The weather in Colorado is unpredictable. Rain, hail, or snow storms can occur at any time throughout the year, depending on your location and elevation. And your roof protects your most valuable assets. A preventative maintenance plan is key to prolonging the life of your commercial roof.
Whether it be shingle, tile, or flat, regularly cleaning your roof allows you to assess for any damage not seen from the ground especially after a storm. Depending on the type of roof determines how you should clean it.
It is advantageous to clean shingle roofs to see if you have granulation loss or moss growth. Granulation loss can accumulate in gutters and be accelerated by increased sun exposure and storm damage. Moss can damage and deteriorate shingles causing them to curl – which increases the risk of loosening and detaching from the roof in a windstorm. Additionally, moss can cause wood rot if not removed. Wood rot damage cannot be seen since it is under the shingle but can be a costly repair.
Use a spray attached to a garden hose filled with equal parts bleach and water to clean a shingle roof. Never pressure wash a shingle roof, even with a soft wash, or scrub the shingles, as it will almost guarantee granule loss and compromise the integrity and longevity of the roof system.
Cracked tiles can allow moisture to seep onto the decking causing a breeding ground for moss growth. Cleaning your tile roof will allow you to assess for any damage not seen from the ground since tile roofs can collect branches, debris, and dust which can loosen the tile if not cleaned off. Due to the fragile nature of tile, there is a proper method for walking on a tile roof. Therefore, it is recommended to hire a roofing professional to inspect and clean your roof.
Unlike shingle roof, you can pressure wash tile roof, spraying the roof with low pressure to dislodge and remove dirt, dust, or other debris. Then scrape off the moss, algae, or dirt by hand using a trowel. But it is not advised that owners perform this task, as you could damage the roof and void any warranty. Avoid scrubbing tiles, as it could dislodge them or using harsh chemicals on tiles, which could dry them out and compromise their integrity.
There are numerous advantages to having a flat roof – quick and easy installation, typically fewer damages over the lifespan of the roof. Cleaning a flat roof starts with removing the disposing of any physical debris. Excess debris can clog scuppers and allow water to pond on the roof system. Next, brush the roof with a heavy bristle broom and thoroughly raise with a water hose to remove particles that have adhered to the system.
The older the roof, the more often it should be cleaned, up to one time a year. For new roofs, roughly five years after installation and every 2-3 year following is an appropriate cleaning schedule if no catastrophe weather events have occurred.
Maintaining a clean commercial roof helps prevent issues from becoming massive problems. Well-maintained roofs enable easy identification of potential roofing issues and areas for minor repairs before they become major problems or replacement worthy.
It is recommended to have a professional assess and clean your roof. Owners who are not trained to identify issues may unknowingly damage their roofing system and could void their warranty if not cleaned properly.