Guide to Preventative Maintenance for Your Roof
Preventative maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity of your roof. Regular cleaning helps to preserve your roof’s structural integrity. Inspections and cleaning form a crucial component of roof health, making you aware of any minor issues before they develop into larger, unsolvable problems.
To learn how to keep your roof in tip-top shape, read our guide to comprehensive preventative maintenance for the ultimate roof longevity.
What are the Different Types of Roofs?
There are several different types of roofs, and the proper cleaning method and materials for your roof will depend on your home’s type of roof.
Here is a list of the most common roof types:
- Gable Roof
A gable roof is one of the most inexpensive and popular roof types used in Canadian home buildings today. It is a pitched roof of triangular shape and can be constructed of asphalt, cedar, shakes, slate, clay, or concrete tiles.
- Hip Roof
The second most popular roof type is the hip roof. Hip roofs differ from gable roofs in that all four sides of the roof slope together, making a ridge at the very top as opposed to the two sides found in a gable roof.
- Jerkinhead Roof
A combination of the gable roof and the hip roof, the jerkinhead roof can appear one of two ways: as a gable roof with abbreviated ends or a hip roof with two sides that are shorter than the other two.
- Mansard Roof
The mansard roof is French in origin. This roof style consists of four double-sloped sides connecting in the middle to yield a roof with a low pitch in the center.
- Gambrel Roof
Gambrel roofs are sometimes referred to as barn roofs. They are similar to the mansard roof but have only two sides instead of four. The shape of a gambrel roof is triangular.
- Saltbox Roof
Saltbox roofs are the type favoured for use in homes of the Cape Cod fashion. They are known for their asymmetrical design. One side of this roof type is flat with a marginal slope, while the other looks like a “lean to.”
- Butterfly Roof
The butterfly roof is quite distinctive and appears just as it sounds. It has two “wings” that meet in the middle to form a V shape.
- Bonnet Roof
Like the mansard roof, the bonnet roof is double-sloped, but its pitch is lower. The lowest slope of the house hangs over both the front and the back as a type of heavy awning that is ideal as a patio cover.
- Sawtooth Roof
A sawtooth roof is a type of roof that resembles the jagged edge of a saw blade.
- Pyramid Roof
A pyramid roof is actually a modified hip roof. It contains no gables or vertical sides.
- Dome Roof
A dome roof forms an inverted bowl in shape and is most commonly seen as an architectural feature on a commercial building.
- Skillion Roof
A roof type is sometimes referred to as a shed roof; skillion roofs have only a single angle and are often attached to a higher wall. They are sometimes chosen instead of a flat roof for a singular structure.
- Curved Roof
Similar to a skillion roof, the curve roof forms a semi-circular arch attached to taller walls.
- Flat Roof
A flat roof is a roof with very little or no pitch, laying flush atop the house’s walls.
What is Basic Preventative Roof Maintenance?
Your annual roof maintenance should be two-pronged, consisting of a thorough annual cleaning and twice-yearly roof inspections. The inspections are best conducted in spring and fall. By committing to this maintenance regimen, you stand the best chance of enjoying the full longevity of your roof and experiencing very few issues.
Though some might feel inspections are an added hassle, they play an essential role in the longevity of your roof. Regular inspections allow for pinpointing any weaknesses in the roof before irreparable damage occurs. By identifying issues while they are still minor, you gain the opportunity to make repairs while they are small and affordable.
Inspections and cleaning are often required for roofs that are still under warranty. If problems are discovered during either process, you have ample time to file the paperwork to process any claims in advance of the repair work commencing.
Regular roof cleaning in Vancouver is not only essential to maintain the structural integrity of your roof, but it also keeps your house looking the very best. When your home is attractive and well-kept, its resale value remains at peak levels if a future sale may be in your plans.
Failure to clean your roof can lead to the accumulation of materials that can degrade your roof shingles and adhesives, including dirt, sap, lichen, moss, and debris. Many of these materials trap moisture on your roof’s surface, leading to rot and damage. Some warranties are voided if moss is allowed to grow on the roof’s surface.
What Should a Regular Roof Inspection Consist Of?
When inspecting your roof for damage, debris, or defects, there are several different things you should be on the lookout for. These include:
- Tile grit in gutters
- Moss, lichen, or other organic material growth
- Missing shingles
- Damage or cracked caulking
- Crumbled, curled, or blistered shingles
- Cracked or worn casings surrounding vent pipes
- Broken shingles
While it is recommended that you conduct roof inspections in the spring and the fall, it is also important to carefully inspect your roof after extended periods of inclement weather. Weather conditions such as hail, high winds, and heavy rain can leave your roof damaged and in need of repair.
When inspecting your roof, look not only for external damage and accumulated debris but also for the condition of your chimney, vents, and internal roof components.
What is the Best Way to Clean a Roof?
Though you can learn to clean your roof yourself, it is a job that is best left in the hands of a professional roof cleaning company, especially if your roof is still under warranty. A professional roof cleaner has the experience and qualifications to safely clean your roof, removing dirt and debris and providing basic repairs.
A professional cleaning company has the tools to get the job done right and can identify problems you may not notice when inspecting your roof. An experienced roof cleaner can find not only external roof issues but also internal ones, spotting and repairing any potential leaks to extend the life of your roof.
Another critical component of roof cleaning is the removal of debris and organic matter from your eaves, gutters, downspouts, and drains. These areas can collect plant matter that, over time, can lead to decay and the degradation of your roof’s structural integrity.
Here is a checklist of things to focus on during your yearly roof maintenance:
- Check Your Gutters
Your gutter system needs to be clean to do its job effectively. When your gutters are filled with debris, water can be re-routed beneath your shingles, causing moisture damage over time.
- Remove Moss and Algae
Because the air in Vancouver can be moist and humid, moss and algae will naturally grow on your roof. Though moss and algae can’t be eliminated entirely, they must be controlled through regular removal to prevent your roof from succumbing to rot.
- Cut Down or Trim Nearby Branches
When branches are near a roof, they can rub against the shingles, dislodging grit that can accumulate in gutters. Keep branches trimmed so they cannot reach your roof’s surface even during a windstorm.
What Factors Can Shorten the Life Expectancy of a Roof?
Unfortunately, we cannot entirely control the environment. This means that your roof will succumb to wear and tear from good old Mother Nature. Among the external factors that can negatively impact your roof’s longevity are:
- Deterioration of flashing
- High winds
- Poor ventilation
- The sun
- Time/old age
- Trees and leaves
Is your roof in need of cleaning? Shiny Power Wash is your go-to team for all of your Vancouver roof cleaning needs. Contact us now at 604-802-9274 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our roof cleaning and minor roof repair services.
We look forward to serving you!
This article is for reference only, the article does not represent Shiny Power Wash’s housing maintenance advice nor how we clean your property. Each building’s condition is different and Shiny Power Wash provides the best practice that fits your goal.