February 24, 2017 : Spring Roof Cleaning Checklist
Winter can be brutal for most of us. With heavy snow and harsh winds, we all can take a beating in the cold months. But who takes the brunt of these harsh elements? You guessed it, your roof. Roofs are at the forefront of the storm, whatever the season may be. And just like every aspect of our homes, they need care and attention. This spring, extend your cleaning list outside and give your roof the attention it deserves.

Spots Can Be Problematic

The best place to start roof care is, oddly enough, on the ground. Stand back and look for various visual clues. Are there darker areas on your roof? Is there any algae or moss beginning to form? These can be serious warnings there may be an underlying issue. Usually darker spots or fungi mean that water has pooled into a general area, which can be hazardous to the structure of your roof. The growth of algae means the materials are not drying and can weaken and mold if not attended to. Often times it is due to loose or weakened shingles. Sometimes damaged flashing can let too much water collect at the seams. Be sure the structure is sturdy and sound before climbing up there. 
If there are small areas affected, these can be attended to rather quickly and easily. Bleach or copper sulfate solutions can kill any bacterial growth quickly and most of the time, inexpensively. It is important to remember not to power wash the roof. A simple garden sprayer or hose can do the job just fine and won’t dislodge any granules or pull shingles loose, which happens with many high-pressure tools. Safely remove any loose or damaged shingles with a shingle ripper and install new ones where needed.

Clear Gutters Make Dry and Healthy Roofs

The next step for roof spring cleaning is crucial. A healthy roof requires clean and clear gutters. Be sure not to take a hose or blower and force all the debris to the downspout. Clear out twigs, leaves and larger debris first. A handy tool to help with this process is a gutter scoop. This will prevent clogging and is important for proper drainage. Once gutters are clear, then rinse out your downspout thoroughly. Again, avoid high-pressure tools to ensure no equipment is damaged or shaken loose in the cleaning. It has been suggested to tend to your gutters twice a year, especially during the fall when they are more than likely working the hardest. Gutters are your roof drainage system and the key to carrying the water away from your house and foundation. Fix any loose nails holding the gutters and be sure the pieces are tightly secured together to ensure proper drainage and minimal leaks.

Branches Off Keep Shingles On

A step that is often overlooked is not so much on the roof, but its surroundings. Keeping trees cut back and off the roof can reduce moss and mold growth. Adequate sunlight will ensure your roof is drying completely and prevents water collecting. It is also important that branches are kept at a safe distance to prevent damage to shingles, flashing or chimney seals. A seam roller is a great product to be sure seals are tight and repair any flaps or damage that branches may have caused. Keeping branches cut back is also crucial so animals cannot easily access troublesome areas. Nests in downspouts or around chimneys are extremely common and often pricey problems to encounter. Be sure all areas, especially corners and crevices are especially free from leaves, twigs, and debris.
The easiest and best way to ensure proper roof care is stopping issues before they arise. Periodic checks and simple clean-up can actually add years onto the life of your roof. With proper cleaning treatments and some spring cleaning check-ups, you will ensure your roof's longevity. Basic care to shingles and minor flashing repairs throughout the year will avoid larger issues down the road and help your roof weather the elements it was made to withstand.