Why do you need to keep your roof clean? Any proud homeowner wants to keep their most valuable asset looking its best. Whenever your paint starts to chip, or your siding starts to fade, you feel the pressure to call a painter or contractor to come to fix it. After all, the neighbors can all see!
But what about your roof? Many homeowners don’t give their roof a second thought. However, keeping your roof neat and clean is an important part of maintaining a healthy roof. Not only will a clean roof keep the HOA folks at bay, but it will help to maximize the roof’s longevity.
Natural Enemies of Your Roof
There are a few common foes among dirty roofs that you need to be vigilant in your efforts to stop.
Algae can cause ugly dark stains on a shingle roof. This is because algae thrive off of the asphalt materials used in shingles. Algae is also very attracted to limestone, another common material in construction and roofing.
Algae is a problem of more than just cosmetics. It’s a kind of bacteria that’s slowly eating through your roofing materials. This deterioration makes your shingles more susceptible to heat damage. Uncleaned algae or other molds can significantly reduce the lifespan of your roof. Lichen, also, is an invasive mold that grows in harmony with algae. It, too, thrives on asphalt shingles, setting itself deep into the shingle to reach the oily adhesive.
You may be more readily familiar with moss, which is a full-fledged plant of its own. However, moss has very small roots, and it needs quite a lot of water. Animals are often responsible for carrying the spores to the roof, which then develop in shadier or damper spots. Unremoved moss can result in your shingles curling up, typically meaning you need some serious repairs.
Also, moss retains water almost like a cactus, meaning that a patch of moss is essentially a pool of water constantly soaking your roof. This can lead to rotting shingles. Especially if your shingles are made of wood, you’ll need to get the moss removed as quickly as possible. This can be tricky, so we highly recommend calling your local roofing specialists to lend you a helping hand.
DIY Cleaning vs. Professional Cleaning
Frankly, we never recommend performing any activities on your roof by yourself. Roofing jobs are dangerous even for trained professionals. If you don’t go up on your roof often, you won’t be used to navigating the slopes and you won’t know where is safe to step. Beyond just the risk of injury, you could wind up causing more damage to your roof.
Additionally, you don’t want to clean your roof if it’s not truly necessary. While you may be tempted to give it a good rinse after a dust storm, you could still wind up hurting your roof more than helping. The small granules found on the surface of asphalt shingles serve a key purpose in preventing the shingles from overheating. Over-cleaning can wash away these granules to the point that the shingles become overexposed to the sun, drastically reducing their longevity and even affecting the temperature of your home.