Should I clean my roof?

Ask a Roofer | May 5, 2022

timberline hdz pewter gray shingles installed on this home by joyland roofing

As a homeowner, you’re right to wonder if you’re providing your roof with the proper care and maintenance. At the end of the day, it’s the most vital protection your home has from the outside elements — and neglecting your roof over time can mean hard-to-repair and costly damage, as well as an intrusion by mold and water. 

With this in mind, regular cleaning and inspection of your roof do wonders when it comes to preventing long-term problems. Remember — some roofing materials require regular maintenance and cleaning more than others. Certain materials even have a manufacturer’s clause that dictates this, so don’t forget to do everything necessary to keep your warranty valid. 

Generally, roof cleaning won’t affect the warranty if you’ve got a steep roof — in that case, cleaning is simply an issue of aesthetics. However, flat roofs that are more susceptible to issues in snowy and rainy environments should be checked and cleaned at least once every year. 

How Do I Clean My Roof?

In most cases, cleaning your roof will mean getting rid of any debris that’s clogging up your rain gutters. This allows rainwater to go through your drainage system as intended, preventing water damage your home exterior and interior might otherwise suffer. 

And once you decide to clean your gutters, you have the perfect opportunity to do a general inspection of your roof. Ideally, you’d do this during the fall and spring. If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll probably need a ladder. 

While you empty the gutters, try to perform a visual inspection of your roof — or, at least, as much of it as you can see. Observe the state of your shingles, skylights, and the gutters themselves. If you notice any water stains or other discolorations, take note. These are likely the spots where water is getting into your home, so they’ll need professional inspection and repair. 

Manage Your Flora

If you want to do more in terms of preventing damage to your roof and its surroundings, trim back your bushes and trees at least semi-annually. You’ll avoid harm to both your trees and your roof. So, make sure to cut large bushes and tree limbs at least one or two feet from your home, and keep them as far from the gutters as possible. 

Generally, it’s a good idea to remove climbing plants from your roof and walls. Though some people like the vine-esque aesthetic, these can infiltrate your drainage systems and mask significant rot and water damage. 

Also, if you notice a nearby tree in poor health, don’t hesitate to remove it — otherwise, it could fall right on your house during the next big storm. If you’re not sure of the state of your trees, contact a professional arborist. 

Check Your Vents

To ensure all ventilation systems are in working order, visually inspect your roof fixtures and vents. They come in all shapes and sizes, so check out all of them thoroughly. And do the same for flat soffit vents that could be located under your roof horizontally, or vertically somewhere on the side of your house. 

If there are any roof vents with blocked openings, there’s a good chance you’ve got a dangerous accumulation of moisture in your attic and roof. Over time, it could result in routine, warping, or moldy roofing, eaves, and walls. 

Locate Bent Flashing

This “flashing” is the metal used to fill the gaps between your various roofing elements, like the edges of vents, chimneys, and similar fixtures — or your gutters and eaves.

All of these joints need to be weatherproof, which is precisely what flashing does; ensuring that your roof is resistant to water and wind damage. And if the flashing is broken, bent, or loose, it won’t be able to resist damage from severe weather like heavy rain and high winds. 

If you notice your flashing isn’t secure in place, it’s best to contact a professional roofer and have them fix the issue — incorrectly used nails and misplaced flashing can result in even more problems and even more severe leakage. 

Wrapping Up

All in all, if you take a look at your roof and notice it’s looking kind of shabby — you may just need to give it a good cleaning. Huge buildups of moss and algae may make your shingles look worse than they actually are — but if you’re not certain, leave the inspection and thorough cleaning to a professional roof cleaning company. Contact Joyland Roofing today for more information