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What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Roof?

Whether it’s the first home or the fifth, homeowners like to take pride in their house as much as they can. Not all houses are the same. Some are older with some work to be done, and others are new.

But one thing all homeowners need to protect is their roof. That means more than checking to see if things are okay after a storm. It means checking to see that your roof stays clean in order to help your house look its best and protect against damage.

image - What Happens If You Don't Clean Your Roof
What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Roof

Why a Roof Needs Cleaning

From a distance, a bit of mess on a rooftop may not seem like a big deal. But keeping a roof clean is not just about aesthetics. It’s about the health of your roof, and anyone else who lives in your house.

When a roof is cleaned regularly, it also protects your roof from natural pests and prolongs the life of your roof. Here are some of the things that can go wrong if your roof isn’t cleaned regularly.

Algae

If you notice black stains on your roof, there is a good chance there are algae. Algae is most likely to collect in the shady areas of your roof. Algae feed off asphalt and limestone, two common shingle materials.

It is also often the precursor to mold. Algae find your roof either with the wind, or it hitches a ride with the neighborhood squirrel. However it gets there, you don’t want it. Unattended algae and mold not only endanger your home but your neighbors as well.


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Lichens

Lichens are what happens when algae combine with fungus. They are organisms that resemble plants with root-like tentacles. It literally feeds off the oil base of your shingles. They tend to be the worst during humid or rainy weather.

Because they grab on tight, they are hard to remove, and will often come back to the roof as soon as the moisture levels go back up.

Moss

Moss is a plant that commonly grows on the side of trees, but it likes life up on the roof as well. Moss needs a lot of dampness to grow, and its roots don’t dig as deep as some other plants.

Areas of the roof that have overhanging tree branches are most vulnerable to moss, as it gets to the roof with the help of wind and animals.

Potential Damage Done by Nature

Algae, lichens, and moss don’t just look icky, they can damage your roof by causing the shingles to deteriorate. Algae and lichens are organisms that are actually eating the roof.

The black stains from algae also absorb extra heat, making the attic area extra hot to the point of “baking” the shingles. But it’s innocent-looking moss that can potentially cause the most damage.

Too much moss can make your shingle lift or curl off the roof, placing the proverbial “red flag” for roof replacement. Moss holds in the most moisture, leading to further damage as the temperatures drop below freezing.

Before you know it, you have wood rot, which weakens the integrity of your roof even more and makes it easy for burrowing animals, like mice, squirrels, and others to build themselves a passageway into your home.

It can also ruin installation and lead to higher energy costs. Moss also breeds mold, which can cause respiratory issues for those in your home.

How to Keep a Roof Clean

There are many people who try to keep their roof clean from the ground with their pressure washer, but it can be hard to truly see what is going on, and sometimes the pressure can cause damage to the roof, even if it does get some of the pests.

It is better to make sure that the roof is checked and cleaned with the right materials by people who are trained to handle whatever is trying to cause damage before the point of no return.

Although roof cleaning is an expense, it is much less costly than actual roof repair, and if there is some damage, a reputable roof pressure washing service can steer you toward someone who can help before the problems get more serious.