Roof cleaning: How to maintain your roof
Roof maintenance is a proper necessity for your home. It’s coating, waterproofness and insulation are compromised daily by the climatic conditions (sunshine, storm, wind, rain, humidity…etc). All of which can shorten your roof longevity and cause infiltration. The good news is that you can maintain your roof yourself.
When to maintain the roof? The roof only needs to be cleaned once or twice a year. The first time in the spring, to make sure that the aggressions undergone during the winter (freezing, hail, etc.) did not cause any damages to the roof shingles or coating. The second time in the fall, when the roof must be cleared of debris: dead leaves, small branches, molds, mosses, lichens, mushrooms, etc. Here are our five-step tips for keeping a solid, waterproof and aesthetic roof longer.
Control Your Roof
Proper maintenance of your roof begins with regular visual inspection. Go around your house, scan the exterior cladding (shingles, tiles, slates, wood shakes) from the ground, but also from the windows upstairs and the attic.
Of course, you can climb on a ladder, scaffold or on the roof itself, as long as you are secured, preferably with someone to help you. You should look out for any damaged or displaced shingles, tiles or slates, sagging and changes in appearance. You will also be able to assess the condition of the roof, if it is gradually covered with algae, lichen, moss, which will then have to be removed.
Once the inspection is complete, get ready before you start cleaning your roof. Equip yourself to perform your work safely: wear gloves, a mask when applying the treatment, non-slip shoes, multi-pocket belt for tools and safety harnesses.
First, start cleaning by picking up plant waste, pebbles and other residues. Set aside any pieces of tile or slate that may have been chipped in order to replace them. Then prepare your tools: you’ll need a stiff bristle brush, a water jet or a pressure washer, a sprayer, antifoam and water repellent, a ladder or scaffold.
Clean your roof
You will have to brush and scrape to remove moss and residue. Remember: Always proceed in the direction of the slope of the roof, from top to bottom, to avoid infiltration. Several solutions are available to you, but should be handled with care:
– use a pressure washer: it is the simplest solution, the fastest and the least tiring. But if the jet is too powerful, you will damage tiles or slates, which is not the goal.
– brush the roof with bleach: frequently recommended, but similarly, the bleach will make more porous tiles and slates, besides that its use is not at all ecological.
The best solution is to brush the roof with a suitable ecological product. Which, depending on the surface of the roof, can require long hours of effort!
Antifoam product and water repellent treatment
Once clean, you will be able to treat your roof by applying an anti-foam product and a water repellent treatment, which will extend the life and efficiency of your roof. You must choose products that are adapted to the nature of your roof covering, taking into account the application methods, avoiding periods of precipitation or high heat.
Observe the recommendations, dosages and times of action or drying of the products mentioned by the manufacturers. They are essential to the effectiveness of the products. If possible, focus on environmentally friendly products and polluting chemicals. Some defoamers require, for example, rinsing, others do not.
Water-repellent products serve as anti-humidity treatment and help to fight against infiltration. Several layers must sometimes be applied to the surface to be treated. Some products can combine both functions. Some people recommend laying copper wires stretched flush with the tiles, at the top of the roof. The oxidation of copper by rainwater prevents the appearance of moss or lichen.
Call on a roofing professional
If you have doubts about the state of your roof and if you hesitate to start yourself this type of work, then it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Have several detailed quotes from qualified roofers to compare the proposed services, rates and turnaround times.
Overall, the price of cleaning your roof will vary depending on the roof area, types of cleaning and treatments. Your roof will then be protected for five to ten years or more depending on the products and techniques used.