As the snow begins to melt in many parts of the country, now is the time to clean up for spring. Winter weather can be a shingle’s enemy (especially in areas that had to deal with so many storms—we’re looking at you, Boston), so it’s important for contractors to reach out to homeowners to help them with their roof’s spring-cleaning and inspection. Not only will this make a home look better, it can also extend the life of the roof. Here are some tips to share with your customers on what to look for during spring cleaning.
Tree limbs. Make sure tree limbs don’t touch a roof. If they do, they can easily scrape over the shingles and loosen the protective granules. This will severely reduce the life of a roof. Trim trees close to the house to avoid any limbs touching the roof surface.
Leaves and pine needles. A little leaf or a few pine needles are fine, but if they collect and are deep enough to hold moisture, they need to be taken off the roof. Anything that traps moisture will cause mildew to form, block gutters, or cause extra weight on the roof. A rake or air blower can be used to clear the roof, but take care not to damage the shingles.
Moss. Cutting back trees and removing leaves will reduce moss growth, as it will allow sunlight to dry up the moisture that moss thrives on. While there are chemicals available on the market to get rid of moss, the runoff can cause damage to plants. Another solution is to nail zinc or copper strips to the ridgeline; as rain washes across, it creates an environment where moss cannot grow.
Mold. Discolored streaks on a roof indicate there is mold, algae, or fungus, which can eat away at the roofing material and, ultimately, cause leaks. A treatment of chlorine bleach or copper sulfate solution applied with a garden sprayer can kill the mold. GAF manufactures algae-resistant shingles that have a specially formulated granule that inhibits algae growth, in addition to shingles with StainGuard® Protection. Finally, do not power wash shingles! It can dislodge granules and cause premature shingle failure.
Gutter damage. Heavy snow from the winter season can result in gutter damage while leftover fall leaves and debris can lead to clogged gutters. Before the springtime rain, check to make sure water can flow easily through the gutters and fix any loose nails that are preventing the gutters from sitting tightly along the roof line.
Missing shingles, chimney, and flashing. A complete inspection by a contractor can uncover issues with missing shingles, chimney damage, or flashing around chimneys, vents, or other bends in the roof.
Dealing with these potential issues in a timely manner will allow your roof to stand strong through the next season of weather challenges—and for many years to come.