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How to Properly Clean and Maintain Your Roof

How to Properly Clean and Maintain Your Roof

Protect one of the most important parts of your home — the roof — with regular inspection and cleaning. This should be done at least every six months, once in autumn to prepare your roof for the cold weather and once again in spring to see how it has held up during the hard winter months. More frequent checkups might be necessary after strong wind storms or after dealing with heavy snow and ice. Read your homeowner’s insurance policy terms and the warranty for your roof carefully to see what roof maintenance is necessary. For the absolute best care, set up a regular professional maintenance plan through your roofing contractor.

Roof Safety First

If you are planning to clean and maintain your roof by yourself, start working from the top of the roof downward. Use a ladder and work with a friend, or let someone know that you will be cleaning your roof from atop a ladder. Protect your hands with sturdy work gloves and protect your eyes with safety goggles. Avoid walking on the roof surface whenever possible, but, if you must do so, make sure to wear rubber soled shoes. Be careful of power lines and stay off the roof during rainy conditions to minimize the risk of electric shock.

What to Look Out For

Look out for a thick layer of snow. Remove the snow with a special snow rake to relieve excess pressure on the roof. Remove debris such as leaves and sticks with a broom. Make sure to remove any moss, fungus, or algae as they will eat your roof if left for a significant amount of time unchecked. Scrub moss, fungus, and algae off with a long handled brush. Then installing lead, zinc, or copper control strips to prevent vegetation from returning. Trim overhanging branches since these may fall in a storm, drop fruit, or act as a means of transport for pesty animals to climb onto your roof. Bird droppings often highly acidic, and can eat away at your roof. Animal nests may obstruct your roof drains. Drain blockage often results  in standing water which can cause the roof to collapse under the heavy load.  Wear a breathing mask when removing animal droppings or nests to avoid inhaling potential contaminants.

Checking the Roof

If any loose, cracked, damaged, or missing shingles are found, they will need to be replaced or repaired.

Search for for rotten areas or insect infestation of the wood.

Inspect the flashing in the area of the chimney, vents, and exhaust pipes. And be on the lookout for holes, bends, and dry or loose caulk.

Also inspect the condition of the caulk or mortar on roof joints and calk on the chimney.

Investigate for traces of rust in any metal pieces.


Inspecting the Gutters and Downspouts

Keep on the lookout for debris, dirt, and fallen leaves. Use a gutter scoop  with a garden hose, to thouroughly clean your roof gutters and downspouts. Remove all clogs, which could possibly result in forming ice dams. Additionally, significant amounts of shingle granules in the gutter are an indication that your roof is wearing out. In this case contact a professional roofing company to inspect the condition of your roof.


Don’t Forget to Inspect Underneath the Roof

Inspect the underside of your roof from your crawl space or attic as well. This way you can spot any potential  signs of leakage, such as dark spots, water streaks, rotting wood, damp areas, dripping water, or moldy spots. Taking care of leaks as quickly as possible is one of the most important roof maintenance tasks.

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ProPoint Roofing & Construction
W5585 County Rd MM #410
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 386-7338