting onto the roof, safety must be your top priority. You should have a partner to hold the ladder steady and wear slip resistant footwear.
Moss and Mildew
Taking proper care of the vegetation around the roof line and removing debris will keep moss and mildew at bay. However, if debris sits long enough, moisture will eventually set in and it can lead to moss growth. Typically, these infestations arise in areas that are shaded with trees and areas that do not get much sunlight. A good trick to prevent moss growth is to cut pieces of copper and zinc and fasten them under the course of your roof along the ridgeline. Having galvanized flashing on top of your shingles will also help prevent infestations from growing.
Today, most shingles have built-in protective agents that inhibit algae growth for several years. However, if you are seeing black stains on your roof it is more than likely algae and needs to be removed. While algae is not an imminent threat to your roof, it can eventually decrease the integrity of your roof and it will affect the curb appeal of your home especially on homes that have a lighter color shingle. There are many cleaning products on the market that can clean your roof and remove algae particles but be sure the cleaning product will not damage the shingle as different cleaning products are made for different types of shingles. A common solution that many homeowners use is to mix chlorine bleach and water together. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, ARMA, "A typical solution should be one part chlorine bleach and one part water."
Stop Damage Before It Starts
We want you to get the most out of your roof and increase the roof's lifespan. After all, a roof is one of the biggest investments you can do for your home so why not protect it? Regular maintenance and roof cleaning will stop damage before it starts and will save you money in the long run. Cleaning your gutter and roof from debris, trimming trees, and removing any visible substances are just a few things you can do to protect your roof before storm season hits. If you are planning to clean the roof yourself, remember to take all the necessary safety precautions. As always, we are here to help and answer any questions you may have as you prep your roof for the upcoming year. If you suspect there are underlying issues or want a professional to inspect your roof, please give us a call at (405) 607-0966.