Out of sight, out of mind. That’s how the majority of homeowners treat their roofs and roof maintenance. If you think about it, home maintenance is typically thought of in terms of cleaning the kitchen or mowing the lawn. Roofing isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about maintaining your home because when you’re standing on the ground, you can’t tell what needs to be fixed on your roof or whether it needs to be cleaned.
Roofing is especially important in the Pacific Northwest due to the wet environment, which makes roofs prone to moss and algae growth. If left untreated, moss and algae can lead to bigger, more costly issues such as a complete roof replacement. In this article, we’ll dive into why roofing is such an important home task.
1. Regular roofing maintenance prevents premature repair or replacement
Regardless of which material you choose for your roof, it will eventually need to be either repaired or replaced. Performing regular roof cleanings—whether it’s big or small—helps you avoid the expensive cost of premature repairs or even worse: premature roof replacements.
One example is roof stains. To the untrained eye, these stains may look like simple dark streaks on your roof. However, they’re actually living organisms such as algae, lichens, and moss that are eating away at your roof When there’s no roofing material left for the organisms to eat, they’ll turn to the wood on your roof deck, causing wood rot. Wood rot creates an ideal home for mold to grow due to the excess moisture making its way through the cracks.
The sooner you clean your roof when you spot damages such as dark streaks, the less damage there will be to repair. However, the longer you leave it, the closer you come to prematurely replacing your entire roof well before your warranty expires.
2. Regular roofing maintenance helps retain your warranty
A common misconception about roofing warranties is that they will cover every single crack and curl of your roof. That’s not the case. Roofing warranties cover the quality of the roofing materials. This means that if the roof came with a defective part then that will indeed be covered by the warranty. If you allowed algae and moss to grow on your roof for 10 years and now you have roof rot then you’re out of luck because the warranty isn’t going to cover a new roof for you.
Considering how long warranties last, it’s in your best interest to get rid of algae, moss, or any other organism from your roof sooner rather than later. If you have a lifetime warranty, it doesn’t make sense to have to replace it 10 years into its lifespan just because you skipped a few roof cleanings here and there.
3. Regular roofing maintenance helps improve utility bills
Your roof is not only your home’s frontline of defense, but it’s also your home’s temperature moderator. Keeping your roof clean can actually help you save money on your utility bills. Depending on material, some roofing materials have the ability to block UV rays to keep homes cool during the summer months and help keep air-conditioning costs down. In terms of the colder winter months, some roofs also help insulate your home to keep the warm air in.
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. As a result, excess heat is trapped in your home. While air conditioning isn’t as common in the Pacific Northwest, fans are our best friends during the warmer summer months. If your home is trapping in extra heat then you might find yourself reaching deep into your pockets 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.
Roof maintenance isn’t just another 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 a lack of lack of maintenance. 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.
Next time you’re outside of your house, take a 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. It’s very important to follow safety protocols when performing roof cleaning or maintenance. A roof maintenance program, like the one we offer, can help save you thousands of dollars. Becoming part of the roof inspection club, for as little as $99/month, helps give you peace of mind that a roofing expert from State Roofing inspects and maintains your roof on a bi-annual basis.
Want to learn more about why roofing is important or how to get your roofs cleaned? Give us a call at (360) 794-7164 or fill out our contact form for a free estimate in the Seattle, Snohomish, Olympia, and Bellevue areas.