Maintaining the integrity of your roof helps you keep your home or business protected. A well-maintained roof ultimately costs you less and can last a long time. Regular roof inspections allow you to keep up with minor repairs and catch major repairs before they turn into emergencies. The first step to maintaining a healthy roof is regular debris removal.
The Importance of Debris Removal
If you live in the Austin or Central Texas area, you know the weather can be unpredictable. High winds, hurricanes, hail storms and high temperatures can all become contributing factors in the health of your roof. Regular inspection of your roof can help you determine if severe weather has caused damage or accumulation of debris on your roof.
It’s perfectly normal for debris to land on your roof. If you live underneath or near a tree canopy, leaves, pine needles, sticks and branches are common sights on your rooftop. Even if you live in a more open neighborhood, storms can bring in debris from other areas. It isn’t actually necessary to remove every single leaf the moment it lands on your roof. However, if you allow organic debris like this to accumulate, over time it can cause roof damage that can be expensive to repair.
Seasonal inspection of your roof will make you aware of any areas of debris accumulation. These piles of debris should be removed to avoid damage like a leaky roof, degraded shingles or algae growth. If left for too long, these issues can turn into emergencies and can cause more extensive damage than you’d think.
Damage You Can Avoid With Regular Roof Debris Removal
Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements. It protects your investment so it’s important to maintain it properly. If left unattended, roof debris can cause several issues that can be costly to repair.
If your rooftop accumulates a lot of organic matter, you run the risk of algae growth. Algae can appear as black stains on your roof and can cause major damage to shingles if left untreated. The bacteria in the algae slowly eats away at the composition of your shingles.
When leaves and dirt collect on your roof, it creates the perfect environment for the growth of moss, lichen and fungi. Lichen can eat into your shingles. Piles of leaves and patches of moss absorb water and create potential leak spots on your roof.
When your gutters fill up with organic material, it prevents them from functioning properly. Gutters move water away from the structure of your building in order to protect from water damage. When storm water is unable to flow freely through your gutter system, It can spill over onto the siding of your home. If this continues for some time, the integrity of your home could become compromised.
Most roofs are designed to repel the heat. In Austin, that’s a must have feature. Organic matter retains heat. When excess debris remains on your roof, it can cause your roof to absorb heat instead of repel it. When heat is absorbed into your building, your HVAC system has to work harder to keep the interior of your home or business cool. This can cause a strain on your system and result in higher energy costs over time.
When your roof is clear of debris, it repels the heat as it should. This ensures that, even during those hot Texas summers, your HVAC system will be working at peak performance. Remain cool and secure under your properly maintained roof.
Tips to Remove Roof Debris Safely
A simple way to make sure your roof is free from damaging debris is to call us at Water Damage and Restoration of Austin. Our professional roofing contractors can maintain the life and health of your roof safely and efficiently. We know some of you out there in Central Texas just prefer to do things for yourselves. If you’re set on removing debris from your own roof, we’d like to give you some tips on how it can be done safely and efficiently.
At Water Damage Restoration of Austin, our experience has taught us that safety matters and it should always come first. When removing debris from the roof of your home or business, you want to consider your safety and the safety of the roof itself. Always make sure you have the proper tools and safety equipment needed to clean away debris from your roof.
- Wear protective gear such as safety glasses, gloves, and non slip footwear.
- Make sure you have a ladder that is safe and secure.
- Always have someone with you to steady the ladder as needed.
- Ensure all tools are properly secured and easily accessible.
- Always be aware of wet spots or loose and rotting shingles. Avoiding these can save you from a painful slip and fall.
- Avoid stepping on your roof, if possible. There may be vulnerable spots that are difficult to see. You could cause further damage to your roof – or worse – to yourself if you step in the wrong spot.
The Weather Matters
Even though weather can be unpredictable in Austin, try to plan your roof debris removal on a clear day. If it’s just rained, your roof can be slick and unsafe. If it’s windy, gusts could compromise your balance leading to an accident. Make sure to choose a cool or slightly overcast day to avoid over exposure to the heat.
Proper Tools for Roof Debris Removal
The tools you use to clean your roof depend on the amount of debris present. You may be able to use a broom if you have light debris like pine needles or dry leaves. Typically, a leaf blower is the preferable tool for the job. If you don’t own a leaf blower, you can usually rent one from your local hardware store.
A leaf blower can quickly and easily remove most debris from your roof. It can help you remove debris that’s difficult to reach, ensuring you remain safe. The powerful airflow from the leaf blower can help remove debris that is wet or stuck. It’s important to remember to aim the leaf blower in a downward direction in relation to the slope of your roof. Also, aim any debris removal away from chimneys, windows or skylights.
Examine and Treat Stains or Growths on Your Roof
After you’ve removed the debris from your roof, the next step is to inspect your roof for stains or growths. If you are performing regular roof debris removal, you hopefully won’t see any organic growth on your rooftop. If the debris has been there for a while, you may see black stains, moss, algae or lichen. If any of these are present, you’ll have to continue with a more thorough cleaning process.
You may want to call in the professionals at this point. If you’re intent on seeing the job through yourself, here’s our best DIY for troubling stains or growths on your roof.
- Mix a solution of 50/50 water and detergent.
- Apply liberally to spots of algae growth.
- Allow to penetrate for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Rinse away solution with your hose.
Black Stains or Moss Growth
- Mix a solution of 4-1 bleach and water with a bit of detergent.
- Treat black stains and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
- Rinse away the solution with your hose.
If black stains persits, you may want to call us. At Water Damage and Restoration of Austin, we specialize in weather proofing your roof. We can help you install bacteria-resistant shingles or strips that contain copper or zinc.
Clean Gutters for Maximum Efficiency
We recommend cleaning your gutters as the last step in your roof debris removal project. When blowing debris from your roof with a leaf blower, it’s likely some debris will end up in your gutters. Taking the time to remove all debris from your gutter system ensures it functions properly.
- Ensure your ladder is secure and wear protective gloves.
- Remove debris from gutters a handful at a time.
- When your gutters are free from all debris, rinse through with your hose.
Professional Roof Debris Removal
If roof debris removal sounds like too big a job, Water Damage and Restoration of Austin has you covered. We are local, experienced contractors that can handle any of your roofing needs. From debris removal to full roof replacement, we can help you get your roof back to where it should be. Our professional team will assess and repair your roof quickly and efficiently. Our initial roof inspection is always free. Call us today at (512) 820-6505 and one of our friendly staff will happily schedule your appointment.