There are a few things you should keep in mind when inspecting and maintaining your roof.
- Try to minimize how much walking you do on your roof. Walking on a roof when the shingles are brittle (in cold weather) or soft (in hot weather) can damage the shingles. If you have to walk on the roof to take care of a problem, try to do it at the most mild time of day – in the morning in the summer and the afternoon in the winter.
- Don’t use a pressure washer. A pressure washer will loosen the granules embedded in the asphalt shingles and expose the asphalt to UV rays which will shorten its lifespan. Only professionals should use a pressure washer to clean the roof.
- Don’t use bleach to clean the roof. Bleach can be corrosive and is not something that you want to get in the runoff, gutters and groundwater. If you have an algae problem then take these steps: Trim the vegetation around the roof so it gets more sunlight. Then apply zinc strips along the ridge of the roof. Zinc is not harmful and it will form a protective coating over the shingles to prevent algae.
- If your shingle roof is more than ten years old, inspect it during a windstorm. It’s best to actually go out when it’s windy and check the roof with binoculars. If you see shingles lifting up, then it’s time to call a professional to restore the adhesive layer under the shingles.
- Never paint your roof. If the shingles or tiles are starting to look old, it may be time for a new roof. Painting it will surely ruin a roof system. Consider calling Atlas in before you go about doing cosmetic enhancements to your rugged roof!
- Only allow professionals to repair and maintain your roof. The handyman might be good for some things – but roofs are best left to the experts. It’s easy to cause irreparable damage to a roof if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Don’t let downspouts from an upper roof empty onto the lower roof. Downspout discharge will cause premature wear on the lower roof if it empties onto the roof surface. Instead they should be connected to the gutter system of the lower roof, or extend directly to the ground.