Whenever you think about cleaning your house, which parts of the property first come to your mind? For most owners, it means cleaning the home’s interior and maybe even parts of the exterior. Generally, they will clean the rooms, shovel walkways, clear driveways, wash the deck and mow the lawn. A few may go as far as to tidy up the property’s siding. But as Dawson Management points out, rarely do property owners remember to clean the roof and its accompanying parts.
Most homeowners fail to give due attention to roof cleaning because:
– Roofs are constantly swept by winds and washed by rain or melting snow. Therefore, many homeowners think it doesn’t need cleaning.
– Unlike your yard, nobody is going to be walking around your roof any time soon. If your property’s siding is dirty or the paint is faded, it is visible to other people. But roofs are mostly out of sight.
Why Your Roof Needs Regular Cleaning
Prevent Moss, Algae, and Lichens
Cleaning your roof doesn’t really mean just removing dirt. The main problem with an unwashed roof is that it promotes moss, algae and lichen growth. These make your roof prone to damage. Lichen and moss act as sponges that trap and retain water on the roof. The water that accumulates creates a perfect environment for corrosion and damage. Unlike moss and lichen, algae is a problem that is not always visible.
Algae weakens and accelerates the wear and tear of the roof and its component parts. In its early stages, a roof may be accumulating algae without the owner realizing it. When it becomes visible, algae may only show in a few spots, even if the entire roof is affected. That’s why spot cleaning is not recommended for roofs. The unwashed parts of a roof will only infect the spots that were washed.
Prevent Shingle Damage
Moss, algae and lichen erode the asphalt in shingles and weaken the structure of the roof. Moss needs a lot of moisture to survive, so it traps water within its root system. Over time, this water acidifies and begins to erode the roof. Algae are bacteria that feeds off the limestone and asphalt in shingles. By extracting these substances, algae undermines the integrity of a roof. Lichen is a fungus that forms a branch of tentacles, which penetrate deep into the base of shingles. The roof damage caused by moss, algae and lichen can cost homeowners thousands of dollars.
The effect of damaged shingles goes beyond the replacement costs of the materials. Roofs play a critical role in any property. When the roof is damaged, the effects can spill over to other parts in an unexpected fashion. Below are some of the effects of a damaged roof:
– It leads to conditions conducive to the growth of mold.
– It often causes water damage in other parts of the property.
– A roof helps maintain a property’s energy efficiency by absorbing UV rays. However, roofs with algae absorb more heat, causing the electric bills to increase.
– Damaged roofs become more susceptible to damage during winter, because of water freezing inside its cracks. A cracked roof is a threat to the structural integrity of a property.
Prevent Wood Rot
Moss found on the roof will hold moisture and divert water. Then the water will start to seep into the inner parts of the roof. Water left in the underlying structures of a roof will lead to wood rot. It’s important to note that wood rot is not always visible; the damage can go undetected for years.
Moreover, some animals find their way up the roof and make their home there, leading to further damage. When the problem is finally discovered by the owner, it’s already too late. Extensive repairs are needed to restore the roof to its original state. This damage could’ve easily been prevented by cleaning the roof regularly to get rid of moss.
How to Clean Your Roof
Algae and moss spread through spores. Once a single roof in an area is infected, the whole neighborhood can be affected in a short time. Even when a roof shows no visible signs of moss or algae, it should be inspected at least once every three years.
Roofs should be cleaned regularly, using any of the methods below:
– Pressure washing – also called power wash. It uses high-pressured water to blast away moss, algae or other organisms on a metal or terracotta roof.
– Chemical cleaning – also known as soft washing. It uses chemicals to remove algae, moss, mold and lichen on the roof
Once roof damage starts, it will lead to many, unforeseeable problems for homeowners like you. But regular and correct roof cleaning will allow you to have control over the condition of your roof. Contact Ambassador Window Cleaning to help with your next roof cleaning in Summerville, Charleston SC, and beyond!