When you think of housework, you typically think of cleaning the kitchen or mowing the lawn. And sometimes you might even go as far as thinking about cleaning out the garage. But how many times has the thought of cleaning your roof crossed your mind?
Often times, we forget about one of the most important features of our home—the roof. It’s the frontline of your home that protects the interior from the elements. So whether you’re in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, or Bellevue, you can’t escape the wet and wild weather of the Pacific Northwest. That means moss and algae calling your roof home, and if left untreated they could lead to bigger, more costly issues. We’ll look at the three key reasons a regular roof cleaning is a thought that you shouldn’t let slip your mind.
1. Prevent premature roof repair or replacement
All roofs, regardless of material, will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. And when it comes to your roof, a little goes a long way. Performing regular roof cleanings—big or small—helps you avoid the expensive cost of premature repairs or even worse: replacements.
For example, roof stains. They may just look like simple, unsightly dark streaks, but they’re actually living organisms such as algae, lichens, and moss that are eating away at your roofs. Yes, your roof has become their meals.
Now imagine if you let these living organisms linger. Sure, you’ll end up with missing bits and pieces of your roof. But when there’s no more roofing material to feast on, they’ll start turning to the wood on your roof deck, resulting in wood rot. And wood rot then creates the ideal home for mold to grow due to the excess moisture making its way through the cracks. Mold growth is a dangerous game that poses harmful health risks to your loved ones living inside your home.
So think of it as: The sooner you clean off the stains from your roof, the less damage there will be. But the longer you leave it, the closer you come to prematurely replacing your entire roof.
2. Retain your roof’s warranty
Speaking of warranties. You may think your warranty covers every single crack and curl of your roof, but that’s not necessarily the case. Roof warranties work just like every other warranty imaginable.
Take cars for example. Your new car may come with a 50,000 mile warranty, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t perform any sort of maintenance on it before it hits that 50,000 mile mark. In order to uphold your warranty, you need to perform regular maintenance like oil changes or tire rotations—simple tasks to help maintain your car’s integrity.
In terms of roofs, homeowners like to think warranties cover all bases, almost like an insurance policy. But in actuality, warranties typically cover the quality of the roofing materials. This means that if the roof came with a defective part then that’s covered by the warranty. If you allowed algae or moss to grow on the roof for 10 years then you’re most likely not covered by the warranty to get that new roof.
So considering how long warranties last, it’s in your best interest to get rid of pesky algae and moss from your roof sooner rather than later. A small investment in roof maintenance will undoubetly ensure its integrity and helps to extend the life of your roof.
3. Improves utility bills
Earlier we mentioned that roofs are the frontline of your home. That statement means more than just making sure rain doesn’t make its way inside. Your roof is also your home’s temperature moderator. Keeping your roof clean can actually help you save money on your utility bills. Your roof has the ability to block UV rays, keeping your home cool during the summer. And let us not forget that your roof also insulates your home, keeping warm air in during the colder winter months.
However, when your roof is covered with algae or moss, it loses the ability to reflect sunlight as effectively. Instead, the algae and moss on your roof absorbs the sun’s heat, reducing your home’s natural ventilation, and thus trapping excess heat in your home. While air conditioning isn’t common in the Pacific Northwest, fans are our best friends during the warmer summer months. And if your home is trapping in extra heat then you’ll surely be doling out extra dough to pay for the increased fan usage—or maybe even buying additional fans.
Now let’s also go back to our first point about moss and algae using your roof as feeding grounds. If these organisms have been making a home on your roof for very long, there’s a good chance they’ve made some cracks or holes in your roof. During the colder winter months, this could lead to a spike in your heating bill due to excess air leaving your home.
Keeping moss and algae off your roof isn’t only about maintaining curb appeal. Routine cleaning of your roof also improves your home’s heat efficiency, saving you money every month on your utility bills.
All in all, a regular roof cleaning isn’t just another bothersome chore to add to your list. It’s an integral part of your home’s maintenance. Keeping your roof clean helps you prevent premature repairs and replacements by getting rid of moss and algae that may be eating away at your shingles. Moss and algae eating away at your shingles can also lead you to lose your warranty. Remember that a warranty isn’t an insurance policy on your roof—it’s there to protect the integrity of your product, not to make up for your neglect. And lastly, keeping your roof clean helps save you money on your utility bills. Moss and algae living on your roof doesn’t allow sunlight to reflect, causing your roof to trap in excess heat, which leads to an increase in cooling costs.
So the next time you’re outside of your house, maybe look up at your roof to see if there are any dark streaks or moss growing up there. Maybe think back to when you last cleaned your roof, or if you’ve even ever cleaned your roof. And maybe even think about State Roofing for your next roof cleaning. Give us a call at (360) 205-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free estimate.