Whether you have a residential or commercial roofing system, regular maintenance can help in extending its life. Part of keeping your roof in good shape is to make sure that it stays clean. Debris on its surface can cause more harm than you think. For instance, fallen leaves and branches from trees around your property can scratch or even puncture holes on shingles.
Keep reading to discover some of the worst types of debris for your roof.
Debris to Look Out For
During a storm or a wind event, branches can get torn from the roof and end up on your roof. When the forces are strong enough, it is even possible for an entire tree to fall down, especially if it is old or lacks support. While they may not have the same velocity as man-made debris, they can still tear off shingles and penetrate the protective rooftop membrane.
Wood chips and leaves are common evidence that the damage on a roof was due to a fallen tree branch. Aside from looking for indications of damage, check trees around your property for missing large branches. Ironically, some of the most typical tree-related damage occurs due to healthy trees. Ones near a house can get bent or swayed across the structure by strong winds. As a result, friction is created that can damage or tear off shingles. It is just one more reason to not allow trees to grow near your roof and siding.
Moreover, leaves, branches, pine needles, and other debris from trees are more likely to settle on the roof’s surface and in gutters. Keep in mind that excessive debris buildup can mean trouble to your roofing system and even the rest of your home. Debris that is on your roof and gutters can retain moisture, which can lead to early material deterioration. They can contribute to rot and even encourage mold growth.
If your gutters have clogs, water will back up to the roof and overflow to your home’s exterior. It can risk your house’s foundation and basement and damage. Another part of your property that an inefficient gutter system can compromise is your landscaping. Like your roof, they also need regular inspection, cleaning, and maintenance to ensure good water flow.
You should always look for windborne debris during an extreme weather event. Trees, rocks, and plants even do a better job of resisting winds during a storm. It is the components of the other homes near you that you should be wary about, especially during a tornado or hurricane.
Just about any item can land on your roof, such as nails, glass, antennas, fencing, pieces of masonry, and shutters. These things can cause significant roofing damage when falling at high speeds. Sometimes, you won’t know there is something that punctured your roof until you start experiencing leaks. It is just one important reason to always get a professional roof inspection after a serious storm.
Another damaging element that can cause serious harm to your roof is hail. Aside from the fact that you can’t prevent it or how severely it is going to damage your roof, damage caused by hail is often not easy to detect. Residential roofing experts strongly recommend getting an inspection after a hailstorm.
Together with high winds, hail can compromise the seal of roofing shingles. Once the seal weakens, the shingles will become more prone to blow-off, which can leave your roof exposed to harsh outdoor elements and moisture. Hail can also loosen the protective granules of shingles, reducing their lifespan. Damaged shingles can contribute to leaks, increasing your home’s risk of developing water-related damage, such as rot and mold and mildew growth.
The Importance of Keeping Your Roof Clean
Improved Energy Efficiency
Did you know that your roof contributes to your home’s overall energy efficiency? When your roof is clean, it does a better job of reflecting heat from the sun. This is especially helpful during the cooling months. Your HVAC system will not need to work as hard to keep your living spaces comfortable, resulting in lower energy costs. Moreover, regular roof maintenance and cleaning help protect the system against damage, such as leaks. When your roof is leaking, conditioned air can escape, also increasing your utility bills.
Longer Roof Lifespan
Regular roof upkeep will help delay the need for a roof replacement. With a clean roof, your contractor will be able to assess the system more thoroughly during inspections. As they get a better view of the roof, it will be easier to locate damaged or missing shingles and areas that require repairs.
Your Gutter System Stays Efficient
As mentioned, a gutter system clogged with debris will cause water to spill on the sides of your property. Rainwater will also overflow to the roof and will not drain properly, which can result in water damage. In cold climates, clogged gutters can encourage ice dam formation, which is one of the most common causes of roof damage in winter.
Maintain Your Home’s Appeal and Comfort
An accumulation of debris on your roof can look unsightly and it says a lot about you as a home or property owner. When leaks develop due to neglect, water will penetrate your living spaces and create wet and dark stains on your walls and ceilings. It can also affect your home’s indoor air quality and comfort. When not addressed, mold and mildew will eventually grow, which are not only an eyesore but can also risk the health of your family.
Tips to Help Minimize Debris-Related Roof Damage
Get Regular Maintenance
While the weather is unpredictable and you won’t know what will fall on your roof, taking preventive measures can help in avoiding or at least minimizing damage. Routine inspections help in detecting and addressing roof damage in its early stages. Your roof may not be completely invincible to damage but it will do a better job of resisting what mother nature throws at it.
Trim Trees Around Your Home
Overhanging tree branches can scratch the surface of your shingles and cause granule loss during high winds. In metal roofing systems, they can scratch and damage the material’s protective coating, which can result in corrosion. Whether there is an upcoming storm or not, it is always a good idea to keep the trees near your home trimmed. Doing so also reduces the debris that can end up in your gutters.
Stay Attentive During Storms
Damage caused by debris does not immediately develop into leaks. Even if your roof looks fine and in good condition from the ground, it is still recommended to have it checked by professionals after a storm. Making a habit out of this will go a long way in extending the life of your roof and avoiding damage in the rest of your home.
Do Not Delay Repairs
One more thing that helps strengthen your roof’s defense against the elements is addressing problems as soon as detected. Remember that delaying repairs will only make any roofing problem worse and it can also cause your insurance provider to refuse your claim. Insurance companies usually refuse claims involving roof damage caused by neglect or lack of maintenance.
Hire an Experienced Professional
Aside from choosing quality roofing materials, it is also vital to hire a skilled contractor to install them. Even the best quality materials are prone to early failure when not installed properly. Make sure to only select a reputable company for your roofing needs.
Obtaining at least three estimates from different companies can help you find the right pro for your project. Before hiring a roofer, do your research, read reviews, check credentials, and ask for references. Also, be sure to have a written contract before any actual work begins.