A roof is a big investment. Not only does it make up more than half of your home’s visible exterior, but it also serves as the primary protection you have against the overwhelming majority of what nature throws at you.
1. Have Your Roof Inspected Regularly
The best way to ensure that your roof will last is to continually have it checked, getting the minor fixes and repairs it needs done before they become big problems. This is why regular roof inspections are incredibly invaluable—having a professional evaluate your roof every few years and locate signs of potential wear and tear or emerging problems can help you stay on top of what your roof needs. When your roof remains healthy and in good condition, it will last longer, and that means you’ll go for many additional years before you need to completely replace your roof outright.
2. Keep Your Rain Gutters Clean
Rain gutters are a vital part of your roof’s health. Gutters collect rain that runs off your roof and keep it away from your home’s foundation, but they can only do this if they’re clean and free from blockages that cause water to pool and build up. A completely-blocked gutter adds a ton of weight to the gutter itself, in turn damaging the eaves around your roof. An overflowing gutter also can’t effectively remove water from your roof, meaning that the materials will simply sit there and soak, resulting in warping, rotting, mold and mildew growth, and a ton of other issues that are extremely difficult to fix.
It may not be the most pleasant job in the world, but we strongly recommend getting up on a ladder and using an industrial vacuum or small trowel to dig the dirt, leaves, and other debris out of your gutters to keep them flowing freely. Alternatively, you can greatly reduce the need for this maintenance by installing gutter guards.
3. Remove Leaves, Moss & Algae
Moss, leaves, and algae can grow on roofs that are frequently wet and don’t receive a ton of sunshine. The sun’s harsh radiation makes it impossible for these organisms to grow, but any areas that are constantly in shade can sprout a colony of algae or moss in as little as a few weeks. These aren’t bad for your roof necessarily, but they are a sign that your roof is wet and isn’t drying out. We recommend cleaning these affected areas of your roof with mild soap and gentle pressure washer. This will also help the curb appeal of your home improve substantially.
4. Trim Back Branches that Hang Over Your Roof
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re privileged to enjoy some of the most beautiful trees and arbor life anywhere in the country. It’s not uncommon for properties to have various pines, oaks, cedars, firs, and other trees that add both beauty and in some cases functionality to our property. However, when these trees grow too tall, they become dangerous. As branches grow out and die off, they become brittle, and when they become brittle, they become a serious risk factor. Brittle branches can break off from a tree, either as they die or because of high winds in inclement weather. A branch that breaks off while directly over your roof could severely damage or even destroy a segment of your roof, exposing your home to all sorts of issues.
We recommend having professional tree trimmers visit your property at least once a year and trim back any trees that may be encroaching on your roof in order to keep this risk to an absolute minimum.
5. Actively Work to Avoid Ice Dams
The Seattle area may not be known for having the harshest winters in the country, but that doesn’t mean we don’t see our share of freezing cold temperatures. These freezing cold temperatures can sometimes bring snow, and when they do, they bring the possibility for one of the biggest sources of roof damage that you might ever face: ice dams. An ice dam is a long, heavy block of ice that forms when snow from a higher point on your roof melts and trickles down to the bottom, where it re-freezes and accumulates into a bigger and bigger wall of ice.
Ice dams can be prevented in a number of ways, and we recommend using at least one that you find is successful. Ice dams can not only damage your roof material, but they can create leaks in addition to adding a ton of extra weight to your roof. If you do encounter an ice dam, we recommend carefully removing it as soon as it is possible to safely do so.
If you need your roof serviced, pick up the phone and call Pro Roofing NW at (425) 598-0998 to schedule an appointment today.