After the foundation, the roof is the most important structural element in a home. It shields the walls, floors, and the foundation from the elements. It protects the people who live in the home and the home’s contents. A bad roof can lead to the collapse of walls, destruction of floors and ceilings, as well as damage to the foundation.
Yet, considering the importance of this structure, it is one of the least maintained parts of many buildings. Most landlords never think they need to have a proper schedule for seeing to the needs of their roofing systems. Perhaps, says Bigham & Associates, a property management company in Austin, this is because the roof is mostly out of the landlord’s line of sight.
But regular roof maintenance is vital. A well-looked after roof will delay roof replacement. It will enhance the home’s appearance and improve energy efficiency. And the most basic part of maintaining a home’s roof is cleaning it regularly.
Why your roof needs cleaning
Roofs are constantly washed by rain or snow and swept by the wind. These are thoughts many homeowners have and why they may not think of roof cleaning as an essential part of their home maintenance routine. But there are solid reasons why a home’s roof needs to be cleaned.
- Improve the home’s curb appeal
Roofs are a major part of what makes a home attractive. Cleaning them once in a while helps to maximize the roof as a means of boosting the property’s appeal. Moreover, a clean roof may be overlooked. But a dirty one will certainly gain unwanted attention.
- It is essential to roof maintenance
Moss may look quaint and attractive when it is growing on the roof of a property. But moss, lichen, and algae are highly damaging to the roof. The only time anything green is permitted on a home’s roof is if that home has a living roof. Moss and lichen lead to moisture accumulation which is a precursor to roof damage. Their growth will also compromise the structural integrity of roof shingles.
- Helps protect your property
Protecting your roof is equivalent to protecting your entire property. An improperly maintained roof can damage your landscape and driveway. It can lead to water pooling at the base of the house and eventually to foundation failure. It can destroy the home’s insulation, electrical systems, walls, carpets, floors, furniture, and décor. The roof protects your home from its deadliest enemy: water intrusion.
- Improve your family’s health
Inevitably, pollen, bacteria, germs, animal droppings, and pollutants will collect on the roof. However, when they are allowed to remain there, that is where the problem begins. These materials can become a nearby source that introduces allergens, pollutants, and germs into your home, endangering the health of your whole family. A clean roof equals a healthier home.
- Cleaning the roof saves you money
The golden rule of home maintenance is to try and prevent problems before they develop. And roof cleaning is an excellent way to achieve this. Many of the processes that eventually lead to roof damage can be terminated by cleaning the roof. By truncating those chemical and biological actions that would have culminated in roof damage, homeowners save themselves a lot of trouble and money.
- Reduce the home’s energy usage
A roof in prime condition will help keep the home’s energy use within reasonable limits. It will reflect a good portion of the sun’s UV rays and prevent overheating. This reduces the amount of energy used in cooling. However, the roof’s ability to perform this function can be impeded by algae growing on the roof and debris which accumulates on its surface. A dirty roof often means higher energy bills.
Signs that your home’s roof needs cleaning
How can you tell when it is time to clean your home’s roof?
- Moss and lichen are present
Moss and lichen do at least two things to your home’s roof. Their roots burrow into the materials of roof shingles and they give water a chance to collect on the roof surface. These are not things you want happening on your home’s roof. If allowed to stay, moss and lichen will lead to the decay of your roofing material and damage to the internal structures of the roof.
- Zebra stripes on the roof
Algae will not grow on your roof unless it has something to feed on. Algae feed on the materials of roof shingles; it extracts the substrate in the shingles. This weakens the roof over time. If your roof is sporting dark vertical stripes, there is a serious mold and algae problem afoot. The roof should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent further damage.
- Buildup of dirt
Accumulated debris on the roof and in the gutters will compromise its function. It will interfere with the roof’s energy-efficiency and it will also attract pests to the property. And blocked gutters will lead to rainwater being discharged onto the walls and into the internal structures of the roof.
Given how little it costs and how much it can save you, roof cleaning should be one of the go-to procedures for cleaning your home’s roof. It should be done as a routine, in order to maintain the appearance and function of the structure.