Keeping a roof over your head

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The Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning Your Roof

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Your roof needs to be cleaned routinely to prevent damage and help keep your roofing materials in good condition. With the following dos and don'ts of cleaning the roof, it will be in excellent condition and you can get it cleaned safely and effectively.


Clean algae - One of the most important things to clean from your roof is algae. You might think it is only for aesthetic purposes, but algae can also damage the shingles and other roofing materials. You may have green or black algae present on the shingles or roofing tiles to clean.

Clear the gutter - Your roof's gutter helps to keep water away from the roof, but if it is gets clogged with sticks and leaves, the water sits in the gutter. The added weight can start bending and cracking the gutters. If this happens, you don't have sufficient protection from water damage when it rains. Make sure you clear the gutter of dirt and debris as often as you can, especially before it rains or snows. After cleaning the gutter, check for signs of wear or damage as well.

Trim the trees - You also need to trim tree limbs that are hanging over the roof. If you have trees right next to your home, the tree limbs can sway during a wind and start scratching the roof. Part of cleaning and maintaining a roof is to trim those trees. After you have done this, make sure no twigs, leaves, or other tree debris is on the roof's surface.


Use a high-pressure washer - You need to be very careful when choosing the materials to clean your roof. While high-pressure washers, also called power washers, are effective, they are usually too harsh for roofs. For stains on the roof, you are better off using a garden hose with a sprayer that is set on the lowest setting. If you do have harsh stains you want to remove from the roof, talk to a roofing specialist about possibly using a pressure washer on a lower setting.

Forget about wearing protection - When you are cleaning the roof, you need to wear the right amount of protection. While flat roofs are generally easy to maneuver, you should still wear skid-proof shoes, a harness and pads. This will help to protect you in case you do have an accident. When using the ladder, make sure it is tall enough to where you can step right off the ladder onto the roof without having to climb up. Remember not to stand on the top rung of the ladder, as it is not stable enough to hold your weight.