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As the weather changes from dreary to sunny, now is the time to clean up for our spring (which seems like will coincide with summer. Winter weather can be a shingle’s enemy and cleaning your roof every year is important for many reasons.  First, you can inspect your roof for damage that might have occurred over the winter but hasn’t shown up inside your home. Cleaning also keeps your roof from being damaged by moss and algae while maintaining its beautiful appearance. Most importantly, regular cleaning can help extend the life of your roof.

Although it is best to have a professional roofer clean your home so they can spot potential roofing issues more easily, some homeowner chose to do the work themselves.  Here are some tips.

Safety first. Always make sure to follow proper safety precautions when climbing on and off the roof. Use a sturdy ladder, have a spotter and wear anti-slip boots. A helmet or hard hat isn’t a bad idea, either.  Dry weather is best.

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. Don’t use metal-tipped instruments to clear off debris. They might damage the shingles and make more problems for you as the roof ages. A stiff-bristled broom works fine for pushing debris off roof shingles. Always push in the direction of the shingles to avoid raising them and damaging your roof.

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, Baking soda works well. You can get large bags of it from warehouse stores (Such as Sam’s Club, Costco, Etc).   It is best to apply baking soda on wet days so it can spread across your whole roof.

Gutters. Damage from 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.  For debris in gutters, you’ll have to go hands-in. Wear work gloves and remove as much as you can with your hands. For smaller debris, you can use water from a hose — not a pressure washer — and push it down the gutter. If you’ve taken care of the bigger debris, the smaller stuff should just come down easily

Missing shingles, chimney, and flashing. Visually look at these items.  If you see anything that looks troublesome, call a contractor to evaluate your concern.  Contractors can uncover issues with missing shingles, chimney damage, or flashing around chimneys, vents, or other bends in the roof.

A yearly spring roof cleaning will help keep your home beautiful and 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.