4 Surprising Things That Can Damage Your Roof

By Admin • 3 Aug, 2018

You’ve heard of UV-ray damage, roof damage caused by temperature extremes, and other types of weather-related damage. But did you know that cleaning your roof can damage it as well in some cases? Learn about four surprising things, including cleaning, that could damage your roof.

1. Cleaning

Sweeping off leaves and twigs with a soft, long-handled brush is a must. But if you’re raring to get out the power washer, do your best to resist the temptation. Power washing, especially when done by a non-expert with a power washer not calibrated to be gentle on a roof, can cause quite a bit of damage.

If you need a bit more oomph than a dry sweeping gives you, try a gentle roof cleaning solution and a gentle roof scrubbing brush. Anything else should be left to professionals who know the limits of roof cleaning and can stay within them to prevent any roof damage.

2. DIY Inspecting

In addition to posing a hazard to your health and safety, walking on your roof for inspection purposes poses dangers to the roof’s integrity as well. This is especially the case if your roof is made of metal or tile, or if it’s old or has weather damage.

For example, UV rays can make the shingles more brittle so that they’re more likely to fracture when you walk on them. And even a brand-new roof will lose granules every time you walk on it, so you should avoid this activity whenever possible. Professionals know how to wear gentle shoes, avoid fragile spots, and minimize overall roof-walking to prevent roof damage.

3. Your Chimney

Poorly installed chimney flashing can put your roof in peril, of course, but your chimney is also in a unique position to collect water and debris behind it. Some roofs are designed with a small structure placed behind the chimney (called a chimney cricket) that helps to divert these accumulations. If your chimney doesn’t have one of these, it could be damaging your roof.

You especially need to use a chimney cricket if you have a tree that drops a lot of debris behind your chimney or if your chimney is over a certain width. The placement of the chimney is significant too; if it’s close to the ridge, less water will drain down to it from uphill. However, if it’s near the middle or bottom of a slope, it can collect water and debris quickly, causing leaks.

4. Leaves

You may have thought that the primary reason to clean leaves off your roof was to keep things looking tidy and prevent gutter blockages. But sweeping leaves can also prevent a variety of other problems.

In addition to collecting behind your chimney, the leaves and other debris that fall from nearby trees can also collect in piles on your roof and cause problems all on their own. They may seem relatively innocuous, but a buildup of wet leaves can actually hold a lot of water and can even block water drainage in a roof valley, causing a buildup of standing water.

And when the leaves aren’t holding standing water against the surface of your roof, they can still keep the surface nice and moist, like a thick layer of mulch on a garden bed. This moisture helps moss and other undesirable growths to take hold on your roof’s surface.

These are just four surprising things that can cause roof problems. Whether you think your roof has been damaged by these or other causes or you’d like a professional inspection or cleaning so you won’t have to go the DIY route, get in touch now and Landmark Roofing will be glad to help.