Yes your Roof Needs Maintenance
I know it’s not an area of the home that we usually think about unless it’s leaking or needs replacement but there are a few roof maintenance tasks that you can do yourself. Be sure to wait for good weather and that the roof is suitable to walk on. You may want to contact a professional if your roof is steep (you may need fall protection) or made of tiles or metal (these surfaces are quite slippery). If getting on your roof makes you at all uneasy – call in the professionals – they can do an annual service for you.
Loose Debris & Overhanging Trees
You definitely want to remove any loose debris that has built-up either on the roof or in the valleys. Having leaves, pine needles or branches sitting on the roof surface will impede water flow and encourage moss and algea to grow. Keeping the trees trimmed back and away from the roof will also help keep debris amounts down and help minimize access to insects and vermin.
Moss and Algae
It’s a good idea to remove moss and algae from the roof as these hold water against the shingle. You can find a moss remover spray at your local hardware store (be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions and watch over spraying to plants below). You can gently remove it by hand or with a gentle brush. You do not want to use a power sprayer or hard bristle brush, as this will damage the granular on the shingles. The granular on a shingle is important as it protects the shingle from the UV rays of the sun.
Gutters and Downspouts
These are so very important to clean annually or more frequently if you live in a highly treed area. Manually clean out the gutters of debris – standing on a ladder at the edge and putting leaves and debris into a bucket is an easy and clean way to clear them out. Then you want to run the hose down the gutter and flush out any little bits. Make sure the water is easily flowing down the downspout. If not, you may need a plumber’s snake to clear the way. Gutters can easily clog and overflow if they aren’t kept clean. Even the build-up of granular from the shingles and dust from the neighbourhood and can impact it’s effectiveness. If you have a section that is very high and you don’t have a ladder to reach it, then hiring a professional company that uses fall protection is a good idea.
If you have a flat roof checking the roofing material and the area around roof penetrations is essential. Similar to pitched roofs, you want to check for debris, clear it away and make sure your scuppers (where the water flows) are clear and free flowing. You also want to look for punctures, splits, blisters, ridges, and excessive pooling of water. If you find any of these items call in a professional to get them repaired before a bigger issues develops.
If you are not up for these maintenance items or heights are not your thing then be sure to hire a professional to come in and make sure everything is in tip top shape. As they say “An ounce of prevention…” – maintenance will save you in the long run.