General Maintenance For Your Roof To Avoid Having To Replace It!

No matter what style of roofing you own – thermal conservatory roofing, metal roofing, slate roofing, solar roofing… all of them need regular maintenance in order to function at their best. In this article, we dive into point treatment, moss treatment, cleaning tiles and maintenance tips for your tile roof (the most common type of roofing found across the globe) and much more. Let’s get started!

WHAT SHOULD BE CHECKED WHEN MAINTAINING A ROOF?

To help you, here are the 12 areas to look at in order to detect any faults and take timely measures to repair them. Your safety comes first, so don’t hesitate to call professionals such as roof cleaners, inspectors, painting contractors, expert masons, and the likes to avoid accidents.

DIRT & LEAKS 

Check the water tightness of the overhangs or eaves. 

– Remove all nests or swarms nestled in your roof

VENTILATION

– Clean the opening

– Check if the ventilation grid is holding properly

ROOF TILES

– Reposition and fix the displaced tiles

– Replace damaged items

– Clean the moss that has formed on the surface

OVERTURES

– Check the connections with the windows, skylights, and dormers

Do a leak test

FIXINGS

– Check the fasteners on the roof edges, shorelines, decorative elements, hoisting,and solar panels

CHIMNEY FITTINGS

– Checking fittings, smoke extractors, and roof exit

– Once again do a leak test 

HIPS AND HOOVES

– Check the fixtures

– Run a pressure test 

DECORATIVE ELEMENTS 

– Check for any cracks or loose edges 

– Reposition if necessary 

THE SOCKET AND LANTERN TILES

– Check the fastening of the tile and lantern junctions

– Clean the openings

GUTTERS

– Clean gutters and ducts regularly

– Check welds and descents

SOLAR PANELS

– Do a fixtures check

– Check the performance of the peripheral connections of the panels

– Clean the panels

In general, it is important for the health of your roof, to do regular and complete maintenance. This will prevent incidents of leaking, degradation or worse, caving of the roof. 

HOW TO CLEAN THE ROOF?

Mosses and other plants

Fixed on the shingles, moss impedes the flow of rainwater and promotes infiltration between the tiles. If you do not want it to multiply, it is better to start with a partial scratching of the larger particles. Peel off the moss with a scraper or a similar tool. Take care not to rub it too hard, or else you will scratch the tiles.

After this rough stripping, a good rinse is required. Directed in the direction of the slope, the jet will eliminate loose particles. This cleaning must be accomplished by anti-moss spray treatment in dry weather and preferably in the absence of wind. There are many effective moss prevention formulations available in the market which can be used as is or diluted. Its selective action avoids any surrounding vegetation from getting destroyed.

Then let time do its work. The anti-moss formula will dry out the remains of the moss which will naturally be eliminated by the rain. Two or three weeks after the treatment, you can do the pressure test with a jet spray. Make sure that you work in the direction of the slope to avoid any damage. Once the tiles are dry, apply a sealant that will prolong their life.

Scratch the tiles

Even if the treatment products are effective, it is recommended to scrape as much as possible before the anti-moss treatment. An old plaster knife or a small trowel will do the trick.

Clean with high pressure

High-pressure cleaning (in the direction of the slope) can restore the roof to its original brightness,  but watch out for its aggressiveness. Also, prioritise your safety: work on a well-secured roof ladder and wear a harness.

Clean the valleys

The valleys of your roof, as in the places where your roof slopes in a “v” shape, need to remain watertight even if it’s congested with moss or other waste. Sometimes, the function of the valley is also supplemented with a narrow zinc gutter. The proliferation of moss here can cause many issues, which can cause serious damage to your roof. Check these areas often to look for a buildup of debris and moss, and follow the steps above for moss treatment and removal. The valleys are also susceptible to other vegetal waste; causing accumulation of humidity which degrades the tiles. Watch out for this sensitive area and clean to facilitate the flow of water.

Maintain ridge and hips

Most often mortar-sealed, the roof tiles and the hips are quite resistant to ageing. In contrast, the seal can split in places, resulting in conditions favourable to moisture infiltration. After removing any moss or lichens, inspect for cracks. A small slit can be easily clogged with masonry putty. But when the mortar comes off, it needs to be repaired using a mortar, not putty, to ensure quality repairs. 

Sealing a crack on the mortar

A crack on the mortar can be easily clogged with a sealant for external sealing. Before you do that, brushing off the surface is essential to rid it of moss and any other growths. Air pollution, poor ventilation of tiles, climatic conditions such as humidity, dry spells, etc. are all factors that result in this development of moss, algae and other lichens on all building materials, so as we’ve mentioned, dusting, cleaning, and maintaining the roof is important to maximise its life. 

Terracotta tile

Terracotta tile is the material mostly used throughout the world to protect homes. To preserve or recover all the qualities of the terracotta tile, a professional can be called upon who will do a thorough check-up, detect any faults and recommend treatment according to the local conditions. Any renovation or maintenance on the roof must always be carried out ensuring the safety of the workers and the surroundings. Depending on the needs, a preventive or curative treatment will be implemented to clean and protect your roof.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR ROOF?

Experts estimate the frequency of maintenance of a roof at once a year. Of course, exceptional weather conditions, or a particularly exposed house may require more regular touch-ups. The end of autumn and before the first snowfall, if applicable, is the best period to get your roof examined and repaired.

A poorly maintained roof could cause water damage, could cause the owner to be fined with liability charges in case of any accidents on rental properties and it could even affect one’s insurance claim as well. But, with regular maintenance, your roof could serve you for more than 50 years, so it’s vital to put the time and effort into roof maintenance as described above. 

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