Roof maintenance generally isn't too complicated; it involves keeping the roof and gutters clear of debris, checking the roof over carefully on a regular basis, having professional inspections done and getting repairs when needed.
But if you've just moved into your first home as a homeowner and you're a little nervous because the roof didn't come with an owner's manual, don't worry too much - just avoid these three easy roof care mistakes.
1. Ignoring Your Roof
Doing nothing for years at a time is one of the worst possible things you could do to your roof, especially if you also don't make time to clean gutters and check attic ventilation regularly.
Any damage or issues that occur with a neglected roof are likely to get worse before they get better, and by the time a moss growth or clogged gutter has caused water to appear inside your home, forcing you to pay attention, the damage is already going to be extreme.
Since you're reading this, however, you're probably a conscientious homeowner who cares about your roof, so you're less likely to make this mistake. Just remember to schedule roof inspections and even home maintenance for your roof well in advance - after all, once you get into the middle of your busy schedule, the roof is so easy to forget.
2. Damaging Your Roof While Looking for Leaks
If you do have a sneaky leak in your roof and you've checked all the gutters, flashing and other likely culprits, it's only natural to be a bit frustrated and go hunting for the leak on the roof's surface. Don't do it!
Not only is walking on your roofing shingles hazardous for you as a homeowner, but it can also cause damage and, especially if the shingles are old and brittle, even cause more leaks. The same can be said for the practice of removing roofing shingles to examine the underlayment for leaks, which causes damage right off the bat by destroying the protective seal between shingles.
If you know anything about asphalt shingle installation, you know that each shingle must have exactly the right type of nail driven into the right spot at the right angle and depth for best results. In addition, if you don't place each nail exactly where you found it, the spot where it previously went through the shingle is now a breach in your roof's protective covering.
Instead of going up on your roof to look for leaks, check from underneath (in the attic) to help you locate where the water drips through, then hire a professional roofer for diagnosis and repairs.
3. Cleaning the Roof . . . Right off the Roof
Any hyper-aggressive roof cleaning is bad news for asphalt shingles, which are made with hundreds of small, easily dislodged granules as an essential part of their function. Pressure washing can be particularly harmful. If you've ever handled a new roofing shingle, you've probably noticed how easy it is to get granules to fall off. So why would directing a high-pressure stream of water (designed to knock off loose dirt and stuck-on grime) at the roof be a good idea?
Some roof cleaning professionals use pressure washers on roofs, especially for tricky situations like moss growth. But if they use any type of pressure washer that isn't customized with high water volume and lower water pressure, you shouldn't let them anywhere near your roof.
These easy mistakes can be avoided with a little foresight and a little planning, as well as a little help from roofing professionals. If you need a professional diagnosis on your roof, contact Rain-Flow Systems, LLC. Feel free to use our online form, or call us on the phone to ask for an estimate.