You count on your roof to protect your home from the elements. The roof is one of those things, though, that we all tend to forget about until something goes wrong. But beware: if you don’t take care of your roof until there’s a problem, you’re setting yourself up for a very expensive emergency. A leaky roof will raise your heating bill and cause ugly spots on the ceiling. Water can also run inside of your home’s walls, causing severe damage to the walls and the floor below. A water leak in the wrong spot can even lead to an electrical fire. Making roof maintenance a routine part of your autumn schedule will help you make sure your roof is ready to protect your home throughout the winter months. Read on to learn about 3 things you can do to keep your roof in tip-top shape.
Clean and Inspect Gutters
The Foundation Repair Association recommends cleaning and inspecting your gutters twice a year, in the spring and fall. Gutter maintenance is especially important in the fall. For one, fallen leaves are behind most gutter clogs. Also, a poorly-drained roof will allow water to soak the ground next to your home, where freezing temperatures can cause it to expand and crack the foundation. Wait until the trees on your property have lost their leaves, and clean the gutters to remove leaves and other debris.
Once you have cleaned your home’s gutters, check that the gutters have a slope that will cause all of the water to run to the downspouts. Even the best gutters can become warped by the wind and weather. The Foundation Repair Association recommends that gutter height should fall 1 inch for each 8 feet of gutter length. One way to see if your gutters have an adequate slope is to pour water into the end farthest from the gutter, and then check the gutter for any pooling. This will also let you know if there are any obstructions in the downspout, which you can remove with a pipe snake.
Check the Roof for Problems
Once you’ve checked your roof’s drainage system for problems, you’re ready to inspect the roof itself. First, check for any potentially harmful circumstances, such as overhanging branches or moss growth. Removing these things before they have a chance to damage your roof will help you avoid the need for repairs. If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting your roof yourself, call in a professional to help with your roof maintenance.
Next, check for damage to your roof. The most common places for a roof to leak are any areas where the roof’s membrane has been interrupted. Check the caulking around these areas and replace any caulking that has become damaged or fallen away. These areas include:
- Around the chimney
- Area around skylights
- Around vent pipes or stink pipes
- Around anything that is mounted to the roof, such as a satellite dish
Look for flashing that is warped, tented, corroded or split. Check for lifted or damaged shingles. If you have asphalt shingles, look for shingles that have lost their protective granule coat. Check the ground below the downspouts for excessive amounts of granules.
Remove Roof Stains with Wet & Forget Outdoor
During your roof maintenance checks, you may have noticed growths or stains on the shingles. Green, black or rust-colored streaks on your roof are most likely to be the cause of by algae growth. A thick, green, velvety growth on your roof is moss, and a scaly growth is lichen. Mold and mildew are usually fuzzy and can be black, white, rust-colored or gray. These growths not only hurt your roof’s appearance–moss growth can lead to a leaky roof by causing pitting on shingles, or by lifting shingles and pushing them out of place. It is crucial to remove these growths during your fall roof maintenance checks. Bleach is a bad choice for removing these stains, because it can corrode your home’s downspouts.
To treat your roof with Wet & Forget Outdoor, attach the Wet & Forget Rapid Application to your garden hose and connect the jet setting tip to the sprayer then turn the dial to “ON”, spray the stained area at a time that allows 4 to 5 hours’ drying time before the chance of rain. Follow the same procedure for moss, making sure to soak the moss thoroughly to allow the solution to penetrate the full thickness of the growth.
Because lichen has multiple layers, the procedure is a little different. First, spray the lichen the same way you would for treating algae, mold or mildew. Wait 15 minutes, and then spray the lichen a second time. This second treatment allows Wet & Forget Outdoor to penetrate lichen’s multiple layers. Treat lichen on a day that is not too hot, sunny or windy to prevent the solution from drying too rapidly. To banish lichen, learn how you can easily remove lichen on outdoor surfaces.
Keeping your roof in good shape will help you protect your investment in your home, and help you and your family enjoy a warm, cozy winter.
(Photo by Randall1022)