Homeowner's Guide: Why Cleaning A Roof Can Extend Its Lifespan

Your roof does so much for your home, but what are you doing for your roof?

Many homeowners neglect cheap preventative maintenance for their roof. Then they end up with expensive repair bills that could have been avoided.

Roof repair costs can reach over $7,000 for big repairs. The average for normal repairs is $960. If you have a metal, slate, or tile roof, your average repair bill goes well over $1,000.

Just cleaning a roof regularly is a big preventative maintenance step. If you need help with routine roof cleaning and other strategies, we’re here for you!

Read on for our expert tips in extending your roof lifespan.

Routine Roof Cleaning Benefits

Home maintenance measures like routine roof cleaning will help you avoid costly repairs and replacements. With preventive maintenance, you can:

  • Extend the roof lifespan
  • Protect your shingles from rot and disrepair
  • Eliminate unhealthy mold and mildew
  • Prevent leaks in your home’s interior
  • Prevent water damage to your home and yard
  • Improve the overall appearance of your house

Many roof repair problems come from trapped moisture and/or improper water runoff. The two main culprits are fungi growing on your roof, and clogged or derelict gutters. 

Algae, Moss, Mildew, and Mold

The four horsemen of the roofocalypse, these fungi can damage your roof directly or indirectly. If you live in a warm, damp climate, your chances of developing fungi streaks and patches are very high.

Because some roof damage is indirect, many people believe fungi are unsightly but harmless. Unfortunately, this myth costs homeowners a lot of money.

Algae and Moss

Unlike mildew and mold, algae and moss aren’t potentially harmful to humans. Roof algae and moss are common and can even look romantic on old houses. The damage they cause on a roof is very unromantic, however.

Algae don’t directly hurt your roof, but they retain moisture and heat on your roof shingles. This can cause them to warp or even disintegrate.

Moss growth can displace shingles. This interferes with water runoff and allows water and moisture to seep under the shingles or even cause roof leaks.

They both interfere with reflecting and absorbing sunlight. In energy-efficient homes, this can result in higher heating and cooling costs on your electric bill.

Mildews and Mold

Mildew is actually a milder form of mold and a sign of excessive surface moisture in an area. Mold happens when the moisture goes beyond the surface layer.

Because mold penetrates more deeply, mold can actually be a sign of a rotting roof. Some fungi can cause dry rot that only damages your roof but the supports holding it up.

Mildew and mold can cause health issues along with roof damage. Mildew has milder effects, like irritation from the smell and headaches.

Mold effects are more wide-ranging and severe. Some symptoms include:

  • Respiratory issues (wheezing, trouble breathing)
  • Skin rashes
  • Eye irritation like red or watery eyes
  • Flu-like symptoms (runny nose, cough)
  • Headaches
  • Body aches and pains
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Brain fog and trouble concentrating

If you have asthma or other respiratory health issues, mold symptoms can be even worse. They can also make you susceptible to infections, the flu, and colds.

Cleaning a Roof To Stop Fungi From Forming

Preventing patches and streaks of growth on your roof should be done regularly, even if you don’t see any. They can be difficult to spot visually. And by the time you see them, they’ve already settled in and done their damage.

Fungi thrive best in dark and damp places, including shady areas. You can reduce their growth by:

  • Clipping back overhanging tree branches to allow sunlight
  • Regularly clearing the roof of branches, leaf buildup, and other debris
  • Routine roof washing to wash away old growth and prevent new growth

Routine roof cleaning will eliminate the growth you don’t see. It will also help prevent future growth from grabbing hold of your shingles.

You even invest in algae-resistant roof metals or roof shingles with special metallic coatings. These metals are toxic to growth but safe for your roof and the environment.

Gutter Cleaning and Efficiency

In popular media, cleaning gutters is an unfun weekend chore for dads or a punishment for unruly teenagers. Gutters are an important part of routine roof cleaning and home maintenance, however.

If you give your roof attention but neglect your gutters, your roof lifespan will still be negatively affected. Your gutters should be part of proper preventative maintenance for your roof.

Cleaning Clogged Gutters To Stop Water Damage

Like your roof, gutters can suffer from too much debris or algae. Clogged gutters can:

  • Damage your shingles
  • Cause leaks in your roof and walls
  • Cause fungi build-up
  • Flood your basement
  • Create structural damage in your foundation
  • Cause puddles and swampy areas
  • Damage your landscaping

Cleaning your gutters regularly will prevent serious damage (you can hire gutter cleaning pros if it’s too tedious or unsafe). Gutters should also be cleaned anytime you spot excessive debris build-up, like after a storm.

Maintaining Good Gutters for Optimal Efficiency

Even if your gutters are clear, they can still cause excessive water runoff. Gutters that are defective or in disrepair will still have inefficient drainage, despite not having clogs.

Common gutter issues include:

  • Saggy gutters that collect water
  • Improperly installed downspouts or drip edges
  • Not enough gutter incline to drain water properly
  • Loose gutters shifting away from the roof
  • Leaky gutters that drain water along the track
  • Gutter joints pulling apart
  • Ice and storm damage to the gutter system

You can have your gutters tested and inspected by pros to make sure they are working properly. Regular gutter repair and replacement will go a long way towards home maintenance.

Raising the Roof Maintenance for Higher Home Quality

Cleaning a roof and maintaining gutters is an inexpensive way to avoid expensive roof repairs. It can also keep your roof from forming nasty fungi patches that cause rot and health hazards.

Our local expert services provide a top notch roof cleaning process that clears away debris and fungi growth safely and gently.

We also provide a plant washing service to ensure roof cleaning chemicals don’t damage your landscaping.

Contact us for a free custom estimate today!