Like a beautiful head of hair, your roof is the crowning glory for your home. But while some of us might spend a fortune on haircuts, styling products and expensive hair moisturizing creams that contain obscure ocean minerals, we quite often neglect the roof of our homes until a major problem appears. Maintenance is the key to keeping your roof in an optimum condition, meaning it’s more likely to withstand severe weather conditions and will continue to keep us dry, warm and safe. But what about those of us who aren’t so DIY inclined? Roof maintenance, even if it’s just cleaning can be a daunting prospect, and it can be tempting to get someone else to do the work for us. But not to worry, because it’s not as difficult as you might think…
Keep it Clean
Cleaning is by far the most important aspect of roof maintenance, and it’s while it’s fairly straightforward to achieve this goal, it does require a bit of effort. Most of the time, all you need is water, but a simple garden hose won’t get the job done. Rent a water pressure cleaner from your local provider and blast the dirt and accumulated grime from the roof, although if you’ve never used one before, it can be good to practice on a hard ground level surface, such as your driveway, or the path to your front door- and these parts of the home could probably do with a good cleaning too! Be careful of the direction in which you clean your roof, since when it’s wet, you can easily slip and injure yourself- so make sure you leave yourself a dry path back to the ladder, and clean this behind you as the last stage of the process.
The Chemical Solution
If it’s been some years since your roof has been cleaned, or if it’s the first time you’ve attempted the task, you might need to do a little extra work to clear algae and moss, since this commonly appears on suburban roofs. A simple chlorine wash should be effective for this, and most high-pressure water cleaners allow for the chemical to be added directly to the water supply as it shoots out of the device. The stockist from where you rented the pressure cleaner will be able to advise you about which chemical cleaner is best when you clean your roof. While the solution is highly diluted, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself with a facemask to protect against fumes, as well as gloves. Cleaning your roof can be a messy process, so make sure you wear old clothes! If the moss doesn’t shift so easily, you can also apply the cleaning solution to the roof with a garden sprayer, let it sit for 15 minutes (or more, depending on the severity of the mess), and then scrub it clean with a hard bristled broom.
Don’t Forget the Gutters
Gutters can quickly and easily become clogged with old leaves and assorted other debris, so cleaning the gutters should be done on a regular basis, particularly during fall and winter. While most of the time, wearing gloves and clearing the leaves with your hands is sufficient to get the job done effectively, you can also find specialized gutter cleaners, which are scoops that will slide easily along the gutter, removing the worst parts of the mess. While there are more likely to be leaves and debris in the colder parts of the year, it’s also important to keep the gutters clear over summer, since in the instances of forest fires, dry leaves in the gutter can act as fuel for a falling spark, putting your home at greater risk.
Marianna S. Ross is freelance writer and blogger for DIY projects. She specializes in writing about at home maintenance and landscaping projects.